Things We Wish Someone Told Us Senior Year

Once you walk across the graduation stage, things change – whether you’re ready for them or not. Suddenly, all the structure vanishes. No classes, no extracurriculars, no early mornings or all-nighters, no unavoidable social interactions, no homework, no tests, no set path. You may already be 18, but the transition from high school to the vast unknown is a far more significant threshold to cross. That’s why the habits you form during the final few months of your primary education are what craft your young adulthood, whether you’re going on to pursue additional education, taking a gap year, or entering the workforce. 

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Spiritwear for the Ages: High School, Junior High, Middle School, & Elementary School

Looking back, we remember our first experiences with spiritwear at a young age, maybe before middle school even. Yet, it started to feel cool from middle school and beyond – like it was something to pursue. We looked up to our high school role models at the football games decked out in football spiritwear and school colors from head to toe, competing for the free shirt shots into the stand and overall just having a great time. We associated high school sport spiritwear with fun, festivities, and friendship, so it became our biggest goal to get as much as we could – for all age groups.

Elementary School Sport Spiritwear 

Let’s start with the little ones. They may be young, but that doesn’t mean your Pre-K-to-Grade-4 students don’t deserve some spiritwear just for them! You can make spiritwear bigger than just class or grade shirts, even when they’re only starting out at school. Fun graphics, bright colors, easy-to-read fonts – it’s all fair game! Some schools started traditions of shirt signings rather than yearbook signings, and having fun elementary school spiritwear for their classmates to sign and doodle on is such a fun idea. Sure, they’ll outgrow their shirts in a year or two, but this can make them more memorable and sentimental down the line.

Plus, younger kids love to find themselves matching with their classmates, as it gives them an automatic friend for the day while they’re getting used to constant classroom socialization. They’ll think it’s cool that someone else has the same shirt as them, whereas accidental matching isn’t so cool once they grow up.

Middle School Sport Spiritwear 

It’s not as typical in middle school to have the same volume of pep rallies and school-encouraged event attendance, but you typically knew what was up when it came to games and championships. In “collect-it-all” fashion, however, schools often hand out spiritwear shirts like candy, whether it be class shirts, club shirts, grade shirts, field trip shirts, athletics shirts, or prizes for fundraisers and class competitions. If you went out looking for middle school sport spiritwear, you’d find it. 

Even though your football spiritwear, basketball spiritwear, and beyond will multiply as you (or your child) progress through junior high and high school, don’t toss out the old just yet. There are several ways to repurpose old spiritwear, which we’ll get to in a second. 

Junior High Sport Spiritwear 

Junior high means something different for everyone nowadays. From housing a few grades to possibly just one, junior high is when things start to get more fun. This is when students are introduced to spirit weeks and more high school and junior high sports games. This is when steller athletes can make it to the JV teams, and those games tend to feel more legit than anything thus far (especially if you haven’t made it to an HS game yet). You may even see a pep rally or two, depending on how many students in your junior high take part in various athletic (or hey, even academic) activities. 

Often, junior high sport spiritwear is more reminiscent of high school designs, maybe using less youthful slogans, fonts, and graphics than anything you’d see in the younger grades. This makes the junior high designs more likely to transcend into high school, at least for a little bit before they collect their spiritwear from high school clubs, sports events, and other activities. 

High School Sport Spiritwear 

You’ve made it to the main event! 

High school is where it’s at in terms of school pride, participating in school events, and figuring out your young adult identity through clubs, organizations, and electives. There’s pretty much something going on every day of the week, regardless of what season it is – you just have to know where to look. If there’s not a club or organization for it yet, now’s the time to start your own! (Awesome application addition or resume builder, by the way.) 

It’s always a big thing for school athletics committees to fundraise by using football spiritwear, basketball spiritwear, track spiritwear, baseball spiritwear, and so forth before the seasons commence. If the team makes it to the championships, there’s definitely more sport spiritwear to come. It’s a fun end-of-year (or graduation!) activity to round up all your school spirit shirts to see how many you collected over the years, and high school athletics really add a spike to that number.

It’s not all about athletics and clubs, however; in some high schools across the country, there’s an unspoken tradition during AP testing season for individual classes to design their own shirts to wear into the test as a sign of class pride, which is a more niche take on school spiritwear. You can’t gloss over the academics – they’ve got their pride, too!

Don’t Discount Hand-Me-Down High School Sport Spiritwear 

Parents, do your kids have older siblings with spiritwear in boxes? The same goes for the students – do your older brothers or sisters have spiritwear just lying around?  Shake off the dust and let them see the light of day! If you’re wanting to stand out or show off your swag, “vintage” spiritwear is a fun way to go (and a great way to recycle middle school sport spiritwear and junior high sport spiritwear). It can highlight your family legacy at the school if you’ve been a “lifer” or simply shake things up from the school spirit shirts everyone your age has. 

