[new students in high school]


Yes, Indeed! August is around the corner and schools everywhere (well, away from those districts that open after Labor Day in the USA), will be teeming with eager minds, flustered spirits, nervous laughter, gracious smiles, and roving hearts.

Students will flock back to the buildings they left a couple of months ago for the summer; now, they’ll be converging on the steps of school buildings everywhere, unless they’re new to the building…Like FRESHMEN.

These fresh new eyes, hearts, and minds will be nervously and excitedly exploring campuses and searching for their classes and themselves on a high school campus as the newbies. The little fish in a big pond.

Nervous Freshman student

Some will fit in right away, some will lose their middle school persona and others will remain how they were in middle school.

Regardless of how they come into their freshman year, their teachers must help them navigate it.

One of my girls tagged me in a Facebook post last week about a project I gave her when she was in high school (she has now graduated from college for about 11 years now); she claims this project is what helped her define who she is and what she wanted to accomplish – she thanked me for the project.

Stories, students, and wanting my freshman class to survive high school prompted me to develop this project that I gave to my Freshman Seminar or Freshman Experience classes –

I tried to have students [my little people, as I affectionately called them] be able to navigate high school from a fledgling point of view from their new attitudes towards school, grade point averages, friendships, sports, clubs, teachers, assignments, conflict, home life, and more. Because, let’s face it, First Year for students can be hard.

They must navigate a new building, new resources, new friendships, new schedules, new distances, new dynamics, new classes, and new feelings and emotions as well. Really tough stuff.

Some school districts have realized that students need help to move through this new part of their lives, and have developed Freshman Seminar/Experience classes. Kudos to them!

Success! You're on the list.

If we can remember how hard this year was for us, then it would be easy to help these students understand how high school works. It would be so calming for their socio-emotional well-being.

So teachers: smile graciously at these newbies meandering the hallways, offer assistance, understand that this is the generation coming in attached to their cell phones, remember that they are the Pandemic (stay at home for a year) generation, understand that they will need that friendly face and space daily. Remember they was the little ones who set tone for the next four years.

Gotta love Freshmen!

Oh, and if you’re one of the previously mentioned teachers tasked with teaching these wonderful new additions to your high school, check out the following products to help you get on your way to a successful academic year!


50 Journal Writing Prompts



My TpT Summer Plans

So I have to scream out loud that “It is FINALLY Summer Vacation!”

If you are a teacher, I’m sure you can understand the sentiment. I mean to say that we’ve had ups and downs this year would be an understatement. We’ve had school lockdowns, COVID flare-ups, mass fights and altercations, class roster changes, aggressive students and parents, ineffective administrators, and the list goes on, so forgive me if my excitement is a little loud.

With that said, I must focus on what I have planned for the summer because before we can say “Let’s Go To The Beach,” we’ll be back in school.

For my TpT (Teachers Pay Teachers) store – and for my own well-being – I will be focusing on 7 things this summer.


Wooden hangers in an empty open cabinet, hand taking a hanger. Clothing, fashion, shopping, new home, wardrobe organization is needed!

Like I don’t know if other teachers go through this, but by the last quarter I start to get lazy at home. I start throwing my bookbag, paperwork, articles of clothing wherever they land. I mean furniture needs to be dusted, items need to be organized, my cat needs to be pet; I’ve just let things go.

Therefore, my summers are for getting my clean swag back on. I need the time to clean and organize…clean and organize.

Put the music on or some tv in the background and just get to work. Let’s make our space feel like home again.


Group of friends having a coffee together. Talking, laughing and enjoying their time. Lifestyle and friendship

My friends (and sometimes family) are vexed with me annually. I never make enough time for them during the school year, but during the summer. I find them…or more so, they find me.

For example, literally the Friday after the last day of school (the Thursday before) a few friends hit me up to ask when we’ll be hanging out. I mean…seriously?

Give me a minute please…Sheesh!

However, I will be hanging out this summer because I need to reconnect. These are my people: the ones who know me, love me, and want to see me succeed; I gotta share my life with them.

So please Angry Teacher Family, remember to make time for your family and friends…even your pets. They are the ones in your corner; try not to neglect them.

3rd THING: Attend TpT Conference and Workshops


Now, last year, smack dab in the middle of the Pandemic, I attended my first TpT Conference [TPT FORWARD] virtually. I loved it! Loved it! I learned invaluable content that I used in my store and have seen a difference in my income.

