Have they started yet? You know, those back to school dreams? I don’t know about you, but mine certainly have! This will be my 19th year in education and I STILL get those back to school dreams! I recently had the pleasure of training our new teachers on classroom technology and some of the tools we use in our district. The butterflies were going as I rode up to East Bridgewater Junior-Senior High School to meet twenty new faces. If you had watched my first twenty minutes, I stumbled quite a few times!
Although I am not a classroom teacher anymore, I still understand those nerves that many of you face. As a parent, I understand the little bit of heartache of leaving one’s kids after a fun summer together full of adventures, as I realize this time is fleeting. As an educator, I understand the stress and anxiety of teaching in a post-pandemic world (it is a little different). All of these feelings come together at night, and cause some restless, CRAZY, sleeps! However, what brings me peace is to let go of all that I cannot control and to embrace what I can:
Even though we all may be a bit nervous to face the year, we are also excited! LOOK at what we get to do – TEACH the future. How GREAT is that? It’s amazing that each year we get a fresh start! Another chance to try again, to improve, to grow! Not too many professions get that opportunity. I truly enjoy and love my job, and I bet you do too – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, right? When you start to feel nervous, reflect on how great it really is to work in education, to work with kids 💙💛.
Relationships are at the heart of what we do. Just think of all the new relationships you will get to make this year with students, families, and colleagues. Many of these people you will meet this year are going to make a lasting impact on your life, and YOU on theirs. I had posted this link previously, but I really LOVE this strategy of working to build relationships with students. Give it a try, I think it will pay dividends!
Forming those relationships with your students is critical to their success. Icebreakers and activities on the first day are a great start. Take a look at some of these ideas:
- Google’s “About Me” Poster
- Back to School Bingo
- Google’s “Get to know Me” Bingo
- 35 Conversation Starters
- Back to School Pear Deck (good for those quieter students)
As we start academics, I really like this article on feedback and building relationships with students through various instructional models.
Connecting with families also helps build the classroom community, as they are our partners in education! Sending a video or audio message with a picture is always a great way to introduce yourself, and will allow the parent/guardian to feel that connection with you. Screencastify, Mote, Flip, or Vocaroo are all great options to send video or audio! Search my blog for tips and tutorials on all of these tools!
Setting goals is something we all do at the beginning of the year, students too! Continuously revisiting these goals and monitoring progress will assist your students in becoming expert learners. Google is at it again, and developed a Goal Setting activity you could use with students on those first few days (and later revisit!). Check it out here.\
In Conclusion 💜
Focusing on what we CAN control will help us all to be better at what we do!
- Get Excited – you went into education because you loved it, and you still do!
- BUILD those relationships – focus on those in front of you those first few days and try to reach all of them – it can be tough, but I KNOW you can do it. Know ’em so we can Grow ’em!
- SET GOALS – for yourself, as well as for your students, and revisit them through the year!
Remember, I am here for you! Reach out anytime, and search the blog for other back-to-school posts if you need other ideas!
Take care everyone and thank you for your valuable time reading 😊