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Top 5 Things for Teachers to Prepare for the New School Year (2021) 

 July 12, 2021

By  James Brauer

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Even though America’s teachers are currently midway through the summer vacation, many have already begun to prepare for the 2021-22 school year. In this article, I curated a list of the Top 5 things to keep in mind as teachers prepare for the new school year.

1. Take a Break

It is important for teachers to take a break from the classroom and school building. Many educators agree that teacher burnout is one of the top reasons why people quit or change careers, so it’s essential for them to spend time off before heading back into class again. It’s recommended that they take at least three weeks (or more) taking some much needed rest before coming back in fall! As much as possible, try not work on professional development during your vacation or plan out next year’s lesson plans; you need this downtime too!

2. Evaluate Your Goals

Teachers should evaluate their goals at the beginning of every school year to see if they were met or surpassed in order to set new, more ambitious ones for next time around! It is critical that educators let go of unnecessary tasks that could interfere with professional growth. The added time on tasks outside of the instructional requirements could increase one’s overall stress and lead to burnout.

3. Focus on Teacher Skills Needed Most by Students

As a teacher, it’s sometimes difficult to identify problems and issues that students are facing. But during the summertime, teachers can reflect back on their work over the year and assess what skills they need for success in classroom management, creating lesson plans, communicating clearly with parents etc.. This helps them go into next school year better prepared!

4. Identify Next Year’s Teacher Team

Teachers need to be willing and able to work with their colleagues in order for everyone’s teaching success. This summer, take the downtime and think about who you would like as a teacher team member (even if this is an unofficial “team)–3 people is optimal so that no one feels overwhelmed by too many responsibilities! By identifying your own strengths and weaknesses, you will also have an idea of what skills are needed from other teachers on your team. Remember: there is always at least someone out there who can help fill in those gaps because we’re all good at something different!

5. Explore New and Exciting Projects/Ideas for the Classroom

Teachers should reflect over the past school year on which teacher projects, ideas and lessons worked well with students. They could explore an area of change for next year (or beyond). One particular project or lesson may not always get a positive response from teachers or students; however, teachers have hit on some winning combinations that work well in classrooms where they’ve had success before.

Prepare for the New School Year: Wrap-up

The teacher should remember that the summer is a time perfect to relax and it tends to be better if you’re not worried about tasks you need to accomplish while on vacation. During this time, teachers should also evaluate their professional goal list and adjust accordingly. With an understanding of how important one’s “teacher team” is, teachers should identify members they’d like to collaborate with in the future. Finally, teachers will want to explore any instructional or lesson areas worth changing.

It’s hard to think about summer break coming to an end, but these five recommendations will make it easier for teachers as they prepare for the new school year.

James Brauer


James Brauer, Ed.D., MBA is currently a virtual school administrator of a public online school serving students throughout the state of Iowa. Previously, Brauer served as an assistant principal and special education teacher. He is passionate about leadership and management, health and wellness, and personal development.

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