Back to School To Do’s!

August 12, 2017

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Good morning everyone!

I hope we are all well! It is a gorgeous day here in Dublin so I am going to write this post and then head for the beach! I’ll admit it teachers, my head has well and truly been turned this summer. While I’d normally spend time on pinterest looking for bulletin board ideas, instead I am looking up seating plans, and not seating plans for the classroom! However, now that we’ll be back in just over two weeks, I am starting to get excited. Yes I said it, excited! How could you not be at the prospect of a lovely new class to meet, a classroom to decorate to your own tastes, an excuse to buy more stationery and books?! This year I am going to go for a pastel look on my own desk. I would love to paint it white but I am too nervous of destroying our lovely floor with paint to even suggest it.

I am looking forward to the routine and structure school brings, but I will really miss just hopping into my car and driving to Galway whenever the notion takes me. School really curtails that unfortunately!

I apologise for the facebook messages I neglected to respond to, I will try cover those topics in this post. Today we will be talking about everything you need to do in September to make your year run nice and smoothly!


So, some teachers say they don’t crack open a book until September, some start planning at the end of August, and some plan at the start of the school holidays. I personally like to get it out of the way in the first few days of the holidays, just so that they’re out of the way nice and early, giving me the whole summer to relax. I know September is loads of time to get them done too, but I find September so busy as it is, without coming home and doing plans on top of a hectic day. So each to their own. I know lots of you doing the DIP are anxious to have your plans done and I think you are right because you will have weeklies to do too once you go back to school! Long term plans should naturally be your first port of call when preparing for the new school year. Once you know exactly what you are teaching and when, then you can think about the smaller stuff. Some prepping can be done at home but most of this list needs to be done in school.  So, here is a list of what I’ll be doing to prepare for school:


  1. Long term plans for each subject.
  2. Making or finding resources to go with each theme or topic.
  3. Sourcing art supplies, (Not buying, just finding objects like egg cartons, shoe boxes and so on)
  4. Getting your class list and making name tags for desks. ( I don’t actually do this because they get so dirty and horrible but lots of teachers do!)
  5. Assess incoming class to determine placement in groupings.
  6. Arrange students desks and your desk.
  7. Decorate your bulletin boards
  8. Have certain displays hanging on the wall before the children return. These would include, depending on your class months of the year, days of the week (in Irish and English), seasons of the year in Irish, maths, tables in maths, maps for geography (maps of Ireland, Europe and the world for 3rd class upwards)
  9. Remember it is a good idea to have an Irish, maths, English , art and SESE display area.
  10. Decide on classroom rules but do not display them as this is an activity you will need to do with the class to get their input.
  11. Decide on some games and icebreakers for the first day back!
  12. If your school supplies the children’s resources such as glue sticks, pencils etc label these with each child’s name and give them out.
  13. Have a place and space for everything so you and the children know exactly where the scissors or art supplies are. Classrooms need to be highly organised places!
  14. Set up learning stations if you have space in your classroom.
  15. Organise your early finishers station.
  16. Label EVERYTHING!
  17. Have clear systems in place to show the children when they come in. E.g. where do they put their homework in the morning? Where do they put their finished classwork?
  18. Choose a reward system.
  19. Choose individual reward systems if you need them.
  20. Make sure your first aid kit is well stocked.
  21. Get the password for your classroom blog if you are running one.
  22. Know exactly what systems will be in place for the children before they come in, e.g. where do they line up? Do they eat their lunch before or after break? What’s the system for bathroom breaks? What do they do first thing in the morning?


This is a list of what to do BEFORE the children arrive! Part two will be a list of what to do with the children during the first few weeks! Remember, the firest weeks are the most important because they very often dictate the rest of the school year!

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