Monday, August 17, 2015


Hello, everyone! It's Chad here from the Male Kindergarten Teacher Blog. I am so excited to be part of The Guys of Primary blog, and I hope you will join us in this crazy journey!
I am a member of a very elite group of male kindergarten teachers. Yes, that's right, I teach kindergarten. I graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Professional Education and minors in mathematics, language arts, and social studies. I am currently a graduate student at WMU pursuing a degree in Educational Leadership M.Ed. When I'm not spending countless hours in my classroom, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, spending time at the lake house, and designing new products for my students. Teaching is my passion, and I'm blessed to do what I love.

As you know, the whole month of August is like a Sunday night for most teachers. Teachers are frantically getting their classrooms ready for the upcoming school year and some of you have already been back to school for a couple of weeks now! Today I am excited to share with you my top 5 back to school tips.

Tip #1: Balance

How many of you often feel overwhelmed with how much is expected of teachers year after year? It's inevitable. Finding that balance between work and your personal life can be difficult. However, it is important to gain more knowledge and learn from one another. Managing my blogs, engaging in partnerships, updating my TeachersPayTeacher store, and balancing my personal life are difficult, but these things keep me going. My #tribe is what keeps me going too. Find those people in your life that share the same interests and passion as you, and collaborate, inspire, and motivate one another to become better in the field of education.

Tip #2: Organization

Teacher and organization are two words that sometimes do not go hand in hand. We often start the school year organized, but piles start to form throughout the year. There are so many things that go on in the classroom and so many things that you as a teacher have to keep up with that it can become overwhelming. For myself, my teacher desk and classroom need to be organized before I leave school. I suppose that is an OCD tendency too. However, having a tidy, organized classroom can greatly impact the learning in your classroom. This sets a good example for your students and it demonstrates how they should take care of their work area too! One goal that I have this year in regards to organization is to focus on one thing each day or week after school. This could mean cleaning out one drawer or cupboard a day or even taking care of one pile on your desk. Your room will be organized in no time!

Tip #3: Time Management

Managing time and using it effectively can often be difficult. I often have a tendency to talk a lot to my colleagues before and after school. Can anyone relate? Using your time wisely throughout the day can prevent you from coming in over the weekend. Decide whether you are going to get to school early or stay late each day. Use your plan times and lunch time effectively. I do not eat in the teacher's lounge because it is a great opportunity to get a lot of work done. Make a schedule that works for YOU!

Tip #4: Assessment

Kindergarten teachers tend to assess in a variety of ways. Whether through meeting with students one on one, making informal observations during the day, or saving projects and student work for a portfolio. Assessing student growth is one of the most rewarding and enriching opportunities for a teacher. One of the best parts about my job is watching my students bloom during their kindergarten year! However, assessing every child throughout the year can take forever, but not with ESGI. If you haven't heard of ESGI then you definitely need to check them out! ESGI is an online assessment tool that saves me so much time. Assessing my students on their letters, sounds, numbers, rhyming words, etc. has never been so easy. Plus you can easily print out reports and flashcards to send home. Check out ESGI and sign up for a free 60-day trial: Click Here! 

Tip #5: Find Your #Tribe

Find those people in your life that share the same interests and passion as you, and collaborate, inspire, and motivate one another to become better in the field of education. For more back to school motivation and inspiration, please check out my latest blog post: Click Here!

Alphabet Write the Room - Back to School Freebie!

To kick off the new school year I am excited to share with you my latest freebie creation! It's an Alphabet Write the Room. Teachers, this activity is a nice introduction to "writing the room" activities for your students. Students will use a clipboard as they travel around your room searching for 'hidden' write the room letter cards. When they find one, they will use their recording sheet to color the letters that they've found. Check out my latest creation by clicking here or by clicking on the picture below. Don't forget to follow my store for more fun freebies!

What are some of your favorite back to school tips or tricks? 
Share them with us in the comments and we will pick one winner at random on Friday, August 21, 2015, to win a $10 TeachersPayTeachers gift card. Stay tuned for Greg's and Chris's back to school tips!

Have a great school year and remember:

Together we can change the way we think, believe, motivate, and inspire!


  1. Hi Chad {the other Guys}...
    I am so happy you have started this endeavor. My kindergarten teacher {some 40 years ago} was Mr. Diver and I will NEVER forget him...not only because he was a fantastic teacher, but because he was the most perfect male role model in one of the most IMPORTANT environments!

    Thanks so much for being you and I can't wait to follow you all on this wonderfully, wild adventure!!!!


    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    1. Congratulations Holly! You were randomly chosen from the comments to win a $10 TPT gift card for our The Guys of Primary Back to School Giveaway. I'll be contacting you shortly.

    2. Oh my heavens, thank you!!!! I didn't even follow directions! Yikes! I would have to say focus heartily on those expectations and procedures!!! Practice, practice, practice - these are WAY more important than curriculum at the beginning of the year! Start slow to go fast later!!!

  2. We always do a "Scavenger Hunt" on the first day of school so that students learn where various rooms/people are throughout our school building. Typically I use whatever our class "theme" is, i.e., a bee, Pete the Cat, pirates, etc., to write clues for the students to follow throughout the school. The students love it and it's a fun motor break for the first day!

  3. Breathe! Practice, Practice, Practice those routines. Nothing else matters the first days of school, especially with Kindergarteners. The rest of the year will go so much better when you establish solid routines.

    Teaching Under the Sun

  4. Routines and procedures. learned the hard way...not pretty

  5. My tip is to always make extra copies! :)

  6. LOVE that you all have your own blogs I can follow, and then created this wonderful place for a TRIPLE THREAT! :)
    Really, my best tips are (1) routine, routine, routine which you PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE; relentlessly at first then often throughout the year as necessary, (2) to get their attention - have a signal, then speak softly; it tends to make the room quieter when you really need them to listen, (3) and remember that whatever is happening in class now that is upsetting you, will make a great story at dinner. :)

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  8. Over plan (and make sure to include some fun crafts) and establish your expectations and stick to them. :)

    Kinders on the Block

  9. Great tips! Such a great idea for all of you to collaborate together to share your teaching tips. Looking forward to following.

    Luv My Kinders

  10. Ahhhh!!! What great tips... although I can't seem to master any of them except #findyourtribe!!! ;) I'll work hard on the organization, time management, assessment and balance!!! I'll keep coming back to learn more tips of the trade to accomplish those thing!!!!

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