7 Things Teachers Need To Do BEFORE The New School Year [episode 18]


Click below to hear 7 things teachers need to do before the new school year:

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Welcome back to another episode! Don’t get me wrong, summer is a time for you to relax, rejuvenate, and take some time to do all the things you didn’t have time for during the school year. However, it can also be an opportunity for you to make your teacher life easier for the future. In today’s episode, I’m sharing 7 things teachers need to do before the new school year. 

One of the reasons now is the perfect time to change for the upcoming school year is because of the amount of time you can dedicate to these changes. Most of these suggestions need a plan and time to implement, but will create a lasting impact on both your personal and work life. These changes include:

  • Sub plans
  • Doing an audit
  • Choosing a fresh classroom theme
  • Making sure you have a support system
  • Starting a new habit
  • Creating “you” time
  • Looking at your wins

When thinking about how to make things easier for you, I like to think of it this way: do something today that will make your future self thankful. We know that returning back to the classroom can be overwhelming and stressful, but after implementing these 7 things, you’ll not only feel refreshed to take on a new school year, but will help put your in a more positive and grateful mindset.

In this episode on what teachers need to do before the new school year, I discuss:

  • 7 things you need to do before the new school year
  • Why summer is the perfect opportunity for you to make changes
  • How Wife Teacher Mommy can help with your future self
  • Ways these changes will help your personal and work life

Resources mentioned:

Related episodes and blog posts:

Connect with Kelsey:

Read the transcript for episode 18, 7 Things Teachers Need To Do BEFORE The New School Year:

Speaking of things to do over the summer that will help set up the school year for success. That is what today’s episode is all about. What you’re listening to right now is actually a prime example of that, because if you can’t tell from the way I’ve been talking about things, I am recording this episode before the Educate & Rejuvenate event, even though it’s airing just as the event is finishing is airing the day after the VIP club day. And that was purposefully done. Because I know that this event is going to be a very busy week for me and for my team and that when it’s over, I’m going to be pretty exhausted and really in need of a break. So as I’m recording this episode, it is June 1 exactly a month from when this episode will air. And I am officially scheduled all the way through July first at this point as soon as I finished recording this episode. And that is going to be a huge relief to me because for the rest of the month I can focus on making Educate & Rejuvenate the best it could possibly be. And since it’s a month away, I don’t want to be too specific about it. As I’m recording this on June 1. I also want to mention that we do have some special bonuses for joining Wife Teacher Mommy club right now. And these are super special limited time bonuses that as of the time I’m recording we’re still figuring out it was so many ideas so many. And I’m excited to see which ones pan out and come to fruition by the time you’re listening to this. So definitely you’re probably curious now so just go to the show notes just to see what they are even if that’s it, go those show notes and check it out. And if you’re a member, watch your email because most of the bonus ideas I’ve come up with will apply to current members too. So check that out. We’re always one I need to give to our current members.

Okay, so now that you have that prime example of how I do this in action, how I do stuff now, to set myself up for success later, how I made the time leading up to the event easier, let’s talk about how you can apply that to your own life as a teacher. And this is the prime time for you to do that. I’m telling you, you are on summer break. So be sure to take a break, yes, but it’s also the perfect time to do some things to make your life easier in the future. One thing I like to tell myself is do something today that will make future Kelsey thankful and actually talk about your future self as if she or he is another person. Because when you think about it, you really are, like we are all constantly evolving and growing and changing throughout our lives. As humans, we always have this forward momentum, we’re always wanting to grow and improve. And especially as teachers, we love learning and becoming our best selves. We don’t always think of it that way, though. We don’t always think of it as like our present self and our future self. But it really helps to kind of actually think of it that way. Like, I am doing something today to make future Kelsey where you know, you would say future Sara, or Nicole or Tanya or future Maria, put your own name in there. And think what would you do to make future you more successful. And if you’re not sure where to start with that I have some ideas for you. That’s the whole point of this episode, I have seven things teachers need to do before the new school year to make their future self who is back in school, super happy.

