My first week of school has officially ended and I’m so happy to say it went really well. I have been dreaming, no- “nightmaring” about this week for months (I’m a worrier). So to finally have it behind me, with no major problems, is truly a thing to celebrate.
I honestly don’t think my first week would have went as well as it did had I not read, “The First Days of School” by Harry Wong. I wouldn’t have set up procedures and consequences and I wouldn’t have spent time practicing them. However, because I spent time this week on my classroom expectations and consequences, I can already feel a positive classroom culture growing. I’m a little hesitant to begin the “yay me’s!” because maybe the students are on their best behavior for the first week of school…but I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and stick to my behavior plan!
Here’s a quick rundown of my first week:
On Wednesday morning I greeted the students at the door with a big smile that I hoped said, “I’m not nervous!” I introduced myself and included some things I like, such as chocolate ice cream (which seems to be the one thing everyone remembered) and traveling. I also showed them my embarrassing 5th grade photo that read “Future Goal: Teacher” (awwww). In the afternoon, I read the book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”, explaining to the students that you can love Dr. Suess no matter how old you are, because his messages are relevant at any age. This book is one of my absolute favorites; it’s all about new beginnings, taking chances, and overcoming difficulties- perfect for the first day of school!
On Thursday, I gave the students a worksheet with questions like, “What color is the inbox?” and “What happens if you forget your passport?”, to see how much they remembered from the day before. They worked together in groups and I was pleased to see that they remembered almost everything. I then had them create a poster with their group showing what one of my Classroom Expectations (Respect, Responsibility, Participation, and Hard Work) would look like. If they didn’t remember the expectations before, I’m sure they will now!
On Wednesday, I had the students write a short story about a quick trip to their dream destination (we all had one picked from an ice breaker the day before). The kids came up with really interesting events, like a monster in the hotel room, that would happen on their trips . In the afternoon, we set reading goals and life goals for ourselves and then checked with a partner to make sure they were S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound). I really enjoyed hearing everyones life goals, they all have such big plans and great ideas! A few students made their reading goal “To like reading”, and we all agreed that while it wasn’t measurable, it was still a good goal to have. I really hope I can help them reach that goal!
Overall it was a great first week (err…three days), but my one complaint is how badly my feet hurt by the end of the day! Does anyone have any suggestions for comfortable, but work appropriate, shoes? S.O.S.!