If you don’t have them, don’t worry! Everyone’s legacy has to start with someone. 

What to Do with All Those Extra Shirts

As a parting thought, we wanted to encourage everyone to keep their keepsakes around for some heartwarming DIY projects. The go-to is a quick T-shirt quilt because you’ll have plenty of material to pull from. (We know of parents who like to do this as a graduation gift when their kid moves on to college or the workforce.) Similarly, you can turn your favorites into pillows.

If you want to do away with them all together but have them fall into the right hands, you can always donate them at school clothing drives (where they’ll be hot ticket items for sure!) or simply repurpose them into workout shirts, aprons, pajama pants, or even baby clothes.

Whatever You Decide to Do, Do It with 1st Place Spiritwear 

At 1st Place Spiritwear, we carry high-quality school spiritwear for everyone in your family – whether you’re a parent or a student-to-be. We not only carry the widest selection of school spiritwear for schools across the nation, but we offer unique virtual fundraising that’s streamlined, no matter how big or small the campaign. We carry 150+ unique spiritwear designs for all schools, and with all those design options, there’s something for everyone!

We sought out to make spiritwear you want to wear, utilizing the highest quality fabrics, original (and cool!) designs by leading T-shirt graphic designers, and easy ordering software with no minimum orders or catches. We didn’t want to be the cheapest option available because that tends to mean cutting corners somewhere, so instead, we sought out to be the best spiritwear company out there.

Check Out 1st Place Today!

The Importance of School Clubs and Organizations

What do you remember most about school? It’s likely not the tests, assignments, iffy lunches, or early hours. Instead, it’s probably your classmates, teachers, club events, and other academic organizations. Without those integral social aspects of education, school would be a one-note experience – all academics, all the time. The key to a pleasant school experience is to work hard, play hard. The importance of school clubs and organizations goes beyond just existing. It’s finding the right fit, knowing how to organize a school club, learning about cooperation and leadership, and more.

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Prepping to Go Back to School: A Student Guide

If you’ve been to your local supermarket recently, you’ve probably seen evidence of BTS – “back to school,” that is. Those yellow pencil boxes, buckets, and bins are likely filled to the brim with all the essentials for students of every age. Sure, summer isn’t quite at a close, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the next semester. 

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6 of the Best Ideas for School Spirit Day

We all know it – there are good school spirit days, and there are lame dress-up days. Students either go all out or don’t go out at all if they don’t like a theme. Whether you’re in charge of this year’s themes or you’re a student looking for some ideas on what to wear for your favorite school spirit day, stick around.

What Are School Spirit Days? 

Spirit Week is typically an annual event in which students (and staff) dress up schoolwide according to different themes, usually lining up with a big event like homecoming or a state championship of some sort. These week-long events are epic photo ops for the yearbook and school newsletters, so the more involved people get, the better. That’s why it’s important to pick good themes for school spirit days.

Unique School Spirit Day Ideas

Lookalike Day – Students can dress as each other (think: twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.) or like a character or celebrity. The options are pretty flexible here (and adhere to most of the reasonable dress codes) and don’t demand having a large friend group to pull it off. So, even our introverted students and faculty can figure something out with this theme, making it a different school spirit day than normal. 

Hobby Day – This can also take on many forms. You can rep your hobby through accessories, like carrying a ball or a prop around all day, or in the form of a band or theater production shirt to show your interest in those fields. It allows for variety since everyone has different hobbies. This can also be a unique conversation starter among students and faculty, promoting social interactions that may not happen if they aren’t wearing their hobby on their sleeve. Instead of doing “Clubs Day” as a school spirit day, we recommend using this idea to cater to more niche hobbies that may not get a school-sanctioned club. 

Classic School Spirit Day Ideas

Let’s go over some fan favorites, shall we? These are the themes that stand the test of time, as they are typically well liked across the board. 

Lazy Day – Often called “PJ Day,” this day gives everyone a chance to wear their cozies. Since that seems to be the norm nowadays, this should be easy for everyone. Slippers, sweats, eye masks, stuffed animals, and fluffy robes will fill your campus on this day because students of all ages enjoy a day where they don’t really have to get ready. Expect a lot of ‘is it nap time?’ questions, though. This is easily the most popular school spirit day because everyone can participate without feeling a need to go out and find something new. 

Crazy Day – Here’s another day that’s up for interpretation. Lots of schools limit this day to “Crazy Hair Day,” but we think the sky’s the limit when you call it “Crazy Day.” You’ll see funky, temporary colors and distracting styles that are typically discouraged, but it’s a pretty low-stress, low-budget, and universally liked day as far as school spirit days go. 