So let’s start with number one. And number one is sub plans. And if you know me, you’re probably not surprised by this. Wife Teacher Mommy was started with sub plans. But the reason being is because as a former teacher, and former sub now too, I saw firsthand in both roles, how taking a day off as a teacher was just so dang hard. But then also subs really do need some good plans, they need something to keep their kids busy all day. And especially you want to keep the subs happy. Now that we’re having some shortages, you want them like when you do get one to come to your classroom, you want them to come in and be like, oh my goodness, this was so amazing, I’m going to make sure that I put this teacher on my list of people who I want to come back for. And as a former subbing tell you they do that they do have their classes they prefer so you want to be one of them. And I talked about that a little bit more on a previous episode of the podcast how to get I can’t remember the exact name, but it’s like how to get subs to love you. So be sure to check that one out for more details. But today, I’m talking about how getting them ready now is setting yourself up for success in the future. So by putting some plans together, even if it’s just for a day, so you can take that one expected day off, the future you who’s sick in bed will be super happy that you did that, because she or he will be able to just call in, they won’t have to worry about it, they’ll be able to take care of themselves. But if you don’t do this now, the future you might just try to tough it out like you’ve done before. And trust me, you don’t want future you to have to do that. We want to grow, we want to do things better, we want to find more efficient ways to do things. So give yourself hands ready ahead of time can really help with that. It can be as simple as just like you know, putting activities together now, but we have a way to help make that even more simple for you. So in the shownotes, I will link to our free sub planning starter kit, which includes everything you need to get started with your sub plans. So if you are not a Club member, if you have not purchased our sub plans, definitely check that out. If you are a Club member, definitely download those sub plants, you have unlimited downloads, so there’s no no reason not to download them. And we have a sub binder as well, that will go over all the things, it’s just a template, all you need to do is fill it in with all the information and you’ll be good to go. I will link to the resources as well. If you prefer to purchase individually, we’ll put the link to the sub plans to the free starter kit and to the club in the show notes. Number two is do an audit and do an audit in both teaching and in your life. So look at your current teaching situation. What are some systems you can think about and implement now? Like, first really think of like, what are the sticking points? What were the things that were most difficult last year? Was it keeping track of papers? Was it kids not calming down at the right times trying to get their attention? Any of these things you can think about it now when you’re not in the thick of it. Figure out what your different sticking points were throughout the school year and figure out a new system for it or new organization. I talked about this a lot with Kristen Donegan in last week’s episode. So if you missed that, make sure to check it out. But what is it that you want to change? Think about because now you really have the time to reflect what is it that needs to change? And what is a way I can systemize it to make this work more efficiently with less effort on my part. And another thing is to look at what curriculum you’re using teachers and homeschool parents. So teachers, you probably have an assigned actual curriculum, but what about like your supplemental activities that you want to use? Think about what you’re using, has it been working? Is there something that might work better? Think about that. And that is how you would do your teaching audit. Now for your life audit. Let’s Look at that. And sometimes this one is even a little more challenging to do. But think about your family. So if you’re married, or if you have kids, or if not your sibling or other family of relationships, are there any sticking points there? Is there anything that you’re like I need to improve on? You know, for me, I might be like, You know what I’m spending so much time working, that I realized, I’m not spending as much time with my kids or I realize I’m scrolling my phone, checking my email when I should be spending time with them. Or I was, Oh, I haven’t planned a date night for three weeks, like things like that. What are things that we can improve for those family relationships?

The next one is health. And I think health is one of those things that we all take for granted when we have it. And then when we don’t, we’re like, Oh, my goodness, why didn’t I pay attention to this? So really taking care of yourself? Are you finding time to exercise and not just to lose weight or anything? Like I’m not even talking about like your body shape or anything like that. But are you moving? Because it’s good for your body? Are you eating good food? Because it’s good for your body? Are you paying attention? Are there any warning signs of panic attacks, or have other health issues that you’ve been ignoring, and not doing anything about because you don’t have time to worry about it? Do that now, make sure that you take care of it, because a lot of health issues, if you take care of them earlier, you’ll be better off than if you keep putting it off. So this is something I think every teacher should take a look at both their physical health and their mental health. Are you doing things for your mental health? Are you taking that time to process your feelings, all of that? If not, find a way to do that. And then finally, yourself? What are you doing to take time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate however it works for you make sure this summer you’re taking time for that. And I’ll talk a little bit more about one of the later points as well. But in your audit, you can kind of look at that as an overall thing. So number two was auditing your teaching life and your home life. Okay, number three, is making a plan. So as we’ve talked about a lot, you can’t hope your way to a better school year, you can be like, Oh, things are gonna change, everything’s gonna be different. But if you don’t, it’s kind of like the saying goes like if you’re doing the same thing, you’re gonna see the same results. So if you don’t change, anything, things are going to stay the same, it’s going to be the status quo. So if there are things you want to improve, not only you audited it. So this is kind of step two, you audit it. Now you’re gonna make a plan for how you’re going to improve those things. If you are a Club member, or teacher planner can help you with this. So make sure download that. But you can map out your school year what you want it to look like. And then all those things in your audit. Like I said, I kind of got ahead of myself. And number two, I think maybe that’s why I had these together. It’s kind of like audit and make a plan. So we’ll call those two together because I realized it accidentally gave you a bonus thing. So really auditing all the sticking points making a plan to improve them.

