Preparing for the First Day of School

It’s about this time each summer that you begin to smell the panic of teachers everywhere in the air.  Veteran teachers don’t want to go back to school and new teachers are terrified of the unknown.   Experienced teachers know what to expect and how to prepare for that dreaded first day, but in the interest of helping the newest members of our profession I’ve come up with some tips to prepare them (and the students) for the first days of school and beyond. 

 Any pre-k or kindergarten teacher will tell you that nametags are a must for the first day.  There’s nothing worse than having a lost child who can’t or won’t tell you their name on the first day of school.  I’ll never forget the time that a pre-k student stepped off the bus on the first day of school unidentified.  He didn’t have a nametag and when asked for his name he replied “Phat Daddy”.  It didn’t help matters that he had braids down to his waist and the face of a cherub so we weren’t sure if he was male or female.  He sat in the office all day until somebody came to pick him up at the end of the day.  His real name turned out to not be Phat Daddy- I know you’re shocked.

Another must is to have a parent orientation BEFORE school starts.   Most schools in my area prefer to have a “meet the teacher” event two weeks after school starts.   That might be fine for a 4th grader who is burned out on school and already knows the drill, but for a child entering school for the very first time it’s a recipe for disaster.  If your school doesn’t hold an orientation for pre-k or kinder students and parents before school begins, start begging for one NOW.   Better yet, just pretend the principal okayed it before school let out last year and start planning for one.  You will save yourself huge amounts of stress and headaches if you take the time to answer all the parent’s questions up front and explain every little nuance of school life to them.  Here’s the video I made to show my parents at our parent orientation. 

I have compiled all of the best tips for you here, on my Bootcamp for Teachers page.

What tips do you have for preparing for the first day of school?

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5 Responses

  1. Thank you for all the help you provide with your posts! I feel like you are writing them specifically for me, haha! I’m starting my new Pre-K lead teacher position in September and I can’t tell you how invaluable your site has been to me. Thank you!

  2. You got me laughing with the Phat Daddy story! 🙂

  3. I have had quite a few students with the nickname “Phat Daddy” throughout the years. They didn’t know their real names either.

  4. […] Personalized Business Cards: A must for Parent Orientation or Meet the Teacher Nights […]

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