Daily Archives: July 22, 2014

Teacher: Back to School Checklist



 Even thinking about this list makes my anxiety level go up a notch. But lists are my JAM. After teaching for a couple years I feel like I know what to expect and exactly what I need to be prepared for the first week of school.  Here are some of my picks to help you conquer your first week at school. 

Oh and nothing really can prepare you for teacher throat unless you work through summer at camp. You’ve been warned!


Every year I go over and update my syllabus of expectations, supplies, and an overview of the course. High expectations are a must for me.  As a middle school teacher respect is key and makes or breaks you with eighth graders.  There are the essential rules rundown and then we make our own classroom rules, diplomatically. Takes time to think through the rules you want in a classroom and then they are posted to the wall with the “Team” name that the class has chosen.


The first piece of homework is for the parents.  For all of those parent’s out there-please hear me out!  I want parent’s to give me the opportunity to see a little bit more of who their child is through their eyes.  The homework is extra credit and does not count against anyone.  The letter’s I have received are heartfelt and full of meaning.  Some are simple and handwritten, while others are pages(and pages) of stories about their little(BIG) eighth grader. All are meaningful and none are better than the other.  


I am a PLANNER.  I put in all of the field trips, holidays, parent conferences, and key dates in my desk calendar.  I also plan out one-two months in advance what we will be doing each day. This would have never been possible my first year teaching but now I know how fast we go through material and how long our Nuclear Bomb Shelter Activity, Mock Trials, and our full Presidential Campaigns run.  Who says history and government is boring?!? Not THIS teacher. Oh and real life monopoly? That’s right.  I am the landlord to 120 darling little eighth graders. Real life skills? Check. Writing checks? Check. Boring? NEVER. Well, that’s a matter of opinion but I can’t hear the naysayers over the curls of my gray judge wig. Old school teaching new school.


My classroom is full of flavor.  Twinkly lights around the SMART Board, pictures of my family, fabulous examples of projects from past students but most importantly it is full of information.  Each unit has coordinating information- Elections- Nuclear Attack-Trials- Monopoly. 


Pizzazz! Yep, I just used that word. The pictures show just a “touch” of what my classroom looks like. 




I am a planner and making sure that the copies that I do need get done ahead of time is pivotal.  Seriously, those printers break ALL THE TIME. So I make sure that I am set for a month at a time for my classes.  I try to save all the trees I can and post ALL my documents online so that everyone can view them on their laptops. I also have a Blog for my students to post on once a week about a current event on the news that is privately accessed.  That printer has my name, I swear. But so far I have had the last laugh! 

Supplies can get EXPENSIVE and I am excited to share a fabulous contest that helps teacher’s and students alike!

#GREATLIST CONTEST:

You simply upload your school supply list HERE. And Great Clips picks daily winners! Winners will get their back-to-school supply list shipped to their front door for free (up to $100 value). Every little bit helps!

#GREATLIST contest entrants receive a $2-off Great Clips coupon with their confirmation email the first time they submit a school supply list. 


I LOVE companies that care about education! Check out this Before and After of one classroom makeover.



Click HERE to watch the full video of the classroom makeover and see how Great Clips has already fulfilled two teachers’ lists. You can help other teachers throughout the U.S. and Canada by downloading the Online Check-In app. 

Online Check-In app – This service lets you add your name to the waiting list at your local Great Clips salon. It’s not an appointment – what it does is let you add your name to the list before arriving at the salon to help save you time.  Help donate to the AdoptAC cause!

With every download, Great Clips will contribute to AdoptAClassroom.org (up to $20,000) to help continue to support teachers and students. Every little bit adds up! A small donation can go a long way to support teachers, their supplies and classrooms. All you have to do is download the App and enter to win your supply list! WIN-WIN.

Many Great Clips salons are offering back-to-school pricing for haircuts! Check out your local salon for details.

About Great Clips – With more than 3,300 salons throughout the United States and Canada, Great Clips is the world’s largest salon brand. Great Clips salons employ nearly 35,000 stylists who receive ongoing training to learn the Great Clips customer service system and advanced technical skills. Great Clips salon owners and corporate office are dedicated to our salon communities with a focus on philanthropic and volunteer activities.

This post is sponsored by Great Clips. As always all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.