When I sat down he started telling me the 'new' rules, and how we couldn't possibly participate in the National Geographic Geography Bee because there could be no time spent on anything other than book learning. I of course flew out of the room upset and bumped into one of the bright, young, cheerful teachers with whom I work. She was wearing this cute little tie die sundress with a skinny yellow belt and was trying to console me.
I awoke with a start and realized three things:
1. The bright young teacher moved out of state last year & would NEVER wear tie die....
2. The principal in my dreams was older & our principal is quite YOUNG!
3. These SCHOOLMARES are starting earlier and earlier .
Usually my Schoolmares happen during the last week in August, but
I'm thinking they started earlier this year because we are getting a new principal. As exciting as this is I'm a teensy bit nervous. Much like I imagine the students might feel who are coming to me this year. So thinking along those lines I know I will do everything I can to make my new students feel comfortable. So too, I envision my new principal will do for his staff.
Just so you know....Teachers are nervous too! And not just because they are getting a new principal. Here are some reasons I get butterflies in my stomach when school starts:
- I'm nervous the kids will be nervous.
- I'm worried I haven't gotten everything ready - my room, student name pieces, work plans, etc.
- I'm thinking about ALL the things that need to be accomplished (instead of breaking items into smaller more manageable chunks).
- I'm hoping that the kids will like being in fourth grade, and that I'll be able to expose them to many wonderful learning experiences.
- I'm trepidatious because I know families entrust their 'gold' to me, and I want to make sure they are treated respectfully and with kindness.
- Getting to know one another - we will be doing all kinds of activities to get to know one another. I take time on the first day of school playing a name game so students and teacher learn each others names. We will learn about little facts about each other through a scavenger hunt. There will be more "getting to know you" activities throughout the week.
- Getting to know the classroom and school - Students will spend time doing a scavenger hunt around the room (and school)to become familiar with the layout. They will look for the class schedule, the pencil sharpener, their names in several places, the homework basket, the important paper file, the math manipulatives etc. Students will work together to create class rules and learn about Citizenship.
- Read Aloud - I usually read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes, but this year I may want to read First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg which is about a teacher who is nervous and read Chrysanthemum on the second day. These will be used to introduce my Daily 5 reading mini-lessons. Yes, we start on the first day of school!
- Modeling and Practicing Routines: Establishing routines through modeling and practice gives the students a sense of structure which makes them feel safe and sets the tone for the year. These will occur during the above activities as well as others during the day.
- Start Learning Right Away: We will begin our lessons right away. The students will see that our class is a place of constant learning (which again sets the tone for the year).
First Day of School Resources:
Busy Bee Activity Page: This page contains activities and ideas for the first day and weeks of school.
I Love That Teaching Idea: Several activities to help with the start of school.
Lesson Plan Page: Back to school tips, lesson plans and resources (with grade levels)
AtoZTeacherStuff: A list of 33 sites that provide links to resources for the beginning of the school year.
top photo credit: bitzcelt via photo pin cc