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Must Haves: Back to School Edition



Back to school is a time of nerves, fresh starts, hopes, anxieties and more. Starting off right is so crucial but often overwhelming. These are my must haves… collected over nearly 20 years as a student and 15 years in education.


First Day Outfit

Everyone wants to make a good first impression and to start the year off confidently. I remember what a big deal it was to pick out my first day of school outfit. I even remember what I wore to my first class my freshman year of college… a pink and maroon striped, long sleeved, jersey knit shirt with cuffed denim capris and matching pink sequined flip flops because it was 2004 and that was styling. I looked for a picture but couldn’t find one so here is one of equal ridiculousness from the same time period. What can I say? I was a fashion icon.



Cleaned Out Backpack

This is a teacher pet peeve of mine because I’ve seen the outcome. If you start the year “fresh” you are more likely to do well and feel prepared. I cannot tell you how many kids come into my room on day one with a backpack full of last year's trash and work. Throw it away! Clean it out! Start at the best case scenario.


Fresh Binder

This may seem silly and definitely falls into part of the above statement but a new binder is one of those little things that makes for a smoother day. When the rings don’t close and your papers are everywhere or the plastic cover gets stuck on everything, it’s just aggravating! Little happies are worth it.


Fun Pens

Anything that makes the monotony of taking notes and staying organized fun is well worth it to me. Actually, fun stationery of all kinds makes starting back more enjoyable because you want to use the items and any motivation coming off summer is great.


Calendar/Planner

My mother and every teacher I had as a kid tried to convince me that I needed a planner of some type to stay organized but it always seemed like one more step I didn’t want to do. However, I finally caved in college when my need outweighed my excuses. Just buy one. It can be simple or complex. Whatever floats your boat but keep track of your life and you won’t have so many “surprises” crop up that you actually knew about a month ago.


A List Notebook

This is actually a habit I picked up my first year in education. Get a piece of paper, notebook, whatever and start making a list of EVERYTHING you need to do or remember. It doesn’t need to be organized or pretty. Every time something comes to mind that you need to do, buy, remember, throw away, put it on the list. Go through the list at least once a day and make a fresh list each week, carrying over any residual tasks. My list stays on my desk and is in a cheap old notebook a kid left behind. The amount of worry and time wasted trying to remember has been drastically cut down and my life is far less stressful because of it.


If you’re headed back or have a kiddo headed that direction, I pray for a great year full of expectations and growth. Have a great one!

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