College & Career Day – It’s as simple as it sounds. Have students dress up in gear for their dream school or job! We think it’s best to provide options since nowadays, the undergrad path isn’t for everyone! Technical colleges and certification programs exist, which is where career wear comes into play. It’s best to do this school spirit day theme in the fall since acceptances and rejections arrive in the spring. This could potentially be a touchy subject among students, especially if attending their dream school doesn’t play out as they wished.

School Spirit Day The namesake of the affair is a classic for a reason. More often than not, everyone has come across a club, game day, or simple school spirit shirt during their time in your district. (If not, what a fun way to launch a new school spirit shirt design, right? Make it a schoolwide affair!). You can wear school colors, dress like your mascot, embrace the fun accessories – you name it! This is usually the last day of spirit week, so set it off with a bang, ESPECIALLY if you’re going straight to the game or match after school… 

Make 1st Place Spiritwear Your Go-To for School Spirit Day

Heck, it’s in our name! If you’re a school looking for a quick and easy school fundraiser, selling personalized spiritwear is a great way to go. Spirit week has the potential to bring people together and improve mid-semester slumps, let alone the surge of energy felt throughout the school, campus, or district during events like this. 

Interested in what we have to offer? Search your school to see our original designs made with your school in mind, or head on over to our fundraising page to learn more about our direct and easy, virtual fundraisers. 

The Best School Activities to Wear Your Spirit Wear

School pride is all about bleeding those school colors (figuratively speaking, of course), but there’s a time and place to rep your high school spirit wear, and a funeral or church is not one of those places. So, let’s explore a few creative ways to show what team you represent!

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What Does It Mean to Show School Spirit?

What does it mean to show school spirit? When you show school spirit, you show pride for your school and what it stands for – pride for the skills you’ve developed at school, whether that be integrity, teamwork, valor, creativity, athletics, intelligence, tenacity, or curiosity. Showing school spirit is not only pride but support. 

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How to Connect with Your Students: 5 Tips for New Teachers

Being a teacher is easily one of the most rewarding, yet intimidating jobs in the world – rewarding in that you get to help young students grow and develop in an academic setting, intimidating in that you may not know how to connect with certain students on a meaningful level. After all, no two students are alike, and you never know what you’re going to get when fall term rolls around. 

On top of the regular challenges of connecting with students, we’re now living in a peculiar time brought on by the novel coronavirus. Whether you’re a brand new or seasoned teacher, educating and connecting with your students is harder than ever. That’s why we want to go over our favorite tips for new teachers (and veteran teachers!) – some of which you can apply to this unprecedented time, some of which you can use when the world goes back to normal. 

5 Tips for New Teachers & Seasoned Teachers Alike

1. Ask How Your Students Are Doing

No person – child or adult – enjoys feeling like another unimportant number on a list. Sure, you might not have every child’s name memorized come the first day of school, but make an effort to learn the names and small facts about each student. Though simple, hearing their name is a signal to students that they’re important to the classroom, which in turn creates a safe space for participation and learning.

Teaching online this year? The same rule applies. Welcome each student by name when they tune into the virtual classroom. Ask how their weekend was. Initiate small talk to ease their minds. Remember, this form of teaching is unusual for them, too!

2. Ask How Your Students Are Doing

We hate to use the word “interview,” but essentially, that’s what we’re hinting at. You are around your students almost as much as their parents/guardians are, so you should be aware of what’s going on in their lives. Rather than heavily focusing on the parent-teacher conferences coming up, focus on your students first. That way, you’ll have substantial talking points for those one-on-ones with the parents. 

You can conduct these interviews however you see fit. Make it fun if you can sense discomfort from a student! Whether it’s virtual or in person, simply ask them about themselves: 

  • What are their hobbies? 
  • What are they struggling with? 
  • Do they have friends in the class? 
  • Is your teaching style meshing with their learning style?

The list goes on. From there, you can take what you’ve learned and carry it into the classroom, making the experience better for both you and each student. 

Plus, sometimes it just feels nice to have someone take an interest in you. Once you’ve crossed that threshold with your students, they’ll be more eager to learn from you. 

3. Make It Known You’re Available to Talk

It’s great when you initiate conversation/interviews, but what about when your students want to come to you? We recommend holding regular office hours. You can hold them early before school starts or in the late afternoon – either way, be available.

Office hours might be more traditional for higher-level students, so if you’re teaching younger learners, let them know they can always come to you during recess or lunch. You’ll be surprised at how many students take advantage of the “open-door policy.” Whether they want to ask you specific questions about an assignment, want to ask about your interests, or simply need a safe haven for five or ten minutes, be there for your students!

