3 Things to Do to Start the Year Stress Free That You Can Prep Over the Summer

3 Things to Do to Start the Year Stress Free That You Can Prep Over the Summer

When it comes to the back-to-school season I always get so excited! Even after teaching for 18 years, the excitement is real!

I love the back-to-school commercials, shopping for school supplies, planning out new bulletin boards, and creating getting to know you lessons to welcome my new bunch of students!

Buuuut, that excitement does dwindle a bit when the thought of back to school night creeps in. Even after so many years of teaching, back-to-school night and meet-the-teacher days still make me nervous! In fact, just the thought of them ruins my excitement a bit. It is probably because I always want to put my best foot forward and make an amazing first impression on my new students and families.

To combat that nervous feeling and still be able to enjoy the last few weeks of summer and the back to school season I always prep three things that will help me feel prepared and organized for meeting my new class and families. If you like to be organized and ready for the new school year, you will definitely want to try them out! Once you complete these activities and check them off of your to-do list, you too will be able to enjoy the summertime and back-to-school seasons!

Must Do #1: Write Your Meet the Teacher Letter

I love giving students a special personalize note from me personally to say hello, introduce myself and welcome them to my classroom community! 

I have used teacher postcards like these, to send my new students a quick hello note over the summer and I have also used a more detailed Meet the Teacher Letter like these, to give students a bit more information about myself.

The information that I include is divided into these sections:

  • All About Me: I like to include a bit about my family and pets, allergies that I have, and something that they can relate to, like playing outside or going on nature walks
  • Experience: Here I tell the kids a bit about my teacher life! I include what grade levels I have taught, other districts or schools that I have taught in, and what subjects I enjoy teaching.
  • My Favorites: This section I try to change each year to include popular shows and songs that the students may also like. This is important to do because it helps you make connections before the year even begins! I also love to talk up how much I love reading and working as a team!
  • Contact Information: I love to include my email and school phone number so that the kids can reach out to me right away! There are always a few students who love to get in touch with me before the year begins, and this is a great way to show them that you are ready to hear from them!

You can grab these editable teacher letters to create your own sections or use the ones that I always use! These letters are welcoming, professional, and include a photo of you so that your students get a peek at what you look like before the big meeting day! These letters truly help you to make connections with your students even before that first week of school.

meet the teacher editable welcome letter

Must Do #2: Create a Classroom Wish List

My classroom wish list is used throughout the year, but it is most enjoyed during the first week of school during Meet the Teacher Day and Night and Open House. The concept is simple. I create a bulletin board with cards labeled with a classroom supply that is needed that parents pull down to donate.

The wishlist display includes with the following items:

  • Bulletin Board Header
  • Welcome Letter 
  • Donation Item Cards

Classroom items that I include on this display often include:

  • pencils
  • highlighters
  • papertowels
  • wipes
  • hand sanitzer 
  • glue sticks
  • sticky notes
  • crayons
  • markers
  • lined paper


You can put any item that you need for your classroom. I try to include items that are easily available for parents to find in stores and that are not too expensive. I also include items that go fast on more than one card for parents to take. Handwipes and glue sticks are examples of ones that I include multiple times.

I pull this wishlist display back out during Parent Teacher Conference Week in the fall and spring so that parents can once again donate to our classroom so that we can collect new items we now need or to refresh dwindling supplies. Parents know what to do the second (and third) time around, so be ready to get a lot of donations!

classroom wish list display bulletin board idea

Must Do #3: Sketch Out a Meet the Teacher Slide Show 

While you may not be able to finalize your Meet the Teacher Slideshow just yet, you can certainly sketch out what important information you want to include and what you want to say.

I like to prep the slides with information that is specific to me and my classroom. This includes a bit about me, class rules and expectations, a little about the content or curriculum, books that students will read, what makes the grade level so special, how students submit assignments, and other classroom specific information.

Information that I usually have to wait until the first week of school to add include:

  • specific daily schedule
  • special area class schedule
  • information that our team agrees to include
  • information from the front office

When creating your slide show do not forget to include a welcome slide, a thank you slide, a slide with contact information and a final slide that reminds you to ask parents if they have any questions! 

This set includes 40 editable slides and a blank slide to create your own back to school slide show in a snap!

meet the teacher night editable slide show

Love these ideas to get organized? Then let's find your style! 

Bonus Organizational Tip...try this!

Don't forget to start a file of all of your informational materials for students who enroll late or join your class mid-year. I keep a large folder like this one to hold any information about our classroom that I would want to share with new students. Class supply list, class rules, school information, contact information, and student interest inventories (grab a free student inventory at the bottom of this post) are all examples of what I save for new arrivals. 

You deserve to enjoy the summer and not worry about the first few events of the new school year! Take time at the end of the year or during the summer to set up these three things and take back your summertime off and the excitement of the new school year! 

You might be interested in reading:

Check out my favorite back-to-school activities HERE. Like this Growth Mindset Bundle

growth mindset alphabet and vocabulary

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3 Things to Do to Start the Year Stress Free That You Can Prep Over the Summer

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