Preparing for The First Day of School

New Teacher Guide - Preparing for The First Day of School

You must be flexible and prepared to handle incidents when they arise in order to be a successful teacher. If you can’t handle interruptions in your daily routine you may have trouble surviving as a teacher. — Kelly McMahon


Before Your First Day:
  • Check your administrative manuals.
  • Get to know the school site. Introduce yourself to the support staff.
  • Plan your work carefully. There is no substitute for good planning.
  • Create a temporary seating assignment.
  • Prepare a welcoming, student-centered, engaging classroom environment.
  • Recognize that you will not know everything; ask questions of your colleagues.

Your First Day…
  • Introduce yourself and give students a short biographical sketch.
  • Establish a method for learning students’ names.
  • Share your expectations (PBIS Matrix) with your class.
  • Review, or develop with students, your rules for behavior with the rewards and consequences.
  • Rules should be written and posted in the classroom.
  • Display the American Flag.
  • Establish routines: Clarify your homework and makeup work policies with students.

That first morning:
  • Arrive early. Allow yourself time to greet colleagues, a get any last minute questions answered, review lesson plans, get ready to greet the classroom.

In the first few weeks:
  • Know where students’ files are housed so that you can consult them when needed.
  • Familiarize yourself with the timelines for students’ progress reports and grading deadlines.
  • Read over district/school policies and ask questions if something is not clear.
  • Become familiar with the procedure for special education referrals.
  • Make sure you have a substitute folder available.
  • Broaden your horizons…get to know people outside your immediate environment.
  • Find out the dates and the procedures for parent-teacher conferences.
  • Meet with your mentor regarding evaluation procedures.
  • Establish a method of communicating with parents on a regular basis.
  • Talk with your mentor about getting your licensure Professional Development Plan (PDP) process started.
  • Find out the process for requesting/purchasing materials.
  • Prepare a powerpoint presentation for Back To School Night.
  • Be good to yourself. Make sure you are eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
  • Take some time to reflect on your first month as a teacher.

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