Yes, you read right. Today was my 20th first day of school! That's:
14 first days PreK-12th
4 first days at Berry
& today was my 2nd first day as an 8th grade teacher.
I'm basically a Pro.
(Plus, I'm starting my Masters next month, can this year count twice? Hmmm...)
Obligatory first day of school pic. :)
I must say that it was a really great day! I was about a million times more calm than I was this time last year. I'm back to my it-will-get-done-when-it-gets-done self for this first day, which is much more enjoyable. My homeroom seems to be a good group. They were super quiet and followed directions well today (which is a good sign). I'm teaching English this year and I have two on-level classes in the morning, then two advanced classes and one team taught class (which means it has Special Ed students) in the afternoon. My team taught class has 30 now, YIKES (P.S.: I only have 28 desks). Then my two advanced classes are super small (17 in one and 10 in the other). My 6th period advanced has a lot of character. We played two truths and a lie and one said "I can solve a rubric's cube in one minute and 17 seconds, I own a Gecko, and I have 4 Fedoras." The lie? He only has 3 Fedoras... of course. I heart nerds, no really... I do. Time will tell with all my other students. I just love getting to know them all. So much personality and potential in each one!!
I DO wish I would have journaled or blogged after my first day last year! Mainly because I remembered some things I wanted to do from last year super last minute this morning! So, mainly for me (and hey if it helps someone who reads it, that's great), some first day tips from Mrs. L...
1) Try your best to be "down to business". I don't think being mean or even intimidating is the right way to describe the first day persona I want/try to convey. However, sending the message of "I mean business" is very valuable in the long run. This is honestly very hard for me because I enjoy being an encouraging/kind/smiley kind of teacher, but although I could never follow the advice of not smiling before Christmas, it IS true that you can always let up but it's very difficult to tighten the reigns after they have been loose.
2) Have written instructions on board and a seating chart when students enter each class. This year I wrote their names on index cards and placed them on the desks, and then had them give me info on those. Having students fight over picking seats and then sit and whisper for the first few minutes is just not a good first message in my opinion.
3) Most students are very quiet on the first day. Have constant activities planned in order to avoid awkward silent stares (especially in homeroom). This is likely the only day this will happen, enjoy it.
Here's to a great year!