Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Return to School

Many schools in our area are beginning again and I thought it was a good time to remind teachers of some things. It usually is an exciting and busy time for teachers and I didn’t want some of these things to slip in at a bad time.

It is a good practice to contact parents/guardians in the first week. Usually, the students are on their best behavior now and I can establish a rapport with the families. It is worth the extra time to do this and I have never regretted it later in the year when I need their support.

Remember that many students may not have money to buy all the supplies that are on school lists. I wonder how many of these items are necessities and how many are luxuries. Be gentle with the ones who don’t have all the supplies and really check to see if they “forgot” or if they just couldn’t afford them.

Remember that many students have gotten out of the routine of getting up early and going to bed on time. For the first few weeks, some students might be a little cranky or out of sorts. (Some teachers may be this way too.)

Remember that traffic will pick up on busy roads so teachers may need to get an earlier start than they are used to doing. Parents may be finding this out also so students may be arriving late.

Remember that it may be some students’ first day to any school (some may have been homeschooled) or it may be some students’ first day at this school. Don’t expect new students to know the procedures. Also, a kind word and a smile might help their day go a little smoother.

Remember to check on the new students during the first day. Ask them how things are going or if they need any help. Make time to listen and probe if you feel they might want to say more but are a little hesitant to open up.

Remember that not all students come from happy homes so even though I might be glad to hear what some students did over the summer, others might not want to share their experience.

Remember that a routine can be comforting for some students when returning to school. This may be a time of anxiety and discomfort so establish a routine on the first day. Explain the routine to the students and be consistent with it for the first few weeks. Once established, I can tweak it a little.

What tips and tricks would you want others to remember as school starts? Please share.

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