Five Things to Keep in Mind on the First Day of School

One of the best things about education is that it runs in cycles. Just when everything feels as challenging as possible, there is time for rest and refreshment before a brand new restart. In other words, every school year starts with an immense possibility for the teachers, the students, and the community. As lazy afternoons, beach memories, and cookouts recede into the background, and the start of school is upon us, there are a few things to keep in mind to help this school be as successful as possible.

Let go of the past and start something new
As a teacher, there are inevitable highs and lows that need to be celebrated, reflected on, or amended, but it’s important that we embrace the cyclical pattern of education and start fresh with each new school year. Resolve not to rest on past achievements or to be a disillusioned teacher based on past events. Each year is new, and treating it as such allows the opportunity for greater things than you’ve experienced yet.

Set goals and stick with them
Of course, better things are not guaranteed just because a new school year starts. Set some goals for yourself this school year, and do your best to strive to achieve those goals. Not only can goals provide you an objective assessment of how things are going, but they can also guide your actions throughout the school year. Invest in the things that matter most to you, and put yourself in a position to have your best year yet.

Relationships are key
For all of our emphasis on learning styles, lesson structure, and assessments, it’s easy to forget that teachers are the most important thing that they bring to the classroom. The personal investment in students is often the differentiator between success and failure, and every teacher brings something unique to the table in this regard. For both students and teachers, this is often the most valuable aspect of education, and you should make it a priority in the first days of school.

Start with the end in mind
Whether it’s academically, personally, or professionally, nobody ends the school year the same way that they began. That’s a good thing. Before starting this school year, take a minute to envision the end. Consider what you want your class to be like when they leave, and then begin the hard work of pursuing that end.

Make a routine
Students thrive in routine, and the first day of school is the first opportunity to establish that routine. That includes things like policies and procedures, but it also includes the intangible, essential qualities of your class: enthusiasm, kindness, clarity, and purpose. Therefore, regardless of your first day plans, make sure they set they establish your routine and demonstrate your priorities. First impressions matter, and being intentional with this time helps facilitate all your other priorities. Of course, if the first day doesn’t go as planned, don’t worry. You still have plenty more to go before summer break.

Are you ready to dive into the new school year? While the seasons are changing, and teachers and students across the United States are heading back to school, the distinct feeling is in the air that it is time to buckle down for another year of hard but rewarding work. So why not get started the right way with Kami? To kick off this school year, Kami is offering Buy 1 Get 1 Free on the Kami Teacher Plan.

To redeem now, click here and select “Teacher Plan ($99)” to purchase.

Bill DeLisle
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Bill DeLisle is an English teacher and writer. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two kids.