Teaching

The Back-to-School Traditions Teachers Swear By

By Hayley Hardison — August 12, 2022 1 min read
Young students running to the school building for classes.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The COVID-19 pandemic uprooted a myriad of school routines—for both students and educators—over the past three years. In most school districts, the first day of the 2019-20 school year looked a lot different from the first day of the 2020-21 school year.

With nearly all educators headed back to in-person schooling this fall, it’s an opportunity to return to some of those traditions—and perhaps begin some new ones.

As educators head back into classrooms, we asked them to share their traditions to kick off the school year.

“Massive quantities of coffee and doughnuts”

@TrckaTreat

“I’ll watch Mr. Holland’s Opus. Some of those scenes are so powerful.”

@teachkindling

“Having teachers ask parents to respond in writing what would make it their child’s ‘best year ever’. A simple request that often gives the teacher insights into who the child is and how to best ‘connect’ with him or her. Also starts building the teacher-parent relationship.”

@dransoff

“I love to watch Won’t You Be My Neighbor before each school year to remind me why I work with small kids.”

@mrsdelgadilloWM

“One of many, this one is a bit more work (probably best for smaller classes, ie elementary homeroom teacher) but has multiple positive effects: I set up a cheerful background and take a photo of each student with a sign indicating the start of the grade. I send the photo directly to each family so the first individual communication home about a student is positive and celebratory. At the end of the year I take the matching end of year photo and send this to families too (along with a side by side version). The kids love to see how they’ve changed over the year and it complements our end-of-year reflections as learners. 📸 ✨”

Jeane Lakin

“Start a class time capsule the first day or week and keep it to open on the last day of the school year.”

Smiling Students Lesson Plans

“Community building activities that build SEL skills and peer relationships. Also, social contracts.”

Jackie Dipzinski

Check out EdWeek’s customized back-to-school reading list for more fresh ideas, advice, and inspiration to charge into the 2022-23 school year.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Early Childhood Webinar
How the Science of Reading Elevates Our Early Learners to Success
From the creators of ABCmouse, learn how a solution grounded in the science of reading can prepare our youngest learners for kindergarten.
Content provided by Age of Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
English-Language Learners Webinar
Classroom Strategies for Building EL Students’ Confidence and Success
Fueling success for EL students who are learning new concepts while navigating an unfamiliar language. Join the national discussion of strategies and Q&A.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
Future of Work Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: Understanding the Critical Link Between Student Mental Health and the Future of Work
In recent months, there’s been a rallying cry against the teaching of social-emotional skills. Discover why students need these skills now more than ever.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Opinion From Reading Instruction to Teacher Leadership: 1,000 Educators Share Their Advice
For more than a decade, Larry Ferlazzo has been curating intelligence from colleagues and K-12 experts. Read what they have to say.
1 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Teaching Opinion The Danger With Giving Students Feedback
Feedback works best when it's just one step in a learning process, writes Alfie Kohn.
Alfie Kohn
5 min read
Illustration of teacher and students walking away from a spotlight shinning on an empty school desk and chair
J.R. Bee for Education Week
Teaching Opinion Collaborate With Your Colleagues. You'll Prosper and So Will Your Students
Teachers can learn a lot from their peers and all the other staff members in their school.
4 min read
A team of people work together to build a block structure.
Imam Fathoni/iStock<br/>
Teaching Opinion Looking for Ways to Organize Your Classroom? Try Out These Tips
Be sure to set up your classroom so that it helps students learn and you save time.
3 min read
Opinion 23Henig planning future 1206435418
Anastasia Usenko/iStock/Getty<br/>