To do list for the summer before your first year teaching

It is your last summer before you enter the classroom full time. What should you do with it? Below you’ll find six things you must put on your to do list for the summer before your first year teaching.

1. Rest, relax, and read for pleasure

read for pleasure

The first year teaching is generally the hardest and most time consuming year of teaching. You don’t have a plethora of lesson plans or a back pocket full of last minute activities yet. Take your last summer before teaching to indulge in pleasures that you may not have time to enjoy during the school year.

Do things like read for pleasure, cook long, complicated meals, or spend long days on the beach/at the pool. (Shameless plug: read my novel! One of the main characters is a teacher, but it’s a strictly for pleasure, non literary read.)

2. Spend quality time with family

spend quality time with family

Luckily teachers have reasonable hours (in the building anyway), but most first year teachers find that they have to spend a good amount of time at home planning and grading.

Family always comes first, even during the school year, but it wouldn’t hurt to get in some extra quality time before the school year starts, especially if you’re a newly wed or have kids of your own.

3. If you don’t have a job yet, don’t give up, keep grinding

keep trying to get that job

I know people who have been hired the day before school starts so don’t give up hope. Check out my posts on how to write a cover letter, how to get an interview, how to prepare for an interview, and how to rock the interview. Also check out my post on recent buzz words to use in your cover letter, resume, and interview.

Here are some posts to help get you closer to signing a contract.

4. Block out time before you think you’ll need it


Don’t plan any trips for two weeks before school starts. You’ll likely be called in for new teacher training and other professional development.

This may be paid, or unpaid training time. Either way, you will need it. It would be detrimental to miss these sessions. Usually districts use new teacher week to get you onto your computer, set up your digital grade book, introduce you to the curriculum, and connect you with other new and veteran teachers who can be a support network for you.

5. Dot your “i’s” and cross your “t’s”

Make sure all your paperwork is completed (contract, health insurance, etc)

6. Connect with other teachers at your school

Young teachers having a discussion.

If at all possible, connect with other teachers at the school where you’ll be working. Ask what you can do to be prepared. Ask who point people are for important things you’ll need the first week like classroom furniture, copy machine issues, and books.

Make sure to share, sweet, and pin to spread these ideas to all the new teachers who might need the advice.

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A Teacher's Guide

I am a National Board Certified educator currently teaching in Virginia. I have taught the following: English 9, 10, 11, and 12 (on academic, collaborative, and honors levels); Dual Enrollment English; Mass Communications, Yearbook, Newspaper, and Communications Technology. I have experience in five different school systems, four in Virginia and one in Maryland. I served as my school’s 2019 Teacher of the Year and was a top five finalist for the Teacher of the Year for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. I am passionate about recruiting and retaining quality educators in our public schools. Let me help you find your path to changing lives through teaching!

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3 Responses

  1. July 18, 2019

    […] To do list for the summer before your first year teaching […]

  2. March 5, 2020

    […] To do list for the summer before your first year teaching […]

  3. October 6, 2020

    […] To do list for the summer before your first year teaching […]

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