Beyond the




Hey, Teachers! Here's How to Prepare for a New Year of School

A happy woman in a yellow sweater with pink beanie and blue gloves poses with her hands behind her head.

Back-to-school preparations are never easy, but you can laugh all the way through it!

It's no secret that it's difficult for students to shift from the structure of school to the freedom of summer days and back again. What many don't realize, though, is that teachers struggle to figure out how to prepare for a new year of school aftera summer away, too. We're used to the sound of a bell determining our every move. We've grown accustomed to incessant, rapid-fire decision-making. So when we make the transition to lazier days, we gladly let our guard down. It's deliciously relaxing, sure, but it makes it twice as hard to walk back into the classroom.

Further Reading: Make Going Back to High School Fun and Engaging

Our jobs are unique by design, and that's why I recommend we mentally and physically prepare for a new year of schoolwith some slightly unconventional methods. Here are a few preparation commandments to live by come August.

Prepare Thy Instruction

Find a group of feral cats and herd them into a small space. Once all cats are present, accounted for, and angry, attempt to teach them a new trick. Bonus points for teachers who don't finish the day in tears!

Prepare Thy Supplies

Take two $100 bills. Now light them on fire. The end.

Prepare Thy Classroom

Teachers normally have less than a week to organize our materials, arrange our desks, and do whatever else we need to get our rooms ready. A strict summer regiment of high-intensity training—say, flipping tractor tires or whipping battle ropes—should successfully prepare us for this labor-intensive task.

Prepare Thy Bladder

Once school is back in session, we can't use the restroom whenever that morning coffee starts screaming. So we have to prepare for long classes without bathroom breaks.

To properly prep your bladder, take part in a chugging contest—then fight the urge to relieve yourself for as long as you're able. This'll show your bladder who's boss!

Prepare Thy Internal Temperature

As we prepare for a new school year, we must consider our impending inability to control the temperature in our classrooms. Our days of enjoying air-conditioned facilities—or even fresh air—are over. Soon, we'll be forced back into our respective hot boxes.

Calibrate your internal temperature by throwing on a snowsuit and hitting up a hot yoga class in August. Drink as much water as needed—spoiler alert: it's a lot—but please refer back to the section on preparing thy bladder for release restrictions.

Prepare Thy Patience

Find a few kids—any kids—and give each of them an iPad. Once they're locked in on their YouTube video of choice, tell them to stand up, put their finger on their nose, and blink twice.

Once you realize that they haven't heard a single word you've said, take a deep breath and start over.

Prepare Thy Memory

It's likely you're coming off of a few months spent with friends and family, so you probably didn't need to learn many new names. To get back into the swing of memorizing new names and faces, walk into any crowded public space and ask no fewer than 75 people for their names. Work out a mnemonic device that will help you recall each name—and do it out loud. Then call on each person to test your memory. If they run away or try to ignore you, engage them anyway. Just be sure to get their name right. Calling someone by the wrong name is just rude.

Further Reading: How to Get a Clutter-Free Classroom the KonMari Way

These are just a few of my thoughts on how you can prepare for a new year of school. Just know that I claim no culpability for any misfortune that befalls you as a result of my training methods. If you get arrested or if a feral cat attacks you, that's on you.