Happy Back-to-School Season, Everyone!
This August post will just be a quickie post to tell you about a few Back-to-School tips since I will be sending out my quarterly newsletter in a week or two with ALL the tips you’d usually find here plus lots of freebie downloadables! If you aren’t already on my mailing list to get the School Counselor Stephanie newsletter, you can sign up in the box at the top of my blog page!
TACKLING THE FIRST WEEK BACK!
If you are like me and the sight of a disorganized office or classroom is overwhelming and disorienting, here is a list below of how I tackle the first week in order to have things in order and in process by the time everyone returns:
- Unpack all materials and set up your office/classroom. (3-6 hours…don’t spend more than a day on this, even if you are breaking in a new office/classroom because it will all change as the year progresses anyway. Just put everything you have in a place so that you feel somewhat comfortable in your space.)
- Change out your summer break phone/email message and return any phone messages you acquired while hanging out at the beach. (30 min-1 hour)
- Check work email and take care of those over-the-summer emails and any others you just couldn’t deal with during the last few days of the 2015-16 school year. (2 hours)
- Put together your TO DO list and write the tasks in your planner or Outlook Calendar or Smartphone or whatever you use. This way, you will know when to do them and actually remember to do each task. (1-2 hours if you are continuing from the TO DO list you started for this new school year at the end of 2015-16. If you didn’t start your 2016-17 TO DO list last year and you have to make it from scratch- block out a half day.)
- Meet with your colleague (if you have one) to coordinate your activities/plan your lessons for the next two weeks and to set a weekly or monthly planning time to continue meeting regularly through the school year. After, get your materials together. (2-3 hours)
- Set up your waiting room/suite/lobby if you have one. (20 minutes- IF you have an awesome student helper who you can call up to come to the school and do this for you. In our counseling office, we have amazing office aides each year that we painstakingly train- email us if you need training mats. Because our counseling office secretary positions were cut a few years ago, our student aides are like mini-office managers and know our suite layout better than we do. So, we bought our student aide lunch and just let her go- 2 hours later, she was all done and our waiting room sparkled.)
- Set up and make/email copies of your weekly schedule and yearly calendar– post copies wherever you work, on your office door, and email/give to your administrators; its also good at this time to set up with admin a weekly or monthly meeting time that runs throughout the school year so everyone knows: what ASCA recommends that you do, what amazing things you are actually doing, and what admin needs for you to do. (1 hour- IF you laid the foundation for this at the end of the 2015-16 school year with your admin. If not and you need guidance- email me as it’s too much to go into here.)
- Start on that TO DO list. Happy DO-ing!
If you’d like to see some photos of my counseling office, stay tuned- they will go up here in September!
Good luck on an AMAZING start to your school year!