Prior to the Start of the School Year

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This article is primarily geared towards the new teacher facing their first time “flying solo.” The quality of your preparation for the term ahead can make a real difference, not just on the first day of school but all through the coming months.

The most obvious thing you want to do is prepare your classroom. It is not always possible due to issues like last-minute cleaning by the schools’s janitors, renovations or refurbishments, or building policies. However, if possible, it can be greatly beneficial to spend time in the room before school starts. It will give you time to really “make it yours.”

I suggest you gain access to your classroom at least 3 to 4 days before officially reporting for work.

The point here is to give yourself sufficient time to organize, arrange, and decorate your classroom without feeling pressured. Also, you will want to organize procedures for issuing textbooks and the necessary forms to go home with students on the first day.

Take a seat in your “teacher chair.” Look around you. What do you see? When you sit down for the first time at your desk, the first impression can provide some important insights. How do you feel about the room? Does it feel comfortable, welcoming, and even friendly? Or is it sterile or forbidding somehow?

Do you have enough light? Is there a window, and does it open? What do you see outside the room? How far from the door are you? Will your students go past you as they enter and exit? Is there enough space? Can you shift your desk or reconfigure the students’ seating ways that will improve the atmosphere in the room?

Your classroom becomes your “home away from home.” You can put your unique stamp on it. It will subtly reflect your personality and preferences, whether you are conscious of your influence on the room. After all, you will spend almost as many hours here as at home!

All the best,

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Steve Hiles

I am a retired military and elementary school teacher living in Tennessee. I am an avid reader and love to write. I am very passionate about helping teachers. I hope you find my educational tips and strategies useful and enjoy hearing about my personal journey. Thanks for visiting!

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