Thursday, January 9, 2014


Preparing for the First Week of School

One of my new mugs I received at Christmas

You can get your own!
It is funny how many students don't realize that teachers can dread the first day of school. For Christmas this year I got a new mug. I LOVE it. It has a travel top, but isn't aluminum (I just don't like the taste of coffee from metal). The mug contains the funny phrase, "Yes, I know they are mean to you at school and call you names, but you still have to go.... You're the Teacher!"

Now, I love my job. I love teaching. I love lesson planning. I even like grading essays! However, I HATE the first day of school.

I know that many teachers have their classes for a full year, but at my school (high school and university) I teach a new batch of students each semester. That means that every January I get the, "new student jitters." As I am sitting in my office trying to tweak lessons, toss them and completely overhaul a few things I have a knot in my stomach for the new students that will come.

I don't mean to imply that I don't like my students. I just get really nervous before the first day of classes. So, when I was catching up on some reading this weekend I decided to check out Wayne Sheldrick's, First Week of School.

I think a lot of the book is out of touch (it relies on teachers having their own classroom which for many teachers just isn't a reality), but the basics of setting down class management early is really spot on!

If you also have a new batch of students coming in on Monday, you may like to give his book a read. It is GREAT for new teachers, but I am sure even veterans will find a few new ideas (or just be soothed that they know exactly what they are doing). It loosened my knot a little by reinforcing some of the basics I believe in and reminding me that while the first week is important, it is pretty easy to prepare.

Most importantly, it is affordable (about $3), so it won't break the bank.

I still feel overwhelmed, but I know I will get back into the swing of things. What about you? How do you combat those butterflies?


  1. Really like the mug... will definitely be ordering one.

  2. I would really like to have that mug. How can it be ordered and how much is it?

    1. Hey Endre, if you click on the picture of the mug in the upper left hand corner, it will take you to a page where you can buy it on amazon.


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