I would imagine that every year no matter how much time I put in over the summer, I will feel a bit unprepared as the first day of school approaches. I also know that there are 210 7th graders that are probably feeling just as uneasy and nervous as I am. I am rereading some of Harry Wong’s First Days of School. Which, I am sure will become a yearly habit, thinking about what kids want…. and need to know on the first day of school. Here is his list.
• Where am I supposed to sit?
• Who is the teacher as a person? • Will the teacher treat me as a human being? • What are the rules in this classroom? • What will I be doing this year? • How will I be graded?
As simple as these questions sound, they can be terrifying to a new student in a school full of 1450 kids. The funny thing is, there are 500 other scared seventh graders wondering the same things.
My advice for the first day:
- Don’t stress about the small stuff. Millions of students have gone through the public education system and figured out how to open their locker.
- Make a good impression for everyone. I’m not saying be fake, just put your best foot forward.
- Pay attention. A lot of policies and procedures will be discussed the first day, you should know them.
- Don’t worry about memorizing any lunch numbers or locker combinations (Gym or School), those will come in time.
- Smile. As a teacher, there is nothing better than a smiling student.
- Be Kind. I love Conan O’Brien’s thought on kindness after the entire NBC fiasco.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. As proof, let’s make an amazing thing happen right now.
As a teacher, I can’t always promise that things will work out the way you want them to, but If you are kind, you will have more people listen to your side of the story.
I will see you at school.