9 Great Ways to Get Ready for Back to School
Summer is the time to decompress and spend some leisurely days. But with August nearly upon us, it’s wise to start gearing up for the school days ahead. Without going too crazy, here are some steps you can take to focus your thoughts, brush up on your skills, and make sure your software and equipment are up to date. With your enthusiasm up and your goals in mind, you can breeze easily into the new school year.
Make sure you have the latest version of the MimioStudio™ software, so you can benefit from the various enhancements that are included in software updates. You can find out which version of the software you have by clicking Help>About MimioStudio. Software updates can be found at http://mimio.com/support/downloads. Look for MimioStudio 12 software, coming this fall. You can also directly attach your Mimio Xi™ or MimioTeach™ interactive device to your computer via the USB cable, to make sure you get the latest firmware upgrades automatically. This will ensure smooth operation of the technology that runs on the software.
Get Up to Speed
Quickly review or learn essential skills using Mimio on-demand videos. We have over 60 short video tutorials that cover all aspects of the MimioClassroom™ products and software. Our Quick Learn sessions offer a more in-depth and a virtual "hands-on" training experience, with real Mimio expert teachers. The Quick Learn sessions are available both live and on-demand, and give you the option of earning professional development certificates. And all sessions and tutorials are available at no cost to you. Check out our training options.>>
Do you or your students use mobile devices in the classroom? The latest version of MimioStudio software allows you to connect up to three mobile devices using the MimioMobile™ app for free! Explore the possibilities of collaboration, control, and assessment using the MimioMobile app. You can also purchase the classroom license for the MimioMobile app and easily connect every student with a mobile device in your classroom. Find out more about the MimioMobile app. It’s perfect for BYOD initiatives!
Challenge yourself to continue pushing the limits in your classroom and learn even more. If you use Mimio interactive teaching tools, find ways to naturally integrate your Mimio technology and software even more in your classroom. Start small with the things you’re already doing, and begin expanding. You can bring resources you previously prepared into MimioStudio software, or use Screen Annotations to make them more interactive. More importantly, think about getting students involved interactively using lessons and the various interactive tools provided in the MimioStudio software. You can learn more about integrating Mimio technology through our Quick Learn sessions.
The MimioConnect™ online teaching community is an essential resource that can support your efforts throughout the year. With a no-cost membership, you have free access to hundreds of thousands of lessons created by teachers for teachers. Search for a topic, subject, or grade-level lesson to build your arsenal of lesson ideas. Be sure to check out the "Get More" lesson series, in which a team of teachers who are Mimio experts take teacher-created lessons and make them even better by adding instructional design components.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
As an educator, you’re always trying new things to make sure you reach your students in a positive way. Take some time to reflect on your classroom practices and teaching experiences. Some things work as expected, some things fail miserably. Don't be afraid to abandon procedures or lessons that no longer have the impact you hope for. Stepping out of your comfort zone to explore new ideas can be very healthy and educationally very beneficial. Continue evaluating the things you do and tweak as needed to accomplish your goals and expectations.
Get Inspired and Stay Informed
What inspires you to do what you do? Is it a special person, book, or movie? We all have different motivations for being an educator, and we experience different successes along the way. Even when you’re embroiled in the day-to-day hassles of the school year, it’s important to relax and focus on the fire that lights you up. That continuous inspiration will carry over to your classroom and your students. It's also very important to stay on top of new educational trends and legislative issues that impact the education profession. Be informed, be involved, and – most importantly – VOTE!
Get Your Goals Straight
"Begin with the end in mind" is a great idea to think about. What are your personal goals for the year? What milestones do you want your students to reach at certain points of the year? Setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself and your students fixes targets in your mind. Measure the progress toward these goals at different points during the year and make any necessary adjustments. Also remember: it is normal to have to make adjustments.
Get Clear of the Baggage
It's only natural for all those issues that occur during a school year to become the emotional baggage that stunts what can be accomplished later in a classroom or school. Take a breath, clear out what's in the past, and prepare to start with a fresh, positive perspective. In other words, build a bridge and get over it. Your students and your school community demand more and you should expect the same of yourself!
So, Are You Ready to Get Ready?
A new school year is nearly upon us. If education only involved teaching the ideal student under ideal conditions, it would be a breeze. Obviously, this isn't the case – otherwise, where would be the challenge? We hope these Get Ready tips will inspire you to prepare for the brand-new year ahead!