Scotty and I are about a week into this school year…and we thought we would compose a “Top Ten” List for all the new teachers braving the classroom for the first time. In no particular order, we hope the list below helps you weather the ever-changing, stripe-earning rite of passage every educator must face: “The First Week of School.”
TOP TEN LIST FOR TEACHERS STARTING THE SCHOOL YEAR
- Make a great first impression. Kids decide pretty quickly whether or not they like you as a teacher, and whether or not they have to actually do what you say. Try really hard to keep the balance of being fun, positive, and nice (make them like you), while at the same time keeping a tight grip on classroom procedures (make them respect you).
- Don’t drink too much.……..water. We know your throat hurts, but it takes time for your bladder to get re-acclimated to the bell schedule!
- Make a seating chart and write it in PENCIL (it will change thirty seven times). Assigning seats makes taking role, learning names, and minimizing disruptions ten times easier.
- Have a “get to know you” ice-breaker in your back pocket in case you have extra time (it will look like you planned it all along if you need to use it!). Something that is fun and actually helps you get to know your students.
- Get enough sleep. Sorry, summer is over. Go to bed at a decent hour.
- Make a “to do list” and prioritize. The beginning of school is always overwhelming. Do first what needs to be done first. Take it one day at a time the first couple weeks of school.
- Get your copies made early if you can. Copiers have long lines at the outset of the school year and often fail when you need them most! Also, anticipate more students than your roster indicates!
- Relax. Whatever new and dynamic educational strategy is being implemented this year is important, but not crucial the first week. Relax and ease into it.
- Breathe. Be as prepared as possible, but realize that things will go awry in some manner or another. It is okay. You will weather the storm.
- Go home and talk with adults as much as possible! Sure, everyone stays later at the beginning of a school year, but make sure you have some time to unwind in the evenings.