50 Tips from Teachers to Start the School Year


The season is upon us.  Are we ready for it?  Looking for some tips to start the school year? I am speaking of a brand new school year! We all know the feelings…butterflies in our stomach, nerves, excitement, happiness, upset summer is over.  You know what?  That is OKAY!  It is okay to feel all of those things because many Teaching Trailblazers are feeling the same thing.  No matter the feelings… we have 50 Tips from Teachers to Start the School Year! 

Have you been in your classroom yet?  Perhaps you even started setting up the room and deciding what will be going up on those classroom walls.  If not, don’t worry.  Maybe you already were in over the summer without a line at the copy machine to make copies of student morning work and September packets?!  If not, don’t worry.  Gosh, maybe you even have items organized already and decided on procedures for assessments and progress monitoring.  If not, don’t worry.

I say don’t worry because I asked our Teaching Trailblazer community for some tips to start the new school year!  They didn’t disappoint!  Thank you in advance to our Trailblazers from our Facebook groups: Fearless Kindergarten Teachers, Fearless First Grade Teachers, and Fearless Second Grade Teachers. Together, we came up with 50 tips to start the school year!  Whether you are ready or not, these tips from teachers for teachers will get our minds in the game and prepare us for what is to come this school year!

Tips to Start the School Year

Tip 1. “Lean on your mentors!” 

2. “Realize that you can’t do it all. Give it your all while you are there and go home and enjoy your family.” – Jennifer L.

3. “I always make a point to call the parents within the first two or three weeks of school with something positive about their child. That way if I ever have to call about something not so great, we’ve already started off the relationship on a high note, and it makes it easier to work together for the rest of the year.” – Taryn I. 

4. “Incorporate centers into your daily routines in both areas of Math and ELA

5. “Don’t take anything personally.” – Inez B.

6. “Take the gratitude challenge – every morning, you have to think of 3 things you’re grateful for from the day before, but you can never repeat!! It also builds your capacity for gratitude because you’ll start to find yourself thinking “oh, I can add that to my gratitude list tomorrow!” – Kelsey B.

Tip to Start the School Year 7. “Avoid the energy suckers.” – Valerie S.

8. “That tough kid??? Sometimes they become your biggest reward. Remember, you have tons of behavioral strategies at your disposal to do prior to the behavior, during the behavior, and after a behavior occurs!” 

9. “Set expectations and model, model, model them!” – Carol V.

Teaching Tip 10. “Be kind to yourself.” – Jaclyn K.

11. “Balance between school and family…teaching is like housework…there is always something more to do.” – Sally O.

12. “Save some editable resources into your Premium Membership Library!  Use resources like our new Color by Code for any activity in any subject!”

13. “Control what you can, realize what you cannot.” – Jocelyn K.

Tip 14. “Keep parents in the loop about things that you are teaching in order to help their student at home.” – Lisa G.

15. “Give yourself grace! This isn’t an easy job whether it’s your first or 30th year.” – Jenny B. 

16. “Listen to some podcasts!”

17. “Take care of YOURSELF first. I’m going to try to remember this myself.” – Lauren G.

Teaching Tip to Start the School Year 18. “Take it slow, pandemic effects still exist with the kids. We can do it! Be open to new ideas. I am a veteran teacher and keep my mind open! So many things to learn! Enjoy the kids!” – Joan H.

19. “Pick your battles” – Angie M.

20. “Set up a Sound Wall to help your students not only visually see the phonological grapheme, but practice the phoneme or sound it makes.”

21. “Remember your why.” – Rachel T.

Teaching Tip 22. “Be flexible” – Lynne H.

23. “Have fun, be kind to yourself and your kids.” – Valerie S.

24. “Get organized immediately and continue to be organized. I color code my subjects to make it easier to locate items I need. Have files organized with the standard number and also what the scale is to make it easier to locate. File your items immediately or within days after using them.” – Lisa G.

25. “You are ENOUGH!!!” – Tammi S.

