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Now, I know that there are a lot of free resources out there for how other teachers plan for their first day and week of school, but I’ve never found these plans very helpful because every teacher is different and has their own way of running their classroom.
Although it’s interesting to get an idea of how other teachers plan, you will develop your own way that works for you, and today, I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how you can develop your OWN first day and week of plans, inspired by your individualized classroom management plan and teaching style.
You might be thinking, “I don’t even know what my teaching style is yet."
That’s okay, because very soon you will - largely determined by how you’ve decided to lay out your classroom management plan.
This is actually going to be very empowering for you because you’ll begin to see how your classroom can run in an efficient (and fun) way.
It’s only by doing this work now that you will allow for some white space in your day, and create a huge margin for spontaneity and for fun and for all of those amazing projects we all want to do with our kids throughout the year.
This is the first step to creating that space, so I can’t tell you how happy I am that you are here!
Now, if you haven’t listened to the previous episode, Episode #17: How to Create Your Classroom Management Plan: Materials, Routines, Rules & Class Jobs, I highly recommend that you stop reading and go back to that episode so you can also download your Classroom Management Starter Kit and get started with creating your Classroom Management Plan.
Having a clear management plan is essential to having not only a successful first day and week of school, but to having a successful year.
Also, ensure that you have the PowerPoint slides ready that you created as you completed the Classroom Management Starter Kit for each of the routines that you want to teach before you dive into this podcast for the next step.
Now before we begin, I want you to start thinking in terms of planning for the first week, not just for the first day. Having a birds-eye-view of the first week of school will help you to take some of the pressure off of the first day because you will be able to see the first day within a larger context.
I remember that I made this mistake when I first started teaching – I put so much emphasis on ensuring that I was super well-planned for the first day that the rest of my week felt a bit frantic because I hadn’t thought it all through as carefully as I should have. I don’t want you to make that mistake.
Keep in mind that it is going to take you much longer than just the first day to teach your students the rules and routines in your classroom, so thinking about the first day within a much broader context will help to take some of the stress off of that butterflies-in-the-stomach nervousness we all feel prior to the first day of school!
Also, I’d love to see you get into the habit of planning for the entire next week one day each week so you can always feel ready for what’s coming up, so preparing for your first week is a great way to get started with this routine.
There are four steps to planning for a successful first day and week of school, and I want you to think about this process as a funnel that starts wide with big-picture planning, and then narrows so you can get into more specific details:
Go back to your Classroom Management Plan.
The next day, you will review all of these routines with your students and then teach one or two more, such as your routine for Name and Date on Assignments, How to Walk in the Halls if your class needs to go to another space in the school, and What to Do When We Finish our Work Early, as well as begin to teach your Class Jobs.
So in your Classroom Management Starter Kit, think through which day you will want to teach each of your routines using your PowerPoint slides, and be sure to make this an integral part of your first week plans.
Each day, you will want to review the routines you have taught the day or days before, and then add in any others you haven’t taught yet. Also, please be patient with your students as you teach these routines. They may seem like common sense to you, but this is a lot of information your students need to digest, so they will need time and consistent, positive reminders for how to get it right.
Again, if you haven't yet downloaded the Classroom Management Starter Kit so you can create this plan, get your copy now by clicking here!
One final tip for you – be sure to over-plan for your first day and week of school. Have extra activities and books on hand that you can read aloud to your students so that you always have something to do with them if any of your lessons are shorter than you had anticipated.
If you don’t use these activities, you can always tuck them away in your sub file to use when you are sick or file them away to use during the first week of school next year.
Now, I know that I’ve given you a lot of information, but taking the time to set up your classroom community in a way that students know how to be successful will keep you well organized throughout the year and help to minimize stress, and will set you up for success throughout the year.
I know that you can do this, and I am SO excited to hear about how your first week of planning is going and how it all went.
Just a Note: If you are getting great value from this podcast and blog, please go ahead and leave me a positive review in iTunes. I love to hear from my listeners and I am very grateful for your feedback! Just click here to leave your review now.
Finally, don’t miss next week’s episode and blog topic, where we will talk about how to do some of my all-time favorite activities for your first days and week of school – you really don’t want to miss it!
I hope you have a wonderful week and don’t worry – you’ve got this – and I’m here to help you, every step of the way!
Remember, just because you’re a beginning teacher, there is no need for you to struggle like one. Bye for now.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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