I love beginning a new school year! Coming back into the classroom feels like a new beginning for everyone–students AND teachers! And after the year that we have just had, we could all really use a fresh start!
At this time of the year, I always remember my very first first day of school as a brand new teacher.
I was terrified.
At my university, some students forego traditional “student teaching.” Instead, these students are dubbed “interns,” given their own classroom and students and teach a full year for half salary. We were provided with an on-site supervisor and a university faculty advisor to help.
It sounded like a great deal to me, but as the first day of school approached, I felt grossly underprepared. What’s more, I didn’t have a clue what to do to become prepared!
I remember sitting in a meeting with my supervisor and the other two ELA interns (the fabulous Angela and Laura, who became great friends). Our supervisor asked us if we had any questions. The other two ladies, I’m sure, were able to produce intelligent and helpful questions, but the only think I could think of to ask was, “What do we do if a student throws up?”
(I was not yet a mom and the thought of a tween losing his/her lunch in my classroom was abhorrent to me! Now, as a mom of four, I could probably handle… Nope. Still revolting!)
Anyway, our supervisor kindly laughed and happily reported that in her thirteen years of teaching middle school she had never had a student throw up.
I felt very relieved.
Experience is the Best Teacher
The first day of school finally rolled around. My classroom was decorated. I had fun activities planned for the first week of school to get to know my students. Admittedly, I still didn’t know exactly what I was doing. But, I had found some confidence from somewhere and was excited to get started.
Before the first period of the day had even started, a cute boy in my first class approached me looking a little green. He told me that he thought he was going to be sick and asked where the nearest restroom was.
I honestly didn’t know and started to panic that my irrational fear would be realized on my first official day as a teacher!
I told him that we would find a restroom together. We started walking out towards the hall, when, sure enough, the poor boy was sick.
After a few seconds of panic and trying not to gag, I called the office. The wonderful custodial staff took care of everything. It was unpleasant, but I learned very quickly how to handle the situation!
Some things you can only learn by experience! However, I wanted to help any teacher who is wondering what to do with students the first few days of school! That’s why I put together 7 FREE Back to School ELA Activities that Language Arts teachers can use to get to know their students the first week of school! Simply click on the link and follow the instructions to receive your FREE .pdf download!
What are your memorable back to school moments? I can’t wait to hear!
Brenna (Mrs. Nelson)