26. “It’s an important job, but your mental health is more important. Don’t compare yourself to others at your job. Do YOUR best, and rest.” – Mallory P.

Tip 27. “Please make school fun! It feels like we’ve lost joy in our work. Lean in, laugh, and embrace silliness. They are only little for a short time and they get to spend a year of their precious lives with you. Make it FUN!” – Amy T.

28. “Sign up for a FREE weekly email course to gain thousands of ideas, tips, tricks, and some freebies along the way!” 

29. “Do right by the kids. Listen first. Get both sides of the story before making a decision. Sometimes things that happen with kids are a complete accident.” – Lisa G.

Teaching Tip 30. Breathe.” – Magen L.  

31. “Check in on your coworkers, including the cafeteria workers, janitors, etc. Offer a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on, and they will be there for you when you need them in return.” – Jen K.

32. “Make an Amazon list of items you wish you had the budget for. Share it on your social media. You might be surprised by people wanting to help. Some people just need clear instructions. Help them, help you!” – Carina D.

Tip 33. “It’s okay to say no to volunteering at after-school events.” – Krissy B.

34. “It’s not a contest to see how much personal $$ you can spend or how much personal time you give up.” – Vicky J.

35. “Don’t compare the students to other years. Start where they are at and keep building! Every year is a new adventure.” – Kathy H.

Teaching Tip for the New School Year 36. “Get to know your custodians and support staff. Treat them with great respect. They will become your greatest friends!!” – Rachael M.

37. “Go to your classroom, create, and know you are worthy. FB can be the biggest enemy of teachers. Negative comments of the unhappy, envy of fancy rooms when you are not allowed to do the same in your school, and constant access to materials- wonderful materials- make you question your abilities and take away your free thinking.” Tammy C. 

38. “Use music to help set your mood for the day. Fast/techno/happy in the mornings to get you going. Calm/nature/classical to get your headaches to fade or to get the energy level of your kids to slow down. I especially enjoy calming music when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed.” – Jenn G.

39. “Remember to take care of yourself. It’s ok to take personal days…even if they can’t find a substitute. If you aren’t in a good place mentally, nobody benefits from you being there.” – Rachel T. 

Tip 40. “Be patient with yourself!” – Shelia S.

41. “Grace is the theme for this year for me. We must give ourselves grace.” – Erin M.

42. “Have a cool down corner if a kid needs to just chill out for a minute and regroup. It is also a great place to speak with a student away from other students.” – Lisa G.

43. “Mental Health Days are necessary!” 

Teaching Tip 44. “Balance. You need to find your balance between work life / personal life.” – Michelle F.

45. “Always plan some extra activities for the “just in case” moments.” – Sara C.

46. “Make connections for support!” – Mary Ann H. 

Start the School Year 47. “Grab a Premium Membership today to instantly download and print any ETTC resource and activity!” 

48. “Model what you want to see in your students. Build positive and appropriate relationships.” 

49. “Don’t stress yourself out! Do what is best for your kids! Enjoy the kids and have fun.” – Bethany P.

Tip 50.  “Make a priority list and do what you can do. You are the only one that knows what didn’t get done.” – Toni C.

There are so many great tips on this list that is sure to get us ready for the new school year.  Remember these 50 Tips from Teachers to Start the School Year are from veteran teachers that have done this for a while so they know what is needed.  One common theme I am hearing from our Teaching Trailblazers is a need to be heard and a need for mental health.  I am not talking about the admin’s term “self-care”.  True self-care.  Take the time you need for you this upcoming school year.  Let Education to the Core take over your lessons, take over your planning, and be there by your side for whatever you may need.   Have a wonderful upcoming school year!  Remember…we are here for you.

Written By – Christopher Olson

At Education to the Core, we exist to help our teachers build a stronger classroom as they connect with our community to find trusted, state-of-the-art resources designed by teachers for teachers. We aspire to be the world’s leading & most trusted community for educational resources for teachers. We improve the lives of every teacher and learner with the most comprehensive, reliable, and inclusive educational resources.

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