Well rested teachers and pupils return from their Summer holidays with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Looking forward to the challenges of the new term and getting to know each other. Newly qualified teachers will be excited and apprehensive about organising their new classroom ready to welcome their new pupils. You have probably spent part of the Summer preparing and here it is the first day. Wow!
I think the biggest lesson I learnt when I first started out was to be adaptable. My class looked fabulous all ready for the children but then I realised that when 33 children were in there there was no space to pass between tables, where should they put their bags and was my desk in the best place. I became known as the mover – I would constantly spend a Friday setting up and changing the things that didn’t work so that when the children came in on the Monday it would be better. It’s a wonder the children recognised that it was their classroom! Of course it would only show up new problems and so we went on.
It was interesting for me when I became a Head Teacher as I would like to note how the teacher set up their classroom it told me a lot about them and their teaching style.
A few tips for that first day.
Tip 1:- Get the children involved in organising the classroom. You will be pleasantly surprised at their ideas and it also gives them a real sense of ownership. (remember you don’t need to use all their ideas! On that note my classroom would have had a chocolate fountain!)
Tip 2:- Label, label, label. This can help younger children and it encourages older children to replace resources where they belong. (remember you are not their parent so don’t do all the tidying up for them. If you take time to train your class to take care of their environment then they will.)
Tip 3:- Draw up a classroom contract to establish the rules and don’t be afraid to amend this as the year goes on. If you are building a community then get all the children to sign it but don’t forget to include your own signature. (this is your classroom too)
Tip 4:- Breathe, it will be okay, you have trained for this moment. If you are well organised and prepared then you will be able to relax and enjoy your class.