Prioritizing Prep for the Procrastinator

I always have the best of intentions to work throughout the summer on lesson plans, setting up my classroom, revamping the 3,521 forms I hand out during the first few school days, designing new review games, and reading over new changes to standards and curriculum.  Here we are - just three weeks away from the start of school - and I have done none.of.that.  I have always been challenged/blessed with the gift of procrastination, but how in the world did the summer pass without even glancing at those items?  It's during this crunch time that I realize I cannot do it all, but I can do something to help ease my anxiety of the new school year starting.

I am sharing my priority list with the hopes it might help some of you focus if you find yourself in the same situation.  In reality, it is probably more helpful to me by giving me more accountability :)

  • Start adjusting your bed and wake times to get closer to the reality of a 5:30 wake up call.
  • Buy a new planner and lunch box.  Let's be real - these can be just as motivating as a paycheck for me.
  • Reflect back on last year and list out the top few things that went really well and the top few that went really not so well.  Use these to help decide what to keep the same this year (don't reinvent the wheel if you don't have to!) and what to focus on changing.
  • Read through any changes to standards or curriculum.  Meet up with a coworker to chat about these.  Two minds are better than one when trying to unpack new standards and understand what the new goals are.
  • Write a list of what needs to be done by the first day of school.  Don't go crazy here - limit it to what absolutely MUST be done by the time the kids walk through the door.  This probably includes revamping welcome letters and class syllabi, setting up the classroom, making copies, and lesson planning for the first two days (just in case you finish all of your first day plans before the bell rings...hahaha yea right).
  • Write a list of what needs to be done within the first 5-10 days of school.  Here is where you can dream a little more.  You can start to include lesson planning your first unit, an approximate pacing guide of the first semester, and one or two Pinterest projects for the classroom (be realistic here - or think about buying one off of that over ambitious coworker of yours instead).
  • Take a nap.  You're clearly going to be exhausted already.
  • Share your goals and to-do lists with a coworker-friend.  Remember - don't reinvent the wheel.  Did she already come up with an amazing icebreaker activity for the first day?  Steal it!  She won't mind.  Just make sure to help her out later - contribute to the team!
  • Attack that to-do list for the first day of school.  You can do it!  I believe in you!
  • Cry a little inside because your days of sleeping in and hanging out at the pool are over.
  • Start that other to-do list you made.  You got this.  Find a great printable calendar to write out that approximate pacing guide.  Plan that first unit - keep the awesome parts from last year, kick to the curb that one warmup or worksheet that should have died a long time ago, and add in a couple of things to excite your students and you!
  • Eat some ice cream.  You deserve it.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  You don't want to miss all of the great ideas we are going to share with you this year!

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