First day back to school is one experience every student has tasted at least once in his/her lifetime. Some students are excited about it while some others have this awful feeling about it. Whichever way, they must go back to school; But a child’s first day in your class can make or break their capacity for learning.
How may we plan well for that first day back to school?
I will try as much as possible to cover both new teachers and older teachers. New teachers typically look forward to their first day in school and of course, with great anticipation, I know I did. There is usually a mixture of excitement and anxiety in the hearts of new teachers. It is true they may have gained experience by teaching in a controlled environment under the tutelage of a supervising teacher; however, the responsibility of a classroom teacher is absolutely different.
Now, irrespective if you are a veteran teacher or a rookie, we are going to look at six salient tips on how to plan for the first day back to school. Follow me closely as I unveil them.
1. Get Physically Connected To The School And Environs
My very correct guess is that you have been away from school for a while and probably there have been some changes or upgrades as the case may be in various parts of the school. A quick visit to the school in about a week or few days prior to your first day back to school will do you a whole lot good psychologically. You’ll get a feel of the atmosphere as well as get acquainted with any changes or new technologies. From your observations, you can make a plan on what will be suitable for your students or what will not.
2. Get Your Classroom Ready For the First Day
Typically Admin gives us a few days to get our new classroom in order for the new academic session. Make sure you put in order your desks and seats the way you’ll want them to be for the academic year. My students have always loved the way I set up my classroom but its different all the time because I’m always changing it but the main factor thing is that it’s fresh and welcoming. Similarly, you can put some decorations in place – just a bit of spice. Put up wall posters relating to topics you would be teaching your students but not too much. Leave lots of space for the students work. This will excite most students and inspire the curious ones.
3. Prepare Your Lessons for The First Week
This is very crucial! A lot of teachers tend to “wing” the first week of a school session. By “wing” I mean; they play careless and attach less importance to teaching for the first week of an academic session. Don’t join them! Prepare, prepare, prepare. You can’t have too much. If you are new to the game, plan detailed lesson plans; giving yourself instructions on what to do throughout each class period. Do not forget to have a backup plan in the event that what you planned, fails. It doesn’t matter if it fails so long as you have a backup plan. In the event technology fails, have a backup plan, in the event, an extra student or extra students show up in class, have a backup plan. Basically, just be fully prepared.
4. Get All Materials For The First Day Ready And Handy
You definitely wouldn’t want to start the new session on a bad note or give the new students an ill impression about yourself or even give the school authority reasons to question your competence. Given that you want to make a good impression and start strongly, you should make sure you put together all the necessary materials needed for work before the first day back to school. These materials may include your textbooks, lesson notes, visual charts, wall posters, measurement tools, etc. “A hunter doesn’t go into the forest without his gun”.
5. Learn and Practice New Technology with ‘Jump Start’
You will agree with me that you cannot give what you don’t have. It is pretty much advised that you learn, practice and perfect new technologies you’ll be using to teach before the start of the school year. At the moment I’m working on a fantastic tech course called ‘Jump Start’ by Jennifer Gonzalez. It is a self-paced, online technology course for the thoughtful educator. Jennifer makes it simple and uncomplicated by guiding you through a series of hands-on projects.
‘Jump Start’ will give you the confidence and skills you need to make smart choices about the tech you use in your teaching. The course teaches you principles so that as tech changes you can maneuver the new software. I strongly encourage you to go look her up at ‘Cult of Pedagogy’. The Jump Start image has a direct link to the course. I am not being paid any referral for this recommendation, It is because I am enjoying the course myself. Jennifer is your perfect instructor and the materials are A+ at such little cost. You can, if you wish, receive a 40 hour PD certificate, if you have completed all the components of the course correctly.
Remember, some students are very sensitive and they will not hesitate to write you off if they discover you are not savvy with the technologies provided for you to work it. You definitely do not want to be a thing of mockery among the kids.
6. Prepare a First Day back to school Advice
A lot of teachers do not put this into consideration and that is inadvisable. Our students need to be motivated by their teacher; you may also choose to share some inspirational words. For sake of precision and also not to forget salient points, it is advised that you pen down a powerful first-day advice for your students. Try to grow their enthusiasm with your words, grow optimism in them too. Help them believe in themselves and imbibe the winning mentality into them. No room for mediocrity.
Additionally, try to meet with other teachers within or outside your school, find out what the preparations are, add those you think are viable to what you have already and trust me, you are in for a nice school year.
Wishing you a super amazing school year. Have fun…