The Survival Series - The First Day of School & You August 25 2009

I traditionally don’t sleep the night before the First Day of School. Even as a kid, I was too excited (yes, I’m that nerd). As a teacher, my brain was spinning, trying to think of anything I’d forgotten.

But even though I don’t sleep, there are a few ways I’ve figured out over the years that help me feel less nervous about that First Day.

Over Plan

I know there’s never enough time, but one of the worst feelings in my world is to feel unprepared, so I insured that wouldn’t happen. Instead of having one “Get to Know You Game,” have three. Make five extra copies of each activity sheet for that day, and plan a few extra activities. Consider that the first day activities may take a shorter amount of time, especially since your kids will have less tolerance for sitting and concentrating. Plus, you can use these extra activities in coming days and weeks!

Set Three Goals

Now that you’re over planned, focus on three main goals for the day. My first one was getting the kids interacting with each other and me. The second one was setting up classroom rules and expectations, which took a good chunk of time because it was a whole-group activity. The third was an initial art project, such as a self-portrait, to take us through the afternoon. What are your three main goals for the First Day?

Wear Plenty of Deodorant

Late summer is HOT! Dress comfortably (but appropriately, of course), and make sure you have a standing oscillating fan, especially for the afternoon.

Pack Food

A lot of it! I recommend healthy snacks. By 9:30, you’ll be starving, and it will be very convenient to dig in your snack bag for a bite. Also, bring plenty of water – after talking so much, you’ll need it!

Have a Happy First Day of School!