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A Top 10 List of Back-to-School Memories That Was So Good It Became a Top 20

A Top 10 List of Back-to-School Memories That Was So Good It Became a Top 20

Teachers  |  Classrooms

Do you remember that feeling of walking into your new classroom each year? That moment when you first met your teacher and classmates who you would spend so much time with over the next year? As we at Education Elements reflect on our school days, it seems that many of our school memories from 30 plus years ago are the same moments our own children look forward to each back to school season.

In talking to our Education Elements team of former students, teachers, and parents, our back to school memories had us smiling, laughing, and feeling nostalgic. Our conversation and plans to capture 10 back to school memories quickly became a list of 20.



Year after year (for the thirteen years between K and 12th grade) people engage in some of the same activities as they prepare for the back to school season.

  • We always went out as a family the night before dinner to get ice cream, talk about our best memories of the summer, and what we were excited about for the next school year - I'm continuing this tradition with my kids.
  • The start of the school year always meant the return of my favorite food item-- fruit snacks! My mother refused to buy these during the summer but my sister and I could always convince her that they were an essential school snack.
  • Back to school clothes shopping was my favorite! My siblings and I would each get one special day to go out to lunch with our parents and pick out a few new things. I always loved picking out a new jacket and backpack.



There is no doubt that the moment stores start to display notebooks and markers that the return to school is coming soon!

  • Organizing school supplies for back to school! No dull pencils; no broken crayons; no loose papers - just a well organized backpack.
  • Covering my textbooks with paper bags and getting my trapper keeper ready with all of the sections! Learn how to do that here!
  • Clapping the chalkboard erasers together with teachers outside as we made sure our classrooms were sparkling for the new students.
  • I spent just about every Monday morning scouring the Target dollar spot for book bins, stickers, and other classroom supplies. 
  • I remember countless trips to crafts stores and teacher supplies stores to make sure I got my room just right. Coming up with the theme for the bulletin board outside my classroom was always a big decision!
  • Right around the end of July I started to get so excited to head back to school. That feeling was always marked by getting a new teacher planner and planning out the first few weeks!

Quote from Jill Thompson

Final Preparations

There are a few things that always need to get done in order to feel “ready” for those first days back!

  • I remember memorizing my schedule and mapping out when I would be able to stop at my locker to switch out books!
  • Picking out my first day of school outfit. We wore uniforms at my school, but not on the first day so it was extra special!
  • I remember looking over my student rosters again and again, willing myself to memorize every name before I even had a face to put to it, so every student would feel known and important.
  • I could sleep in over the summer so a few weeks before school started my parents would start having me wake up earlier. The excitement of returning always started to seem real when they would use the words “it's a school night.”


First Day

The first day brings about so many feelings for students, teachers, and parents alike. It is a day that sets the stage for the great year ahead!

  • Subscribe (1080 x 1080 px)I remember my mom taking the requisite awkward first day of school picture of my brother, sister, and me every single year from K-12.
  • Dropping my younger sister (and a few years later, brother) off at the lower school campus and feeling so accomplished at the task and proud of them and myself.
  • Meeting up with my best friend at the front of the school and walking in together - we did this every year from 1st grade to 12th grade!
  • I loved getting on the school bus that first day and seeing all of the parents wave goodbye. We loved to see who else was on our bus route that year. I always hoped my new bus would like the Magic School Bus.
  • I loved the surprise of opening up my lunchbox to find a note from my mom and a special back to school treat
  • My family always ate a special dinner on the first night back and we would share all about who was in our class, our teacher, our desk assignment, etc.
  • I was always so excited for that first night of homework and getting organized at my desk. I can’t say that excitement would last all year long, but the idea of having a routine back was always nice!


Have a back to school memory to share? Let us know @edelements #back2school2023

About Megan Huneck D'Ambrosio

Megan Huneck is a Senior Design Principal on the Design & Implementation team, collaborating with district and school leaders to develop and implement personalized learning initiatives. Prior to joining the Education Elements team, Megan taught for six years in Arlington Virginia Public Schools (VA). While teaching, Megan was chosen to be a member of the LearnZillion DreamTeam where she facilitated engaging blended professional learning experiences for Syracuse City School District (NY) instructional leaders and teacher leaders.

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