Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: 5 Things Teachers Should Prep BEFORE Summer Break

5 Things Teachers Should Prep BEFORE Summer Break

I have three days left with students and then three teacher days before summer break. I am exhausted! I fall asleep as soon as I get home from school and I honestly don't have the energy to to be nice to most people. (Just ask my husband.) I wake up in the middle of the night after having nightmares about end of year videos, classroom checkout lists and data spreadsheets. The struggle is real.

And even though I can barely remember the last time I washed my hair, I am super proud to say that I will be leaving for summer break knowing that I am prepped for back to school. Dang, that feels GOOD! If I could do it, in my current state of exhaustion, you can do it too!

I started by making a list of tasks and things that needed to be prepped for August. Then I spent about 20 minutes per day tackling the list. Since I am prepping before summer break, I was able to use parent volunteers for cutting and putting papers in page protectors! I have saved my own kids hours of time this summer! That is time that I can fill with household chores! I am kidding. Kinda.

Here are five simple things that you can prep NOW that will make back to school easier and free up more time during the summer to sleep.

Meet the Teacher Materials
Most schools have some kind of open house where students and parents can meet the teacher and bring in classroom supplies. My meet the teacher day is always right after several days of professional development. I never have much time in the classroom to prep and therefore end up doing it during my last couple of days of summer break. But not this year!

I organize my meet the teacher into stations. At each station, students and parents have a different task. I planned out each station, made posters and a check off sheet. I had the check off sheet photocopied and it is sitting in my filing cabinet ready for July! (Yes, I get to start in mid July. Lucky me!)

Name Tags and Labels
Before you leave for summer break, print all of your desk, binder, folder, and notebook labels and tags. After printing and laminating my desk name tags, I sent them home and a parent cut them out for me! I had another volunteer cut out all of my folder labels. I put clips on all of them and stuck them in my filing cabinet! It will feel good to pull them out when I get back to school!

First Week of School Activities
Copy simple activities for the first week of school NOW! You will kiss yourself for doing it now when you see the long line at the copier at back to school time!

I actually sent out an email and asked if there was a parent who would be willing to make these copies! Volunteers also cut the task cards for various activities. So simple!

I am ready for the Third Day of Third Grade!

I kept a list of the back to school activities that I prepped. I will use this list when I write my first week or two of lesson plans at the end of my summer break. It will also help to keep me from prepping the same type of activity twice. I am the type of person who would do that!

Resources for Homework Binders
I provide many different resources for my students to keep in their binders or folders. These resources include a class handbook, multiplication chart, 100s chart, reading calendar, etc. Now is the time to get these resources prepared! I had mine copied and then sent them home to be put in page protectors by parents. I will be able to just pull them out in July!

If you are looking for some printable math resources for student binders, you might want to check THESE out.

Daily Activities
In every classroom there are activities that get completed every day. Why not prep them now?! Consider preparing your:

  • Spelling Word Lists
  • Math Facts
  • Daily Oral Language
  • Math Warm Ups
  • Bell Work
  • Homework
  • August or September Centers
I admit that this will be the toughest stuff to motivate yourself to prepare. But I also think this will be the stuff that makes me giddy with excitement when I pull it out when I get back to school. Just be sure to put them in file folders in your filing cabinet so that you don't lose or forget about them!

Happy summer, my teacher friends!

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  1. So true! I have been trying my best to get ready. I hadn't thought about the first week of school resources. Thanks for the ideas. Today I copied all of my benchmark tests for the whole year. It is such a relief to know that even that one tiny thing is checked off my list!

  2. Jamie, my mom (Debby) works with your hubby at PCH (and I believe you work with my friend Maria Russo, too!). I've been meaning to follow your blog for a long time but, as you know, the school year bogged me down! Your TPT work and blog are beautiful! I'll be following even though I'm moving up to 6th. :) - Heidi