This One’s For The 1st Year Teachers!

I was absolutely overwhelmed trying to figure out the nonnegotiable materials and planning I needed to accomplish while planning for my 1st year teaching as an 8th grade ELA teacher. I hadn’t had any prior practicums or experience with middle school, so that added an extra weight of worry about the drastically unknown.

Here is a list of what I view as my “must do” and “must haves” before starting your first year as a teacher. Much of what this list is comprised of I view as non-negotiables before every fresh, new school year!

  1. Reach out to fellow grade level colleagues (even as simple as an introductory email showing you are excited to get to know everyone and learn from some fantastic, experienced teachers.)
2. Create a class day-to-day procedure… how do want your average day to run?Reach out to colleagues for help with this and remember, everything is flexible/open to change!
3. Going along with #2… have some sort of idea of your GRADING system… how are you going to split up your overall grades? What does your school require in regards to grading?
4. Create a ‘Classroom Pledge’…..make your expectations and norms of your classroom brief and direct… emphasize the importance of the pledge and have the students sign it on Day 1!
5. Have a general idea/knowledge of content and curriculum, but only plan out the first 2 days in depth. The first week is hectic and I changed my plans SO much throughout each day, even. Don’t waste precious time (and the end of your summer vacation!) on unnecessary OVER planning.
6. It may seem silly, but plan to practice with your students the daily routine/procedure, even though they are not in elementary school! (Have the kids re-enter your room again multiple times and pretend like it’s a normal day…. what do they do? grab their notebook or their binder? What materials do they need out? Where should they look for daily information? What do they need on their desk? What do you expect of them and WHY! If you can help students understand your reasoning for everything and how it is in their best interest… that you CARE.. that will go a long way.)
7. Plan get to know you activities. YES! They’re cheesy, but ice breakers are important. My favorite is: Two Truths and a Lie. Check it out:
8. Lastly, have your students complete a Google Forms Survey in which you ask some “get to know you” questions AND give them an opportunity to ask you questions.

WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS TO PREP FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.. lets CONNECT!

*Be on the lookout for next week’s post! You will get to see my own classroom pledge and even a free copy of my 1st day, “Get to Know You” Google Form Survey!


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