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SEL Series – Start the New School Year with a BANG!

5 Tips to Kick off a New School Year with a Bang!

The summer is ending, and we are quickly re-acclimating to another school year. As you plan for the 2019–2020 school year, I have a few tips that can help afterschool educators get their new students ready for up-coming school year. 

Introductions.   One of the best ways to set the tone with a new group of students is to spend time getting to know one another. I’ve found students open as much as I do so I try to lead by example! Share a few things about yourself with your new group of students. Encourage them to share a little about themselves too.

Create a cool space. Decorate your space or try incorporating appropriate music into your program. Children are attracted to eye-catching bulletin boards, bean bags, and seating arrangements. Setting up a comfortable environment will help your students relax, be social, and ready to learn.

Establish the rules. Establishing class rules directly at the beginning will assist you with classroom management. If your students have a firm understanding of them, they will be more likely to follow them.

Keep a Routine. A routine is the best way to manage and organize the classroom. Assign jobs to your students in your group to clean up areas, throw away garbage, and wipe the boards clean. This helps provide structure to the students’ days and will help the classroom run more smoothly.

Write it Down. Children are visual learners, writing the day’s schedule on the board will allow them to know what’s happenings at what time and this helps with smoother transitions during the day.

These tips are just pointers! There are many elements that go into starting a new school year- but taking time to get organized and comfortable with your students is all where it starts. During my time as an after-school program director and education coordinator, the tips shared in this blog helped me to start new school years off with in a fun, organized, and prepared fashion! Best of luck and happy new school year!


Tiana Brown is the Assistant Director of the Norwalk Housing Authority Learning Centers


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