As the final chapter of summer comes to an end, parents, educators, and students begin preparing for the upcoming school year. Whether it’s through remote learning, in-person classes, or a mix of both – there are many ways parents, teachers, and college students can prepare before the first school bell rings.
Whether you’re heading off to college, welcoming kids back into your classroom, or sending your littles off to school, learn about ways to prepare yourself and promote a smooth transition into the school year.
Parents of Grade School Children
Yellow school buses, a zoom notification ding, or a school bell ring – all these signs point to the beginning of a school year. For some parents, this might offer a sigh of relief, as the kids are finally going back to school, marking the end of summer break (and getting out of their parents’ hair). During this transitional period, there seems to be a laundry list of to-dos as families settle into a school year routine. In hopes of alleviating some pre-school stress, continue reading to learn about ways you as a parent can prepare for the upcoming school year to set your child – and yourself – up for success.
Ease Transitional Anxiety
Whether your child is entering kindergarten or starting a new grade as a returning student, Scholastic says, “it’s natural for kids to experience nervousness at the start of a new school year — after all, your child is entering a structured group setting after months away. Some children will accept the change with joy, while others may need a bit more handholding to acclimate.” While back-to-school jitters are normal, it’s important for parents to create a welcoming environment for open communication. As a starting place, parents can ask what their child is looking forward to learning, what friendships they are excited to form, along with anxieties they might be feeling. By addressing emotions and validating concerns that come with school, parents can establish a routine of healthy, effective communication before their child enters the classroom.
Parents should also consider scheduling a few playdates or connecting with other parents a few weeks before the school year. Research from John Hopkins Medicine suggests that “Arranging play dates with one or more familiar peers before school starts can improve children’s academic and emotional adjustment.” Seeing familiar faces and forming new friendships before entering a new environment can help ease anxiety and build excitement for the upcoming year.
Maintain Parent Wellness
When boarding an airplane, the flight attendant usually instructs passengers to “put your oxygen mask on first, before assisting others.” And the reason behind this is quite simple – you can’t help others if you don’t first help yourself. A similar rule applies to maintaining wellness as a parent because taking care of your own wellness needs is essential so you can best support your child.
While the back-to-school season might bring new friendships, it can also bring new germs, especially as more U.S. school districts are opening the doors for in-person learning this year. More likely than not, kids are bound to catch a case of sniffles while at school. Although parents cannot control the germs kids catch at school, they do have control over the germs passed off to them at home. Parents should consider maintaining a wellness regime this back-to-school season to boost immunity and fight off infections. Beyond getting sleep, exercising regularly, and eating healthy, parents can add illness-preventative products like an oral antiseptic mouth rinse that guards against infection. This preventative product, intended for adult use only, helps moms and dads feel their best so they can be the best for their children. When parents choose to prioritize their own health, it has a positive ripple effect on the whole family.
They say that college offers some of the best years of your life (no pressure), as it gives students the freedom to explore life without parental supervision. But adulting comes with its fair share of stresses, and college is a constant balancing act between meeting schoolwork deadlines, extracurricular activities, maintaining a social life, and maybe even juggling a part-time job. Needless to say, it can be a lot. Whether entering as a first-year student or returning to your university, there are a few things you can do to ensure a smooth transition into the school year.
Try Something New
Trying something new looks different for every student, whether joining a sports club, signing up for a poetry slam contest, or getting involved in Greek life. In an interview for Medium, Dr. Abigail Brenner shares, “if all you ever do is strive to stay wrapped up in your little cocoon, keeping warm and cozy, you may be missing out on quite a lot — no new experiences, no challenges, and no risks.” College allows students to try on different hats and learn more about themselves and their likes and interests. As a starting point, consider attending university-organized club events to discover your college’s involvement opportunities. Jumping into something headfirst or dipping your toes into a new club or hobby can be nerve-racking, but continuing to try new things will build confidence and offer self-discovery. According to The Upswing Report, “going out on a limb and trying something new takes confidence. And the more you do it, the easier it will become. Soon, you’ll even surprise yourself with your newfound self-assurance.” So, as you head back to school this fall, consider stepping outside your comfort zone because you never know where it might take you.
Heading into residential living this upcoming school year? Most dorm-dwellers have the liberty to decide how they structure their life. While the first taste of freedom is exciting, especially for a first-year student, self-accountability plays a key role in college success. Maintaining and supporting a healthy wellness routine is entirely up to you and is quite important since living in close quarters makes college a breeding ground for illness. According to NPR, “every year, about 1 in 4 college students gets the flu — and many arrive on campus not realizing how bad a bout of flu can be.” Prior to move-in day and before assignments pile up, students should consider boosting immunity by exercising daily, eating healthy, hydrating properly, and effectively managing stress.
It’s time to get the classroom ready – the kids are on their way back from summer break! Whether you’re teaching curious kindergarteners or moody high schoolers, these back-to-school tips will help you embark on a successful year of learning.
Refresh & Restock
As a grade school teacher, your list might slightly differ from a high school teacher’s back-to-school shopping list, but there are a few items every teacher should consider stocking up on. Below, we have created a universal shopping list for every teacher level.
- Germ Protection Products: With students comes germs. Consider stocking up on disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and tissues for the kids. Teachers should also consider using BioShell Germ Defense for Your Mouth to maintain wellness during the school year.
- Organizational Supplies: Keep your files and classroom items organized by investing in organization bins, file folders, and supply containers.
- Writing Materials: Stock up on a fresh supply of sharp pencils and pens this year, and if you use a whiteboard in the classroom, make sure to stock up on whiteboard markers as they commonly disappear and dry up easily.
- Cleaning Supplies: Kids can be messy, and you never know when paper towels or cleaning spray are needed to clean up spills and crumbs.
HeyTeach teaches us that “when your classroom is efficient and organized, it will run more smoothly. Both you and your students should have easy access to teaching and learning materials without having to sift through messy areas and disorganized shelves.” Before the kids file into the classroom, consider organizing files, labeling supplies, and establishing a grading routine before papers and other materials pile up without a designated home. Teachers should consider implementing these various organizational tactics to create a clutter-free environment, as a study by BYU suggests “a correlation between the cleanliness of a school’s facilities and students’ academic achievement.” As a teacher, having a clean and organized environment will make finding things more manageable and provide a clutter-free environment for students to learn and grow.