I will say that I believe education is important for educators; Moreso, for educators turned businesspeople. Needless to say, I also bought about 2 courses and learned through some of the most interesting and knowledgeable TpT Teacher-Authors out there.

It goes without saying, then, that I’ll do the same again this year. I constantly want to learn and make my business a better business.

I am also going to play around with the many marketing and social media platforms I am registered with. Can you imagine: I am paying for some of these and I am not using them to their best capacities; I need to do better.

One thing I didn’t sing up for though was any professional development that relates to, smells like, feels like my job! I need a break from kids and the like. Trust me; I’ve been asked…

Admin: ”Richard, will you be able to..”

Me: Nope

Admin: “Mr. Williams, are you going to..”

Me: Nope

Teacher Bestie: “Rich, remember to sign up for…”

Still Me: “Nope”

Not this year! This year, I’m focusing on me. Hey, teak care of your mental and physical health too. We need you next year.


Get to the gym, walk, run, swim, move around. Exercise physically, mentally, and emotionally are essential to our health! Let’s Get it!

Yup! Yup! You know how I do! The Angry Teacher has to get his workout in! Every morning I hit the gym and try to get something accomplished.

Sometimes, while I’m there, I wonder “WHY am I here?”, but a couple of minutes in – I figure it out. I’m starting to see gains and feel different, so I will keep it up!

Consistency is key. Even my drinking of water, and attempting to eat better I have tried to maintain so far.

Like, everyone knows I hate LEG DAY; however, I killed it this Thursday! Went in there and just killed it! Will I pay for it later? Probably, but it felt good to not have to worry about running off to work. My mental health is already positively affecting my physical health. 😊

Always think of your mental, physical, emotional and your health in general. Go for a walk, do a push up, reach for the fruit, instead of the chips. To feel better, we must get to the place where we are doing better, even if it’s a little per day. Remember: Consistency is key!


Smiling as I get some work done at MY OWN LEISURE!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know I said I was going to try to ignore my job for the summer and focus on me. And, some teachers will scoff and say they’d never do anything work related during the summer…and I agree.

Success! You're on the list.

However, to make my year better when I return, there are some fine tuning of syllabi, and other things I need  to get done before entering the building next year because once the year begins, it’ll be students this, admin that, lesson this, sporting events that, so I’d prefer to work on those minor things when I have time.

It helps in that I can kind of coast or not stress as much when the year begins. I mean who wants to worry about lesson planning when you’re cheering on the Mighty Bulls at a Football game?

In any case, always do what’s best for you. I get rid of some of my anxiety because I have all my ducks in a row, lesson plans for the first weeks done, activities planned, processes planned, before even walking into the building.

Some teachers can buckle down and get it down, even with Mary and Susie are in front of them; I’m just not that guy.


We’ve got to be thoughtful and create our to do list of goals, makes notes in personal organizer, return emails, creates blogs, CREATE CONTENT, and CREATE PRODUCTS!

This, I believe, is my favorite thing on the list. I love creating product for my store.

I love the creativity I have to channel and the focus it requires. I love when something moves from idea or concept to product, especially, if I wasn’t able to create it during the tumultuous, busy school year.

Now, I cam able to spend time reading, checking, and enjoying my creations!

Do you guys like the creation stage of being a Teacherpreneur?

And last, the 7th THING: REST!

I have gotten to the point where I’m just going and going and going, not so much like the Energizer Bunny; but, seemingly without end.

Now, this summer, for myself, my friends and family, my TpT store, my Youtube channel, social media accounts, AND my students for next year, I really need to REST.

It’s gotten so bad I have had to schedule rests in my day. I swear…😊

We all need to have our family days, our Netflix and chill days, our lay in the dark – not necessarily thinking of anything days, our shopping spree days, our standing around at the gym not talking about anything serious days.

We all need to realize that this summer we are worth the time off! We deserve the time off!

And, those are the 7 THINGS I plan to accomplish this summer. I will let you know just how successful I am.


Are You Sitting Under the Shade of a Tree?

Learning from other’s hard work is key! Walking in the footprints of those who have paved the way for us is something that we need to do.

Let’s go ahead and enjoy what’s already been done for us in the past.

We have to be grateful for what we have, for how much less we have to do to be successful because someone else did all the research, the work, and left a legacy for you to follow.

It’s amazing how much we can soar when we allow ourselves to learning from the mistakes and/or lessons that we learn from being under someone’s “shade of a tree.”