Tomorrow the kids go back to school!
While this is “technically” my second year teaching… it is my first “first day of school” since I had started mid year. Confession: I am so much more nervous for Monday morning than I was when I began last year! Maybe because I didn’t have many expectations last year… and neither did anyone else! I was experiencing a huge learning curve. This year, I feel like I am expected to know and understand it all. But, of course, I never know and understand it all! I have now had a (very helpful!) week of pre-planning. However, small to-do’s keep creeping up. My head is like a web and the more tasks that get stuck to it, the heavier it becomes, and I’m afraid it will simply wash away!
What’s on this interwoven to-do list?
Well, my classroom needs to go from drab to fab. I was fortunate to move from portable to classroom this year (and a large classroom, too!) however, I just don’t know how to make the most of it. I want the kids to be close enough to hear/see, close enough to work together, but spread out enough to have some personal space. I want the walls to be colorful and cohesive, but not distracting. I want my desk space to be both welcoming but also personal. The struggle is real! I see many classrooms trying to be everything all at one: serene, engaging, informative, encouraging, themed, organized. How can you do it all?! For now, everything I have is out of my own wallet, so it’s limited. Hopefully it is bright and cheery enough for Monday morning!
Next, I have to consider all of the academic content that I am there to teach! This initial part of the curriculum is new to me so I am reviewing material, lesson planning, working in a PLC and working on my own while trying to make sure we have active learning strategies, decent assessments and a logical flow of information. The biggest struggle I have here is considering the amount of time each activity will take. I tend to over or under estimate- with time, I should get better at this. (I hope!)
Then there is all of the “house keeping“. Checking out materials from the media center, technology requests, student accommodations, scheduling issues, paperwork, etc. It’s all manageable, but these responsibilities jump out at you all day long! And then there is basic “house keeping” in my classroom- do I want to assign class jobs? What is their seating assignment? What rules and procedures do they need to know immediately (like how will I battle cell phones, takis, and fidget spinners…)? What kind of introduction activities should we include?
If you’ve been reading along, chances are your head might be spinning in circles like mine, but have no fear! At the end of the day, it will all have been worth it. I do this for them. The kids. Some will already love science, some will struggle. Each kid is battling with their own challenges both in and out of school. Ultimately, my goal is that they make gains in science, but also walk away with an improved set of life skills, a positive attitude and hopefully they have grown throughout the year!
Tonight, I need to pick pack some lunches, pick out my clothes, paint my nails, and get some sleep so I can be ready for school in the morning, just like the kiddos! Here’s to my first “first day of school” in awhile!
Bring it on 2017-2018 school year, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!
Any great back to school tips? Share your secrets in the comments below!