What’s your best piece of advice for getting your classroom ready for the start of the year smoothly and/ or quickly?
Kimberly, OC Beach Teacher:There are so many amazing ideas from Pinterest and professional development workshops, that sometimes I get overwhelmed with all of the possibilities for my classroom. As a result, I’ve learned to follow the adage, “Don’t fix what ain’t broke.” I may try to incorporate one or two new ideas as I set up my classroom and plan for my semester, but I know that if I do what has been working in the past, I will be fine. This really helps me to relax and get ready at the beginning of the school year.
Ellen Weber:Gosh, to start the year off well can drive wellness for the entire term. For that reason, I’m quite deliberate to build a hands-on approach that offers new learning adventures to all. First, we prepare our learning stage together for a whole brain approach. That way, we’ve built cohesion we need to roll out multiple intelligence learning tasks that represent specific student strengths. For instance, our wall gets covered with student endings to the sentence, “I learn best in a community that … ” Once the course curtain goes up, if the stage is set collaboratively we now have a better chance of pulling off our play together.
Clair, High School English on a Shoestring Budget: My best advice is planning and/ or back up planning. I spend a lot of time planning out the first weeks of the school year (and down to the main chunks of the first days.) Not only do I have my primary activities, but I have several ideas and materials for backs ups. Sometimes my students work really quickly on a project that last year took all class period. Sometimes I adjust a project based on the make up of my students or even how crowded the room is. Sometimes my students are so resistant to an activity (say anything with class discussion or movement) that I change plans to an alternate activity upon wrapping up the challenging activity. These backup plans, I think, help me keep expectations high while still adjusting to THIS class makeup.