Back to School, Teachers!

Can you believe we are approaching August!?!  I have had a fabulous summer vacation, and it isn’t quite over, but I’ve been thinking about the new year and have even been in my classroom once (shhh – I know this is a teacher sin).  However, I am not letting the calendar slow down summer fun!!  Are you?

My district brings teachers back on August 12 and kids come on the 15th; however, since I am moving into a new classroom and have to unbox everything, I will officially head back August 5.

I know this is a very busy time for rookie and veteran teachers, PLUS we’re still trying to get in some summer fun, so I’ve created this post that focuses on transitioning back into the school year (aka school mode).

If you’ve seen my Facebook posts, you’ll already know that Fred Myers, Office Depot, and Target have discounts for teachers.  Although my children are not in school, I tend to pick up a few items for my new students, as some come to school without supplies.

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Besides snagging some “Back to School” deals, here are some tips to transition you back to school mode.

Something very important is to continue professional development.  I always start the year with a few areas that I’d like to improve up professionally.  This helps me determine upcoming courses I want to take and books I want to read.  I also determine if I will be working independently or with a small cohort.  I prefer the cohort, since it is a great collaboration and learning format.

Last year I was able to focus my learning on whole brain teaching, instructional strategies, and student motivation and engagement. Read more about this here





One of the areas I am still developing is project based learning and STEAM.  Although, I’ve spent the past two years working with this concept and online learning, I plan to continue the project based learning and STEAM at my new school, a more traditional environment, using the online learning as a supplemental personalizing resource. I’m hoping there will be some other teachers interested in learning, too.

This is one of the books I’ve been reviewing.  There are books for various grade levels, so this will help teachers focus their planning and instruction. 


I haven’t read this one, but I think this would be a great resource for anyone interested in starting a STEM focus.  This would be a resource for homeschooling families and teachers new to STEM.  This book also comes in kindle format. 


My daughter is also finishing up a master degree in STEM education, so we have been engaging in great conversations this summer.  I’ll be reading some of her course textbooks for more support.

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I usually spend some time during the summer checking out some new children’s literature.  This summer I read these two books.

Last year I read, The One and Only Ivan.  It was a great book about friendship.  This book follows along the same theme with great adventures.  I’m thinking this will be a class read in September as we continue building our class community.

Another book I read focused on the social studies content, Alaska history.  This book, The Year of Miss Agnes, will be a fabulous book to read and build some background knowledge about life in the bush.

Of course, I’ve been working on my curriculum map and thinking about how the day will start, procedures, expectations, and all that comes with “Back to School” fun.  Check out my tips for a successful year,  to start your year out right.

As you start thinking about heading back to school, keep in mind the tips shared and you’ll be READY when the school bell rings. 


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Annette Durbin

Annette has been an educator for more than 30 years working in the PK-6 elementary classroom, K-12 multi-language learner instructional specialist, district leadership, university professor, as well as a mentor for teachers nationwide. A National Board Certificated Teacher, Annette focuses her research on accelerating learning and advancing achievement, personalizing instruction, technology, and leadership in the education field.

This Post Has 44 Comments

  1. paloma

    Great recommendations. Have a great new school year!

  2. Candy K

    I can’t believe it’s time for school to start again! Have a great year!

  3. Lisa Manderino

    I think you are excited to start a new year, that is awesome I hope my kids get teachers that look forward to creating and implementing curriculum!

    1. User Avatar
      Annette Durbin

      LOL! Yes, I guess it shows. I love working with the kiddos!!

  4. Heather

    I am in disbelief that school is about to start up again! As a college student I’m not sure I’m ready for it. I love these things you do to get into the swing of things. I need to start prepping myself to be a student again!

  5. Angela

    We get 9 weeks here in CA – I am sure that equals 4 weeks in teacher’s terms. Enjoy what you can … btw, 2 out of 3 of my kids LOVE The One and Only Ivan!

  6. Sian

    The summer hols go so quick! This is a great list 🙂

  7. Laura Lee

    I swear it seems like school starts earlier and earlier every year! My kids are all adults and out of the house, but summer seems to be over before it even started! Good luck in your new classroom!

  8. judean

    I used to be jealous of teachers for having the summer off. However, now I am not so sure. It seems that just when school is out, teachers and students go right back into it like immediately? Good luck this year!

    1. User Avatar
      Annette Durbin

      Yes, you are right. I do take time off from all the hustle and bustle, but always reflecting, researching, and thinking. Thanks!!!

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