Number three, is choosing a fresh classroom theme. Now let me just share a little story with you. So a couple weeks ago, I went on a family trip with my kids, my husband to Florida. And on the way there our flight got delayed, it was a total of an 18 hour delay. So it was kind of crazy. But then our trip went smoothly until it was time to come back. Again. Our flight was delayed and we were waiting in the airport. There was thunder and lightning so no planes were getting boarded the airport was jam packed. You know, my youngest, my two year old was exhausted. My five year old was bouncing off the walls and talking to every single person and we’re trying to keep her from like, you know, bugging people. And then you know, my oldest, of course, he’s just on his tablet. But then we’re on the plane. And on the way home, our two year old kept waking up and crying. And these teenagers kept looking at us like, Oh, what are you doing? And I’m like, you know, maybe one day you’ll understand that we can’t control this. By the time we got home, it was almost 3am And I was so exhausted. But I walked in. And my house was totally transformed. And I was like what is going on and my husband, he got his sisters, his twins, two older sisters, Rachel and Becky. And Rachel is actually currently on my team at Wife Teacher Mommy. So you might know her if you’ve emailed us at all. But he got them to reorganize and redecorate our entire house, it was insane. Like, I can’t even express like my gratitude for what they did, like, my house like, was beautiful. And like it was definitely in need of that. And one of the things I love is I went down into my basement and because so we have like a little classroom in our home because we homeschool. What Rachel did is we had these classroom decor packs that at that time were still like in the creation mode. They weren’t even like in our shop or anything yet. But since Rachel was on my team, she was able to get them she printed out our rainbow boho theme, put it all up in our classroom. And when I walked in there, I was like, oh my goodness, this is amazing. I can’t wait to get in there and teach my kids again, it just felt like so new, so fresh, so exciting. And it really just shows how a new environment like changing our environment and refreshing things really helps us like it creates a new space and it really helps lift our mindset and make things exciting again, make it fun to teach. So I would highly recommend trying a new classroom theme we have some of you like they’re in the show notes. But wherever you get your classroom themes, whatever you do, I highly recommend mixing it up next year.

Number four, make sure you have a support system. Now we all need a support system whether that’s our fellow teachers at school our families and friends, a sibling, we can call on to I have that support system I need, if not find a way to get that support system, whether that is any of those things I mentioned. Or, you know, finding a coach or therapist or joining the club to get some coaching there we’ll support you there, join a Facebook group, a free Facebook group, there are so many ways you can get that support. So just make sure you have that because you know, as a teacher, you need that there’s a lot going on. So make sure you’ve got that. So now after the break, I’ll be back with three more tips that are bound to help you be even more refreshed for next school year. So don’t go anywhere.

Have you heard of our ready to go sub plans? Taking a sick day doesn’t have to be harder than just going to work sick because we did the work for you. We have sub plans for pre K through sixth grades, they have been trusted by over 60,000 teachers, here’s what just a few of them have to say. I was so sick two years ago, and I was so glad I found these plans. Because normally I’d be sick in bed trying to type I had already made the copies, they were in a sub tub. And I didn’t have to worry about anything, all I had to do is email my lesson plan to my administrator. And from there, they knew where everything was, it made it so easy, I didn’t have to worry about a thing, which when you’re sick, you don’t want to worry about one more thing for your class. So I love the sub plans. My favorite resource is the sub tubs. I love having something ready to go at a whim because sometimes emergencies pop up and you just need something ready to go. Hi, my favorite Wife Teacher Mommy club resource is the ready to go sub plans on multiple grade levels because I teach multiple grade levels. And I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around how to get sub plans for each different level that I teach within one classroom. And the bundles are just a lifesaver because I just they’re ready made them I’m so excited to be able to put them to use. Get your sub plans at wifeteachermommy.com or access all of our resources by joining us in Wife Teacher Mommy club. Want to try before you buy? Get a free sample by going to subplanningstarterkit.com. You can find all of these links in the show notes.

