Start the Year off RIGHT!

4:30 AM

It is HERE!  The start of the 2017-18 school year!

These are my favorite ways to start the year off right!

1.  Have a solid plan!  By that I mean make a list of all of the expectations you have for the kids.   Make a list of everything that you want them to know and TEACH THAT LIST!  For the whole first week I teach PROCEDURES, PROCEDURES, and MORE PROCEDURES!  We talk through them and act it out.  I make sure to compliment those kiddos doing it correctly as the week goes on.  If something isn't going right....  STOP and reteach that procedure.   The time you spend on the front end will pay off in the long run.  So grab some paper and make that list!

2.  Spend 5 minutes with each student during that first week.  Get to know them!  Ask them what they like and don't like about school.  I hold my new student conferences at my VIP table the first week.  You will learn a lot in 5 minutes and begin building a connection with them from day #1.

3.  Look at your classroom through the eyes of your kids.  Get on their level and see what they will see?  Are things organized and colorful?  Are things easy for them to reach?  Is it inviting?

4.  Get your parents involved!  Let them know what you need volunteers for.   I always making a class wishing tree for that first day.  Parents always grab a few leaves off the paper tree to donate extra supplies to the classroom.  (dry erase markers, stickers, pencils, bubbles, chalk, and toys for recess are my favorites)

5.  Connect with home that first week!  Send each family a hand written note about what a great day/week the child had in your class.  These notes only take a few minutes and really help build good relationships with your parents.  Plus the kids are SUPER EXCITED to take them home!


Organize your life at home before you go back!  Plan things ahead for the first two weeks of school.

That means easy simple meals.  Make one trip to the store and get everything you need!  Buy paper plates....  it OK and you will thank yourself when you aren't doing dishes!  Don't forget to think about packed lunches!  Start your year off with some fun lunches!

Complete all of your own kids school shopping before you go back.  Get everything labeled and packed up.

Give your house a good clean!  Or hire someone to do it for you!

Relax and enjoy those last few days!  Make sure that you can spend time with families and friends before the year starts!

I hope everyone has a wonderful year full of laughter, love, and learning!

Happy Teaching!

by Tracy Smith

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