Teacher Back To School Struggles: With 7 Great Tips To Overcome Them

Teacher Back To School Struggles: With 7 Great Tips To Overcome Them

As summer comes to a close, the excitement of a new school year begins. However, for teachers, this can also bring about feelings of stress and overwhelm as they prepare to handle the challenges that come with returning to the classroom. Between lesson planning and managing a classroom full of students, it’s easy for teachers to feel burned out before the school year even starts.

But fear not – there are ways to overcome these back-to-school struggles and make sure you have a successful start to your academic year. In this article, we will discuss seven helpful tips that can make all the difference in easing your transition back into teaching mode.

1. Preparing Your Classroom Before Back To School

As we approach the back-to-school season, it is important to ensure that our classrooms are well-prepared for the arrival of our students. A well-organized and properly maintained classroom can set a positive tone for the rest of the school year. Here are some tips on how to prepare your classroom before back to school.

Firstly, take time to declutter and organize your classroom. Remove any unnecessary items or clutter that may be taking up valuable space in your room. This will make it easier for you and your students to move around comfortably throughout the day. Additionally, take this opportunity to arrange your furniture in a way that optimizes student engagement and participation.

Secondly, clean every surface of your classroom thoroughly. This includes bookshelves, desks, chairs, floors and walls.

Most of us have spent countless hours this summer preparing our rooms.  You don’t need a Pinterest-worthy room to be successful. But, you will need to be organized.
Try this: Organization is the key to a successful first few weeks.  Label, print, and clean out that closet!

Check out these farmhouse-style bulletin board decorations that will help you be organized and do it in style!

2. PD (Professional Development) During Back To School

Uhhhh!  I cringe when I hear that word.  Why do administrators think that we need PD?  LOL. No, but really, I am not listening to you going on about policies and procedures that have not changed in the last 10 years.  Meanwhile, I am thinking of how I am going to differentiate for Johnny this year since I have been told that he was recently diagnosed with Autism.  Well then, you also placed Jane in my room, who is a screamer. I am thinking about how all of this will play out since Johnny can’t tolerate the loud noises that I am sure Jane will be making.

Try this: Jot down at least one thing positive that you can take back to your classroom. Also, jot down all of those great ideas of how you will differentiate for your Johnny and Jane, or how you will move your small group table or your list of items you need to get at the grocery store (since your husband probably does not want pizza again tonight)…

3. Managing the New Crew During

The beginning of a new school year can be both exciting and challenging for teachers. With a new set of students, it is important to establish routines and expectations early on. This may require some creativity and adaptability, as each group of students presents its unique characteristics and needs.

One key strategy for managing the new crew during back to school is being proactive in building relationships with students. Taking time to get to know them individually, their interests, strengths, and challenges can help teachers tailor instruction and support that meets their diverse needs. This also helps create a positive classroom environment where students feel seen, heard, valued, and empowered.

Another essential aspect of managing the new crew during back to school is setting clear expectations around behavior and academic performance. Teachers should communicate these expectations consistently and explicitly through class rules, syllabi or other instructional materials.

Try this: Make your classroom safe and welcoming.  Go over your classroom expectations. Tell them that you have great expectations and encourage them to do their best.  

Download a free bright teacher planner here.

4. That Overwhelming Feeling During

One of the biggest challenges for teachers during this time is managing their workload. There are lesson plans to create, assignments to grade, papers to file, meetings to attend – and that’s just the beginning. It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done before school starts.

Another source of stress is building relationships with new students. Teachers want their pupils to feel welcome and comfortable in the classroom from day one. However, it takes time to establish trust with each individual student while also setting boundaries and maintaining order in the classroom.

Yes!  We ALL get overwhelmed!!!  Even veteran teachers get overwhelmed during this time of year.  The key to success is to stay positive and pace yourself.

Try this: Get a planner and write it down.  A great online planner is Trello.  Trello allows you to create to-do boards for everything from personal to school lesson plans. Planning out your to-do will relieve the overwhelming feeling.  If not, try to meditate or do yoga! Don’t stress; you are going to do great!

5. Support Network During Back To School and Beyond

As the new academic year approaches, teachers all over the world are preparing their classrooms and lesson plans for the upcoming term. However, educators face a plethora of challenges every day, including issues related to classroom management, student engagement, and assessment. Hence, it is crucial that teachers have access to a strong support network during this time of increased stress.

Fortunately, there are many ways in which teachers can receive support from their colleagues and school administration. For example, schools can offer professional development opportunities that allow teachers to learn from other professionals in their field. Additionally, online forums such as Reddit or Facebook groups provide an outlet for educators to ask questions and share ideas with one another.

Ultimately, teacher support networks are critical not just during back-to-school season but throughout the entire academic year.

It is very important to have strong support from other staff members.  It is also important to support your school secretary, bookkeeper, coaches, custodians, etc. 

Try this: Reach out to other teachers when you need help.  Let me repeat, REACH OUT to other teachers when you need HELP!  This is very hard for most of us, but it is very important. If you feel uncomfortable with someone in your grade level/department, go to another grade level/department.  
Somewhere down the path, you will also be asked for help.  Or you may see another teacher struggling; reach out to them.  We can all succeed TOGETHER.

6. New Special Needs Students

Back to school season is here, and for one teacher, it means starting the year with a new group of special needs students. This can be both exciting and challenging as each child has unique learning needs that require individualized attention. The teacher must work closely with parents and support staff to develop an effective plan for teaching these students.

One of the biggest challenges that teachers face when working with special needs students is finding ways to make learning fun and engaging while catering to their specific needs. This requires creativity in lesson planning and adapting materials so that they are accessible to all learners. It also involves building relationships with these students by understanding their strengths, interests, and challenges.

Despite the challenges, teaching special needs students can be incredibly rewarding. Seeing them make progress in their learning journey is a true joy for any educator.

Try this: Meet with your support staff.  See what works and does not work for each individual student.  Reach out to the parents early. Stay in contact and work together to make your year successful.

7. New School Year Means New Parents

Most likely, you will not know most of your parents.  You will have to not only help their child but also help them at some point in the school year.  REMEMBER: They are sending you their best.  Try this: Send a note home that introduces yourself. Let parents know that you are available, and list the process for getting in touch with you.  Make sure that you have given your parents a copy of your policies and procedures so that they can refer to them throughout the year.

Teaching is all totally worth it! As educators, we teach our future Einsteins, doctors, firefighters, engineers, bus drivers, police officers, computer programmers, and so many more. 

We will celebrate many accomplishments throughout this year.  Remember to be patient, be flexible, but most of all…keep a sense of humor.

I am wishing you the best school year ever!

You may also enjoy these articles:

Top 4 Self-Care Tactics for Back to School That Work


7 Exciting Back To School Activities For Your Classroom


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