1. You are the most interesting person in the room.
Savor the first week of school as students size you up and down. They are determining which teacher will be the weak fence they will jump on and shake for the rest of the year. They are determining which teacher will be strict and which teacher will be fun. Forget about the icebreakers. Double-down on who you want to be known as for the rest of the year! First impressions matter and first impressions stick.
Tip#1: Do not try to be the fun and/or cool teacher. You’ll be chasing your tail all year if that’s not true to who you are. Slap them in the face with school work (metaphorically speaking of course)!
2. You don’t have much grading to do.
You get to go home with some short paragraphs or essays about who students are..or you could simply have them fill out a flash card. If you are like me, you’d skip the paper trail and have them tweet or post on Edmodo their personal introductions.
Tip#2: Avoid the paper trail. It will follow you to your grave. If paper is a must, have students grade and or give each other feedback on their work. The paper does no good sitting on your desk, under a paper clip, or in a file.
3. Your administrators throw you the keys to the supply closet.
Need bulletin board paper? Need dry erase markers? Need post-its? Chart paper? Now’s the time to ask. (And steal a few while they aren’t looking.) They all want you to have a great first week so your wish is their command.
Tip#3: If they are already being stingy, go to my TeachTee Deals page to find out how you can snag some free resources. Otherwise you’ll be coming (bleeding) out your pocket the whole year.
4. You bring your lunch to school.
Over the weekend you cooked a fantastic 10-course meal and then cut up the leftovers to make a gourmet wrap alongside your fresh squeezed green juice since you are trying to lose weight. Pump your brakes, how long will you keep that up?? Soon you’ll be throwing chalk and erasers into your mouth as a snack.
Tip#4: Get a microwave and a fridge in your classroom. Stock up on healthy frozen meals.. Grocery shop during the middle of the week (research says Wednesdays) for the best deals. Stock up on fruits and vegetables. Keep your weight and stress in check by setting yourself up for success.
5. You talk to other teachers about non-school related issues.
How’s your son? How’s your back? How was vacation? Can I see the pictures? Soon these questions will be replaced with: How long will you be at the copy machine? I’m so tired of these kids. What do they want us to put up on the board again? Common Core what? When is the bulletin board due?
Tip#5: Teachers are people first! Treat each other with respect and kindness. You don’t know what lies behind each other’s demeanor. Help each other when you can and avoid throwing each other under the bus. Don’t lose yourself in the mumbo-jumbo.
Later, TeachTees. I love you :0)