Back-to-School Advice from Teachers, for Teachers

Teacher with the Back-to-School Jitters? You’re Not Alone!

Students aren’t the only ones who get nervous to head back to school at the end of the summer — teachers get nervous for the academic year to start up again, too! Meeting a class full of new students, learning what makes them tick, and fostering relationships with each one of them is a daunting task. Whether you’ve already gotten past that first day hurdle and are gearing up emotionally for the rest of the year, or if your first day is still looming, we’re here to help. We asked a few talented and passionate educators for their best back-to-school advice for other educators. Here’s what they had to say:

“Even after 19 years of “first days” as a teacher, I still get jitters. I use them to remind myself how my students feel, too! I intentionally build a welcoming environment while trying to encourage team building right away to help tame the nerves and set us all off on the right foot. All of our jitters melt away when we discover the joy of getting to know each other and begin to learn together!” — Beth Maloney, Elementary School Teacher @DaringtoTeach

“Remember why you got in this profession in the first place and take the nervous energy that you’re feeling and turn it into excitement. The kids are going to be thrilled to see a teacher that is excited to have them back in school. Overall, just always remember what drew you to this profession and channel that passion into your first day back and beyond.” — Zach Bruner, Principal

“What calms my back to school jitters is creating a powerpoint for Meet the Teacher or Back to School Night. This helps me introduce myself and lays out my goals for the school year.” — Blaine Dunsmore-Hargrove, Elementary School Teacher @ms_dunsmore

“Starting school can be a stressful time of year with all of the meetings, planning, and getting the room ready. I always feel overwhelmed and have “teacher insomnia” which involves waking up during the middle of the night thinking of all of the things that have to be done. Instead of getting caught up in the stress of my to do list, I try to remind myself that most of the things that are stressing me before day one tend to fade away once the students arrive. Pre-planning focuses a lot of professional development and procedures, but I spend time each day reviewing my rosters in order to keep my focus on students. This keeps my stress levels down and my focus in the right place.” — Susan Barber, High School Teacher, @susangbarber

“Having the back-to-school jitters is a positive sign that you care about your scholars and the plans you have for them that first day and year! Use those jitters to confirm that you belong there!” — Dean Deaver, Elementary School Teacher, @DeaverDean