Tomorrow is my first day of school!
I’m thinking about class culture, setting the tone, and practicing procedures with my kids. I’m pretty nervous, but that’s okay. I’m excited too.
Here’s a video I’ve found helpful and maybe other teachers will as well!
This the kind of thing I would have been really uncertain about my first year – especially since I teach high school. The kids in this video are clearly in middle school. My line of thinking used to be – “I don’t have to be that strict with h.s. kids. They already know how to behave. This will seem silly to them.”
Whether or not it seems silly to them, having high school kids practice what you want them to do and HOW you want them to do it in the first weeks of school is crucial.
Yes, most high school kids will behave really well on the first day of school, because they don’t know you and they’re a bit nervous.
But fast forward three weeks and you will wonder why it takes you 5 minutes to settle your kids down every day. You’ll be frustrated. You’ll think: “They know better!”
When really, it’s your fault.
If you don’t show your kids from day 1 what your expectations are, you have no right to expect them to read your mind.
I try to tell my kids that I’m super strict in the beginning of the year, and super clear about expectations (especially no talking at the beginning of class) because I care about them and I want them to learn.
Keep it simple, people. Remind them that you care and then tell them what expect from them. Students rise to expectations.
By the way, the video above comes from teachingchannel.org, a website I have found very helpful. Yes, it’s super aligned to the Common Core (for good and for bad), but the teachers are great and share some wonderful ideas for all grade levels and subjects.
Check it out!