School’s starting back up! Are you ready? For some of us, the -nightmares began weeks ago, starting with the dream that you slept through your alarm, and perhaps ending with the one where you stand in front of the room talking, but no sound comes out.When it comes to back-to-school, we’re giddy, weJul 29, 2019
School’s starting back up! Are you ready?
For some of us, the -nightmares began weeks ago, starting with the dream that you slept through your alarm, and perhaps ending with the one where you stand in front of the room talking, but no sound comes out.
When it comes to back-to-school, we’re giddy, we’re excited, and we’re maybe just the tiniest bit terrified. Even veteran teachers can get first week jitters! Here are our top tips for coming out on top.
- Over-prepare. For the first few days or weeks, over-plan until you find your rhythm. Having a contingency plan (or two, or three) might seem like overkill — until you find yourself with a group of students who sail through a lesson plan, leaving you with an hour to spare.
- Don’t skimp on the rules. This is one area where you’ll want to invest quality time in early on so you can reap the rewards all school year long. Use time each day to teach procedures in interactive ways, whether it’s how to walk in line, turn in homework, or manage cell phone distractions. Repeat yourself. Practice. Model. Do it again. Your classroom will run better for everyone when the expectations are crystal clear.
- Redirect when necessary. The beginning of the school year is the best time to help students build better habits. When you see incorrect behavior, take the time to address it. Then, model what’s expected. Don’t embarrass, but don’t let anything slide — students can easily default to thinking they can get away with it.
- Watch and learn. Observe your students as they work (and eat and play) in order to get to know them. See what choices they make and learn how they interact with each other. Studying students gives us insight on how to better teach them.Want to take it a step further by observing yourself? Instructional rounds are an invaluable tool for gaining a new perspective on your own practice.
- Practice empathy. The first days are tough for kids, too. Aside from the mysteries that are you and your classroom, they’re navigating everything from who to eat lunch with to how to handle a new routine. Take extra measures to establish an emotionally safe classroom and set the tone for kindness. You could even consider adding a mindful moment to the school day.
- Coffee, chocolate, and carbs. You can’t go from summer-mode to full-blown teacher extraordinaire without a little help. No guilt allowed!
Here’s to smooth sailing into the new year and improving your practice at every turn.