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Tips and resources for easing into the school year

By Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist

As we enter the final stretch of August, the nights are getting cooler, school supplies are being pushed front and center in stores, and the trees are showing a hint of the fall colors to come. Where did the warm summer months go? While summer vacation seems to have come and gone once again, millions are students are heading back to school—many for the first time. In fact, nearly three million children are going to school for the first time this fall! All this makes for a few hectic weeks coming up. To help during this stressful time, we’ve put together some tips and resources for easing into the classroom this fall.

1. Take a moment to enjoy the last few days of summer (if you haven’t gone back to school already!). Although many schools have started back up for the 2017–2018 school year, a few are still set to start after the Labor Day weekend. Make time for yourself these last few days and get a little R&R. If school is already underway for you, take the weekend to unwind from the long week. These little moments will make a big difference on your mental health later in the semester.

2. Plan ahead for the months to come with different bulletin board designs. A staple in most classrooms, bulletin boards can add flair and creativity to even the most boring classroom walls. Encourage students to read, explore other students’ interests, or help students learn something new with simple designs. One month could highlight books pertaining to the time of year, while another could highlight interesting facts about each student. Need some bulletin board ideas? Check out a few of our favorites on our Pinterest board.

3. Start building relationships with your students. Building relationships with students at the beginning of the year is important. You will not only get to know your students’ likes, dislikes, and habits but also make them feel more comfortable as they adjust to a new grade. One of the best ways to build relationships the first week? Icebreaker activities! Check out our recent blog post on these activities here.

4. Build a support system with other educators. Speaking of relationships, it’s also important to connect with other educators. Whether you’re brand new or teaching for the last time this fall, relationships can make or break your year. Plus, they help prevent educator burnout. Quality relationships provide support, serve as guidance for new educators, and provide safety nets when others stumble.

5. Take advantage of our curated back-to-school resources. We’ve compiled our relevant help files, infographics, blog posts, product updates, and much more to make this fall a little easier for you. Curious to see what resources we’ve included? Visit and explore our plethora of back-to-school resources.

The beginning of the school year is stressful. However, it also brings excitement and new possibilities. Take advantage of the new year and prepare for the best school year yet!

What do you do to make the beginning of the school year a little less stressful? Are you planning to try any of the tips above? Let us know in the comments below, post on our Facebook, or tweet us at @RenLearnUS!

Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist
Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist
Ken Stoflet is the communications specialist at Renaissance. He has been with the company since 2015 and can be found crafting anything from a press release to a tweet. In his spare time, Ken enjoys spending time with his friends, lifting, and making trips to the Frozen Tundra to cheer on the Green Bay Packers.


  1. Jody Steinhaus says:

    A new school year is always exciting. These are such helpful tips. Thank you!

  2. Mario says:

    Very useful tips. Even though we have started school already, we can still implement some of these tips.

  3. Laura says:

    I always have a special box of short activities to complete the first 3 weeks of school. These are handy to use when a lesson does not go as planned or takes a different amount of time than you expected.

  4. Missy Berry says:

    Great ideas are always welcomed!!

  5. Virginia Travis says:

    I try to stay positive and be a friend to all.

  6. Katy says:

    I make sure I make time for a massage ….every other week. I also encourage former students to come back and visit and/or help my new students.

    • Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist Ken Stoflet, Marketing Communications Specialist says:

      That sounds like a great way to relieve some stress, Katy!

  7. Tatyana Rodriguez says:

    Thank you for the excellent tips!

  8. Liana Ferrer says:

    I try to make things less stressful by preplanning the setup of my classroom. I draw rough sketches of each area and how I want to decorate it. That way, when I go into the classroom I have a game plan and can get the room ready ina flash.

  9. Heidi says:

    I just try to make sure I take time for me.

  10. Carly says:

    Great tips. I prefer not to have to change bulletin boards so instead I make mine interactive.

  11. Janice Raby Neely says:

    These are great tips. I am using many now. I love this!

  12. Janice Raby Neely says:

    These are perhaps the greatest tips.

  13. Rita Platt says:

    I feel fortunate that I don’t feel stressed at the beginning of the year! It’s all positive excitement!

  14. Lisa Capon says:

    Great tips. The beginning of the school year is always such a stressful time.

  15. Cynthia says:

    I make time to relax my mind daily…thanks for the tips.

  16. Amber AuBain says:

    I find that building relationships with students now will help you further in the year when problems tend to arise.

  17. Kimberly McKinley says:

    Great tips we have started school already but I have most of my projects and bulletin boards already planned out.

  18. Dvawn Maza says:

    Staying organized is my best tip! Staying on top of things and not fall behind. This article has great tips!

  19. Andrea says:

    Great ideas! Always have extra activities planned in case your lessons don’t take as long until you can figure out how your new class works.

  20. Nicole Erwin says:

    Thanks for the BTS roundup!

  21. Deana Sain says:

    As educators, we try to get together and go out to eat the first week of school. We become more of a team and we make sure to invite the new teachers as well.

  22. Christina says:

    Great tips!! I start day one building relationships with each other and great books!

  23. Stefanie says:

    Great ideas! Thanks!
    I’m a true believer in building relationships with my students. I’ve learned when they know that you care and they can trust you they will be more willing to do the right thing.

  24. Cathy Kelley says:

    Cool ideas!

  25. RENEE P GRAHAM says:

    Working at Summer Camp at our school keeps me from stressing. I’m able to be in my classroom and think things through for the coming year.

  26. Connie Reddick says:

    It’s very important to reconnect with students at the beginning of the year, and reading is a perfect way. All students can relate to the books and right away they begin to feel a part of the classroom.

  27. Virginia Wiedenfeld says:

    These are great ideas to be thinking about with the beginning of school!

  28. jason says:

    I try to build relationships with teachers, especially new ones. They often have the fire and spunk I need to rejuvenate.

  29. Marianne Gaskins says:

    I have a beginning of school check list. I update it each year as things change, but it makes it easier to remember all the things that need to be done – especially because many of them are only done once. I also make notes on the list about any problems or things that worked well.

  30. Erin Dorman says:

    Great tips! We can get caught up in the rush, but building relationships with students as well as colleagues is invaluable!

  31. Alecia Walkuski says:

    I make sure to plan activities outside of school. All work and no play is no fun! Taking the time to plan out the year really helps too!

  32. Karla Jaenicke says:

    These are some great ideas!! Thanks.

  33. S.Bellomo says:

    Thank for the tips! Organization and enthusiasm are the keys at my school!

  34. Trinette Fraizer says:

    I give a library orientation for teachers and students.

    • Ken Stoflet, Communications Specialist Ken Stoflet, Marketing Communications Specialist says:

      That is an awesome idea, Trinette. The library is a great place!

  35. Donna Nichols says:

    Great Tips!

  36. Angela says:

    Thankful for the Back 2 School Resources!

  37. Jennifer Slade says:

    Build a support system! It’s a must!

  38. P R says:

    I model the lessons as to how a student should be completing the work as well as how the student should be thinking about his/her behavior. I actually become the student for a couple days. I speak as a student who is thinking about his/her day. It allows the class to see what they should be doing, and thinking as they are working.

  39. Sharla Voepel says:

    Really good tips. I only advice might be to take a little time for yourself every day, whether it’s a cup of hot tea or heading home on time instead of staying late to work. We all need a little pampering now and then.

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