Again, if you’re strictly teaching online, have a virtual sign-up sheet available. It’s even better if you can make it so their names remain anonymous because let’s be honest, no student likes admitting they need to chat with the teacher (which we don’t understand; teachers are the best!).

 

4. Attend Extracurricular Activities Your Students Are Involved in

One of our favorite tips for new teachers comes outside of regular school hours. Due to the circumstances, this may look different for every school. But if you can, attend activities featuring your students! Again, this will require time outside of your set teaching hours, but it shows your students you care. Think about all the time and effort they’ve poured into these activities; whether it’s a school play, a soccer game, a debate, or an art exhibit, show up and take an interest in their interests. 

This will speak volumes to who you are not only as their teacher but as a friend! If you feel uncomfortable attending by yourself, link up with a coworker whose students are involved in the same activity. 

5. Wear School Colors & Logos to Show Your School Spirit

Last but not least, show your school spirit! If you really want to connect with your students, show them you’re on the same “team.” You care about this school just as much as they do! Whether you’re repping school colors on game day or just a regular day in the classroom, your students will take notice and find it easier to connect with you. 

Show Your School Pride with 1st Place Spiritwear

Want to go above and beyond? Choose 1st Place Spiritwear for your go-to hoodies and t-shirts! By opting for unique alternatives to traditional spirit wear, you can choose from over 200 original designs. This will not only make you a “cool” teacher, but it might even spark up a conversation with your students about your original, high-quality spirit wear!

Whether you adopt one or all of these tips for new teachers, we hope you’re better able to connect with your students. Virtually or in person, it’s 100% possible to build meaningful teacher-student relationships. It just takes a little effort and of course, a little school spirit. 

Where to Find High School Apparel

Whether you’re just starting high school as a freshman or you’re a senior nearing graduation you’ll be looking to enter this school year with the right shirts, hoodies, and swag to show your school pride. While you may already have a few places in mind, this comprehensive list may help you find the high school spirit wear that perfectly matches your style.

School Bookstore

The first place many students look to shop for school spirit wear is the school bookstore. This can seem like a great option due to its convenience and location. However, it won’t take long to find out that the swag at school bookstores is both overpriced and overworn. If you’re looking to be original you’ll want to look beyond the bookstore. What you will soon find out is that the swag at school bookstores are overpriced and overworn.  You won’t be an original getting your gear at the school book stores.

Retailers Near You

Another convenient option is to look at retailers near you. Lots of big box stores have a few options for high school apparel at locations that are near schools. Retailers will competitively price their merchandise to try to beat book store prices; however, the selection at traditional retail stores is slim due to prioritizing all the other products they sell.

Sports Events

At high school sports events, there may be opportunities to buy school merchandise including t-shirts. This is especially true for special games against rivals or for events like homecoming. These shirts are usually only worn once and are a fun addition to that particular game. To find out if your school event will have shirts available talk to someone in student government on a game-by-game basis.

Clubs

Like sports, many clubs like to have their own way of representing their activity in the school and community. Clubs like debate, FBLA, chess, or video games, might have special shirts they will order for their members once the club is organized. If the club you’re interested in joining doesn’t already have shirts, you may want to look at online stores like 1stplacespiritwear.com to get your club a unique school spirit shirt.

School Plays & Musicals

Shirts and merchandise are often sold during intermission at plays and musicals in high school. Shirts sold here are a way for students to help advertise their high school’s production and are also a fundraiser for the theater department. Buying a shirt at a play or musical is a fun way to show support for that specific production and department.

PTA Fundraisers

Often the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) will sell school merchandise as a fundraiser. You can usually find this high school apparel at events like parent-teacher conferences or PTA sponsored activities. The PTA may have some unique shirts you won’t find in the school book store or at a retailer. 1st Place Spiritwear has a way for PTAs to run a contactless fundraiser by selling school shirts online. If your PTA is interested in running this type of fundraiser, sign up here! A portion of each t-shirt sale will go directly to the PTA once your account is set up.

Buy Online at 1st Place Spiritwear

The best place to find unique high school apparel is at 1st Place Spiritwear. At 1st Place Spiritwear, you can browse over 150 designs featuring your school name, colors, and mascot. Choose from the coolest selection of school shirts, hoodies, and swag designed by some of the nation’s best graphic designers. The spiritwear you’ll find here will help you stand out in the crowd and help you be original. You’ll find shirts that look and feel great that will help you show off your school pride at school or wherever you go! Find your school here to start looking through the spirit wear you’ll actually want to wear!