Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bon Voyage - The Opening Days of Your Journey

The first day of school is extremely important whether you are a full-time teacher or just stepping in as a guest teacher.  It is when the expectations, routines and procedures take root and form the framework for the year ahead.  Everything that happens in the classroom in the opening weeks should be about providing the atmosphere that leaves each student each day with a feeling of success and accomplishment.  Now is when the student is deciding to “care” or “not care so much”- if this year is going to be a positive or a negative experience.

A successful classroom takes strategic planning to build a community which cares for the social, emotional, and physical as well as academic well-being of each individual.  Students learn best when they feel they are a part of a community where everyone feels accepted collectively and yet supported and respected individually.

Remember back to when you were a student – what mattered to you, what made an impression.  For most of us it was the kind word, the positive attitude, the energetic style, the creative moment. It was the learning opportunity when we felt successful, the academic challenge when we worked hard and triumphed.  If you are in the classroom for a short time or an extended time, do your part to establish a positive tone, a collaborative community, from day one.

In the first week, activities for kids, that serve as “icebreakers” are a simple tool to get to know your students and for them to get to know you.  The internet is full of various icebreaker ideas - just make sure they are age-appropriate. 
What are your thoughts on the opening days of school? What are your tips for being a “pro teacher” during the first few days of school? Tell us here!

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