8 Simple Ways to Prep for the Upcoming School Year That Won't Ruin Your Summer

8 Simple Ways to Prep for the Upcoming School Year That Won't Ruin Your Summer

8 Simple Ways to Prep for the Upcoming School Year That Won't Ruin Your Summer 

If you're anything like me, as summer unfolds the last thing you want to think about is the upcoming school year. I mean the year JUST ended, didn't it?! However, a little bit of prep now can save you a lot of stress later (trust me on this). Here are some simple, low-stress ways to get ready for the new school year without sacrificing your summer relaxation.

1. Reflect on Last Year

Take some time to reflect on what worked well and what didn’t last year. Jot down a few notes about successful projects, classroom management strategies, and any areas for improvement. This reflection doesn’t have to be a major task—just a few thoughts can help guide your planning for the next year.

2. Organize Your Space

Spend a couple of hours organizing your classroom or art space. This could involve tidying up, rearranging supplies, or setting up designated areas for different activities. A well-organized space can make the start of the school year feel much smoother.

3. Update Your Lesson Plans

Review and update a few key lesson plans. Focus on the first month of school, so you have a strong start without feeling overwhelmed. Consider incorporating new techniques or projects you’ve wanted to try. This way, you can enter the school year with fresh, exciting ideas without overhauling your entire curriculum.

4. Prepare a Basic Supply List

Create a basic supply list for your students. Think about the essential items they’ll need for the first few weeks and ensure you have enough stock. This can prevent last-minute shopping trips and help you feel more prepared.

5. Set Up a Digital System


If you haven’t already, set up a simple digital system for managing your plans and communications. Whether it’s a Google Drive folder, a digital calendar, or a new app, having a system in place can save you time and stress throughout the year.

6. Plan a Welcome Activity

Think about a fun and engaging activity to welcome your students back. This could be an icebreaker game, a collaborative art project, or a simple drawing exercise. Having a planned activity can ease first-day jitters for both you and your students. My Go-To start of the year project is always having my students make and design their own sketchbooks. If you want to learn more about why I love sketchbooks even in the elementary art room, and how we make them you can click here.

7. Connect with Colleagues

Here are my art teacher buddies and I checking out The Mattress Factory and Randyland in Pittsburgh, Pa! Such a fun experience!

Reach out to your colleagues to share ideas, resources or just a good laugh! Connection and relationships are THE most important thing when it comes to loving your job and wanting to do your best for yourself and your students. Fostering these connections now can foster a supportive community and inspire new ideas for the upcoming year. 

8. Take Care of Yourself


Lastly, remember that your well-being is crucial! Like, literally the most important part. Prioritize making the time to relax, recharge, and really enjoy your summer. Whether it’s reading a good book, spending time with family, or my favorite, creating art for myself outside in the sunshine. You know what they say, "You can't fill from an empty cup!" So make sure you pour so much into your own cup that it's overflowing :) 

At the end of the day, do what makes you feel the most at peace. Whether that is straight up saying "no" to anything relating to school until you head back, or doing little bits here and there over the summer to limit your anxiety before the school year. Everyone is totally different. I hope that you enjoy your much needed break, and here’s to a fantastic new school year!

xo- Kaitlyn 

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