Back 2 School: Advice as you get the Year Started

It is back to school time for me as I am sure it is for many other teachers out there.  This time of year is always exciting.  It's a clean slate, a fresh start.  New supplies, new faces, new activities.  The possibilities are endless.  

I thought it would be fun to share some words of advice.  A place to share some words of wisdom as we begin this new year...

Before I begin I wanted to share this video with you.  Have you seen it?!  I watched it on Institute Day and plan to watch it several more times because it just cracks me up!

I think we can all relate... ;)


Here are some tips I have learned along the way...

I learned this quickly as I started on my first day of Kindergarten.  These sweet kiddos are babies.  Some have gone to preschool, some have not.  You have to show them EVERYTHING.  A lot of times I like to model, then I ask a student to show us, then we all try it.  We also practice, practice, practice.  My first full day with my kiddos was on Friday.  I know on Monday I will have to revisit a lot of directions and procedures and on Tuesday, and Wednesday...You get my point. :)

My first year of Kindergarten I had these lovely baskets on the table.  Inside each basket there was enough glue sticks, scissors, dry erase markers, crayons, and pencils for each student.  I put the morning work down and I was confident that I was ready for this adventure.  The kids came in, they unpack, they start their morning work.  Things are going great!!  I'm thinking to myself, I got this!  I turn my head to do attendance and when I look back at my lovely little learners it turned into pure chaos in just a matter of seconds.  A group of students were using scissors to cut their paper into confetti.  Two students were using their dry erase markers to color their paper and table.  Then some other kiddos were rolling their glue sticks all the way to the top, gluing their paper, gluing their hands, gluing under the table!  It was crazy. Now I may have fabricated how many students were actually playing with all the supplies to prove my point, but you get the idea... 

I learned, and I learned fast that I only needed to put pencils and crayons at their table for the first few days.  Then as we used the different supplies and I had a chance to model and show them I would add the rest.  

I can't stress this enough.  It is important to keep activities short and sweet and incorporate a lot of movement in between.  Whether movement includes songs, Kagan structures, dancing, or just moving from their chairs to the rug and back.  These kiddos need to move and groove otherwise they get antsy and I do too!

Especially the first few days.  You are just getting to know your class and it's hard to tell how slow or fast an activity will go.  I like to make sure I have a lot of short activities just in case.  For the first few days I even write out my day like I would for a sub, just so I have an idea of times and what activities I should do when.  Plus, there are so many directions and procedures to go over I like to write it all out so I have less of a chance of forgetting something.  

 Oh man I can't stress this enough.  Be kind to your students, be kind to your colleagues, be kind to yourself.  Let's have real talk for a second...the beginning of the year is stressful!  I do not think it matters if you are a first year teacher or a teacher who has been teaching for twenty five years.  Remember if nothing else to be kind.  Your students will mimic your behavior and if you model kindness they will do the same.  I want my students above all to be kind to one another.  It is my goal to build a strong community in my classroom and I believe it starts with being kind to one another. 

Be kind to your colleagues.  These are your people, they get it.  As much as my sweet husband listens and tries to envision a day in the life with a room full of five year olds he does not fully understand.  Lean on your teammates, lean on your staff and support each other.  

Be kind to yourself.  Give yourself time to unwind and do things that make you happy.  You will be a better teacher for it.

Finally, I feel so lucky to have the job that I do.  I love working with my students and I love watching them grow.  You have to be in a job that is just right for you and you have to love what you do, otherwise you are not happy and your students will not be happy.  Not every day will be good, but there will be good in every day.  Just keep swimming! :)

Now it is your turn! Join in the fun.  Grab the slide below and type some Back 2 School words of wisdom.  Then link up to share.  I can't wait to hear your words of advice.  

Thank for stopping by!  Have a great start to your school year.

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