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Back to School: Tips to Tackle the New School Year

Posted 1 week ago - by Dr. Lisa Witherspoon

It’s hard to believe another school year is right around the corner. For many teachers, the thought of getting back to it is overwhelming. Thinking about organizing new students, new schedules, equipment, paperwork, etc. can be stressful. However, if you get started early, the transition back to the classroom can be enjoyable.  I have provided a few tips to help teachers at least “get the ball rolling” before that first day back with students is upon us.

TIP 1:  Curriculum

Many of you have been teaching for years, so understanding the scope and sequence of your lessons is not as difficult. However, having new lesson ideas for the students, whether it is new activities or trying out the use of infusing technology, is a great way to continue teaching quality physical education lessons. Many successful teachers have suggested laying out your units ahead of time to make sure you have the necessary equipment to ensure developmentally appropriate practices. Check out Nutrition Curriculum and Physical Education resources here.

TIP 2:  Equipment

Get in that equipment room and find out what you have and what you need.  This helps when laying out your curriculum by content area and/or units ahead of time. Over the summer many items, such as playground balls, soccer balls, and basketballs can deflate. Foam balls that you may not have used in awhile may not be in condition to be reused.  Getting that equipment room ready to go can really make your life easier once the year begins. Shop back-to-school essentials and replenishment items.

TIP 3:  Students

Regardless of how long you have taught, you are going to experience new students.  Getting your classroom schedule with student names early is a great way to get ahead and start planning how attendance will be taken, what kind of partners or groups you can begin thinking about, and how to plan the culture of your classroom atmosphere.  Another aspect of dealing with students early that is often overlooked is learning your students ability levels and those that will need more modifications depending on the content and activities involved in your planned curriculum.

TIP 4:  Technology

Realize that using technology in your classroom is not just for the students’ enjoyment and success. Many technology tools can assist you and make your day-to-day routine more effective and efficient. 

Start early and begin looking into what Apps or tools you can incorporate. Whether the reason is for assisting you with attendance, making teams/groups, music, curriculum ideas, or assessment, there is an App or tool to help you. Check out a quick blog for some immediate ideas about using Apps in your class. Read more blog articles about Technology in P.E.

TIP 5:  Activity Space

Make sure you walk your field or activity space to make sure it is safe before students are back. This often goes unnoticed and can be negligent on your part if something goes wrong during your class. Over the summer many things can happen to your space whether it’s a field or gymnasium. Check for glass, debris, fence or wall damage just to make sure your students are safe.

Although there are many more ideas to remember to start the new school year, hopefully these tips will get you back in the mode of planning.  Get moving and start organizing early!  Good luck! 

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