This will be my 6th year of teacher (if you count student teaching). The list below has become my August Ritual in preparation for the impending school year.
1) Watch sale ads at Walgreens, Office Max, Target, and JoAnn Fabric for really cheap school supplies (because students NEVER have pencils and lose or draw inappropriate graffiti on their folders). Once a sale is discovered, run to store immediately and buy items in immense quantities. If there is a limit on number of items you can purchase in a single transaction, ask cashier if you really have to have 6 separate transactions for the 60 folders you want to buy. (Usually they’ll just ring it up in one transaction if you haven’t carried the entire shelf over.)
2) Go into classroom and start moving furniture, posters, books, and materials around, knowing full well that you’ll probably hate the arrangement within a week. Bring child with to school, avoid newly waxed floors, and keep child occupied with newly purchased school supplies, snacks, climbing toys (aka desks), and songs. (Bringing toys to school is not necessary as they will not actually be touched.)
3) Begin lesson planning during nap times. Create fancy shmancy calendar marked with days off, early releases, and marking periods. Write preliminary plans WITH PENCIL because they will need to be modified within the first week anyway as students are absent, pulled out of class, or frankly don’t get what you’re talking about (forcing a reteaching day or two).
4) Make plans to meet with other teachers to plan curriculum and generally shoot-the-breeze. End up altering or canceling plans due to family emergencies, lack of childcare, or behavior of child if he was brought along to the meeting.
5) If any time is left, sort through the massive pile of materials you accumulated over the last couple of years (including the entire filing cabinet filled with stuff the LAST teacher left you) and sort/throw items. Alternative A: Find a new teacher who is anxious for classroom materials and pawn stuff off on him/her. Alternative B: leave it for next year, making the goal to sort/throw materials even more lofty.