Number five, start a new habit you’ve been wanting to start and you know, ideally, this is in your personal life. Because you know you’re not in school right now. But what is the new habit you’ve been wanting to do? Have you been wanting to just make sure you make your bed in the morning? Sometimes that is a challenge for some people including me. Do you want to exercise each day or close your ring on your Apple Watch? Do you want to read a certain number of books just for fun, or some professional development books, what is a new thing that you want to make into a habit that you want to bring into the next school year because they say it takes 21 days to build a habit. So if you want to build a new habit this summer is a great time to start it and then make a plan to continue it throughout the rest of the school year. So that was a quick one. But basically, if you have a new habit you want to build now’s the time.

Number six is you time. Take some time to take a break and relax, find a way to implement self care that works for you. And in fact, this is why my team we actually wrote a blog post last year, things that teachers must do during the summer. Let me share with you what a couple of those things are. Okay, so a few of those are read a non teacher book, sleep in at least a little bit, pamper yourself, devote time to hobbies, take a vacation and enjoy time with your loved ones. So what I’m talking about all these other things you can do to set your future self up for success. Because we want to do that. We can also take that time for ourselves too. It’s really finding a balance. And I actually talked with Emily and Heidi from Second Story Window. They were at Educate & Rejuvenate. And we talked all about this on their podcast when they interviewed me. So highly recommend checking that out too.

And then number seven, the final one is look at your wins. If you need a refresher on this, go back and listen to episode 16 of the podcast or for even more, watch my session from Educate & Rejuvenate that’s all about this. And especially if you did attend Educate & Rejuvenate you probably are now feeling jazzed up with so many great ideas, but you definitely can’t implement them all at once. So again, I just remind you, I mentioned this last week. But as a reminder, keep track of three wins every day and then write down three for the next day only three. And you’ll see that each day you’re building that momentum. So when you write down three for the next day, you’ll see the next day that you achieved those if you do it right, if you you know make sure it’s very simplified. And you’ll be able to crush that to do list in a way where you’re building this momentum and you’re feeling confident about yourself and you’re acknowledging each of those wins each day.

Okay, so let’s recap those seven things. So we want to number one, get our sub plans done ahead of time and make sure to head on to the shownotes to grab that free starter kit if you’re not currently a member, or if you haven’t purchased our sub plans. You can also find the links for the sub plans in the club in the show notes. Number two, do an audit of teaching and your life go through, find the sticking points of things that aren’t working, and find ways and systems to improve. Because remember, we can’t wish our way to improvement we need to make a plan we need to do it. Number three, choose a fresh classroom theme. I’m telling you refreshing your space makes all the difference. Four, make sure you have that strong support system that you need as a teacher. Number five, build a new habit that you’ve been wanting to do take that 21 days to build the habit. So it’s already built for the new school year. Six, make sure to find some time for you time too. And seven, look at your wins every day. You are doing amazing things. Don’t you forget that you were doing so much. Thanks for listening today.

More about Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast

Being an educator is beyond a full-time job. Whether you’re a teacher or a homeschool parent, the everyday to-do list is endless. Between lesson planning, grading, meetings, and actually teaching, it probably feels impossible to show up for your students without dropping the ball in other areas of your life.

Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast is the show that will bring you the teacher tips, practical strategies, and inspiration that you need to relieve the stress and overwhelm of your day-to-day. Your host, Kelsey Sorenson, is a former teacher and substitute turned homeschool mom. Tune in weekly to hear Kelsey and her guests cheer you on and help you thrive as a wife, teacher, and mommy. Because with a little support and community, you can do it all. For access to every single Wife Teacher Mommy resource, join the club at www.wifeteachermommy.com/club.

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