As we leave the summer behind, we might feel a little melancholy back in our classrooms. We know early mornings, long meetings, and tiring days await us.
After a few weeks, we will have adjusted to the rigor of the school year. But what can we do now to make these first few weeks more fun? Here are two strategies that have worked for me: 1) focus on the kids and 2) provide fun, engaging lessons.
I care about children. I’m sure you do too. So “focus on the kids” might seem obvious to you, but here’s more of what I mean. As I prepare the classroom, place nametags, and examine records, I try to get a sense of the child, like imagining a baby using only an ultrasound portrait.
Imagine what each child might become in your capable hands. Focus on each name and school picture and you will bring them closer to your heart. Once they’re physically in your classroom, you are reminded children are the purest and most genuine humans around.
Now for the fun stuff! Get creative in thinking of your beginning of the school year lessons. There are so many great resources to use to motivate kids, and ourselves, this time of year. Summer may be over but the fun of fall has just begun.
Seasonal Centers. Centers are an extension of our lessons. I created a Fall Poetry center that uses text-based questions to get my kiddos engaged and thinking about theme and author’s point of view. They also create their own poem about fall.
Close Reads. What better way to enjoy the season than to read about Halloween creatures like zombies or mummies? If Halloween feels overdone to you, try this one about going back to school in A One-Room School House.
Growth Mindset. Don’t forget to begin the year off right with the use of a growth mindset. Using close reads, reinforcing with posters, and continually using effort rubrics will get your school year and the fall season off to just the right start!
Yes, we’re getting up early and get tired from being on our feet all day. Being a teacher has its own rewards. We get to play with fun and creative lessons every day AND receive the joy of smiles and hugs.