What to Prep Before School Begins

Let’s talk about what to prep before school begins! Well, it’s that time again.  Summer vacation is ending, and I need to start thinking about returning to my classroom.  I know this is when I typically hit the ground running and don’t stop until October when I get a fall break.  My district gives me three days before school starts to get things ready, but those days are filled with professional development meetings, staff meetings, and an in-service, so I don’t get much time to set up my room.  This is why I like to start prepping a few things for my classroom during the summer so that I don’t have a huge list of must-haves the week I go back.  Keep reading to see what my three must-have summer prep items are!  

Visual Schedules

This is a photo of a laptop computer. On the screen is a visual schedule being prepped before school begins.
This is a photo of a white printer. The printer is printing out two visual schedules.
The first must-have item that I prep before school begins is my student visual schedules.  I keep these saved on my computer for easy editing and printing each year.  All I need to do is rearrange the visuals and print.  My go-to visual schedule templates are these schedule templates from Amy Groesbeck.  I love these mini-schedules because they are easy to edit and there are several schedule formats to choose from – so I can quickly differentiate my schedules as needed!  I like to have these printed and laminated before going back to school so I have time to focus on other important things.

  • Hot tip – ALWAYS prep more schedules than you need because you never know when you will get a new student.

For at home printing, I use this HP Printer with Instant Ink.  It’s a must!

 Work Tasks

Next, before school begins, I like to get any new or replacement work tasks printed and laminated.  When I’m spending my school time cutting and laminating, it seems to take forever, so I find doing a little bit at a time is a huge help.  On summer nights, instead of scrolling Tik Tok or Instagram, I’m cutting and laminating as I’m binge-watching shows on Netflix.  Check out these amazing work tasks from The Autism Helper.  I have been prepping the Errorless Work Task Mega Pack for this upcoming school year.

 Staff Training

Finally, what I find to be helpful to prep before school begins is any staff training I plan to do over the school year.  I know I am going to have a new paraprofessional in my classroom this year, therefore, I am prepping The Autism Helper’s Paraprofessional Training Manuals.  While these are very easy to prep, I need to read through them and make sure I understand and know the content before I present it to my paraprofessionals.  I love taking the time to listen to The Autism Helper Podcast or videos in The Professional Development Membership to note what would be good references for future training as well. 
To learn more about what I do to get ready for back-to-school, read this blog post.  If you have any questions or comments leave them below and I will get back to you.  Thanks for reading!
Michelle Lindenmuth, M.Ed.
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