Five Ways to Start the Year Off Right

As the summer winds down and the new school year approaches, kids are picking up their school supplies, and teachers are emptying the teacher’s store as they select room decorations. It’s fun setting up new bulletin boards and organizing the room for incredible activities. However, before making everything look immaculate, there are some things you will want to take care of first. Harry and Rosemary Wong’s iconic book,The First Days of School, is the definitive guide to these crucial days; this quick guide will help you begin thinking about what you’re going to do when the kids arrive to ensure that you start the year off right.

Set the tone
What kind of classroom do you want to run? In many ways, you will determine this from the first days of school. Of course, you can continually make adjustments (and you should!) throughout the school year, but the tone you set at the beginning is the one that you will be working with for the rest of the year.

Focus on the Routine
The academic content that you deliver on the first day is unlikely to have a significant impact on your class’s success at the end of the year. However, failing to establish routines from the very beginning can have devastating consequences for the remainder of the school year. Use the first few days of school as an exercise in routine, and your classes can flourish throughout the year.

Establish the Rules
Effective classroom management is built upon the foundation of clear expectations and established rules. Outrageous behavior and ostentatious reactions often result from unclear expectations and passivity. By defining and establishing classroom rules from the beginning, you are putting yourself and your students in a position to be successful this school year.

Cover the Basics
Before you can truly be effective in your classroom, you have to know who you are teaching. I don’t mean their academic skills or their personal learning styles; I mean their names. Start the year off right by learning your students’ names so that you can approach them on a personal level and begin the hard work of achieving all that you want them to achieve this school year.

Find the Joy
While teaching is certainly one of the most challenging professions, it’s also one of the most rewarding. I’ve yet to meet a teacher who settled on education by accident. Instead, everyone has a story that motivates their professional pursuits, and it’s important to remember that. I’ve known a lot of teachers who still love their profession and are passionate about their work. In every instance, these teachers were not motivated by fat paychecks, public acknowledgment, or vain altruism. Rather, they continually find the joy in what they are doing by remembering their purpose and embracing their story. All of the tangible first-day advice is important, but so is working with joy and purpose.

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
Share this:

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