If you are anything like me, I need a checklist to make sure I have everything done for that magical first day. And knowing that I will not sleep at all the night before, I must be of sound mind all of the days leading up to it to make sure things are the way I want them. So, here is my checklist:
- Classroom is arranged in a manner conducive to learning (and for building a community in the early days of the year).
- My walls are bright and welcoming, with great examples of student work and select motivational posters scattered throughout.
- Learning expectations and classroom rules are posted and are clear for student understanding.
- The syllabi are printed and copied for each student, detailing my expectations, rules, and an outline of the year. An explanation of my course is also provided, as well as a note to parents that must be signed and returned.
- Student examples of my first assignment are laid out for me to show as I assign the homework at the end of the first class period. It won't kill them and it helps get them off on the right foot!
- A bottle of Lipton Green Tea is sitting on my desk with a few assorted snacks next to it. I know myself, and from years of experience, I know that I will not take the time to eat lunch. I'll be too busy working to make my classroom look perfect for the next group coming in, so I must have some nutrients on hand. More importantly, knowing that I will talk way too much on the first day, that green tea may save my voice from class to class.
- And on the night before, knowing there is no sleep ahead, I grab my copy of my book. It reminds me again and again why I go through all this stress every year. It reminds me what my "job" is all about. And most importantly, it reminds me why I love all of it - tomorrow the kids will come! And no matter what age they are, they are your kids and will be your bright, shining stars for the coming year.
Have a great school year!