The First Day of School

On the first day of school - smile. Yes, smile. Then smile some more.

Then smile even when you want to cry or freak-out. Making a great first impression will be the difference between a great year and a terrible one. Let the parents know you love to teach. Tell the children that you can’t wait to do all kinds of neat stuff with them. At dismissal, smile and tell everyone that you can’t wait until tomorrow (even if you never want to go back!)

Let the first day of school be fun, happy and exciting. "Hook" the children with something exciting - maybe a craft project, great music, or class pets. Make them want to come back again. Once you have them hooked, you’ve got a great start to the year.

The first day of school the children come in, the room is a blank slate. That day we begin to build, create, draw, cut, and formulate what the room will look like. I love to have the children draw self-portraits on the first day for their portfolios. These will go on a board. I have the children write their names and we add them to the word wall. This works in Kindergarten to middle school. Every child wants to “fit in” so help them fit on the first day!

Most schools have a supply list of things the children need to bring in on the first day. Be ready for a lot of “stuff” to show up at your door! My first year teaching I had no idea how much space 17 rolls of paper towels and 17 boxes of Kleenex took up. I was swimming in supplies. On the flip side, my aide last year made a quick spreadsheet with all of the supplies on it so she could just check off what each child brought in. It was a terrific way to see who still needed scissors or glue or whatever.

When getting ready for the first day, plan an outfit with comfortable shoes. You will walk more on this day than you realize. Preventing blisters is key. I like Crocs. I have had tons of luck with them, and they hold up well.

At the end of the first day, do whatever needs to be done for day two then GO HOME. Don’t stay at school until 9:00pm. You will just be tired the next day. Get out at a decent hour, eat a good meal, call your best friends and just relax. Be proud that you made it through it.

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