Starting the School Year and Every School Day on the Right Foot!

9:22 AM

Happy September!  By now, we're all back at school, and it's a new beginning ~ a fresh start to a new school year.  Every year I start with such hope that I'm going to improve my teaching just a little bit every day.  That's why I'm popping in today with some ideas on how to make each day a new chance to get it right!


The ideas I'm sharing are ones that I try to follow myself.  I've been a teacher for 20 years now, but I feel like I'm always learning every day because every day truly is a new adventure in the classroom.

Keep Bulletin Boards Simple

Buy fadeless paper to back your bulletin boards.  I buy a neutral color - usually yellow - and a colorful and neutral border.  This way,  the bulletin board is all set to display rotating student work samples or whatever you have designated for that board.  On my big bulletin board, each student has his/her own piece of fadeless construction paper with his/her name on it stapled onto the bulletin board.  My bulletin board is then all set for the year while the work samples get rotated monthly (that's my goal any way). 

Here's a sample of my main bulletin board:

To make life easier - I keep my bulletin boards easy to change out.  In September, we always make these pencil and apple books for Back to School Night.  Also, I'm often able to keep the bulletin board background paper for several years.

Hello, there!

Always greet each student every morning.  I learned this in the Harry and Rosemary Wong book - The First Days of School.  I stand out in the hallway and say good morning to each student and do a quick check-in.  I want the kids to feel welcome at school, and it's also an opportunity to get an idea of how each student is doing that day.,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

I'm sorry....

Never be afraid to say you're sorry.  Some times, I've gotten upset with a student or said something hurtful - it's difficult to admit this even now.  I do think it's important to follow-up with an apology and a private chat.  We are all human after all, but we do make mistakes and need to model the behavior we want the kids to follow.

Find a trusted friend and/or mentor  

Find another teacher in your building with whom you can discuss any issues you're having.  It's so important to have someone in your corner - someone who can listen to you; empathize with you and/or advise you.  I still depend on my teacher friends.

Most importantly, stay away from gossip and drama with other teachers, and especially the parents.  For many years I cared for my father and was laser focused on teaching and my students while I was at work.  It makes life so much easier when your colleagues respect you and know that you can be trusted.

 Every day is a chance to get it right.

Make every day a new chance to try again.  This is one of the best parts of being a teacher - if you need to change something - there's always tomorrow when you can try something different until you find what works best.

Everybody has something they're dealing with.

Be accepting and understanding of each student.  This is easy to do when the students are all well-behaved, but sometimes kids have bad days, and we need to try to help them through it.  It helps to have empathy - everyone wants to feel understood.

 In closing...

There is a person at my school, Mrs. Perry, who has a kind-heart and never says anything bad about anyone.  I always say, "I want to be like Mrs. Perry when I grow up."  Do you work with or know someone like this?  

Please let me know if you have any routines or ideas to share to make every day a little bit better.

by Susan K.

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  1. What a wonderful post. I've modeled saying "I'm sorry" many times over the years. Not getting involved in gossip, drama, and complaining is so imporant too. I feel like I need to save this post to read periodically as a reminder. Thank you!
    Laughter and Consistency

    1. I agree. Saying sorry is a life skill that is difficult for kids and adults!


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