Sunday Panel: Advice for New Teachers for the First Week

Sunday Panel StickyWhat is your best tip for the first week of school for new teachers?

profile pic2Tara, Science in the City:The first week of school is always fair game for anything. Kids coming in late, or upset, or missing buses, assemblies without advanced warnings, late start, etc. BE FLEXIBLE! To best allow yourself to be flexible I think it is important to plan and be prepared ahead of time, and to plans chunks of activities, with some backup so that you have a set of tools to pull from. Other than that, relax, try to be rested, and be patient. 🙂

OC_BEACH_TEACHER_revised_finalKimberly, OC Beach Teacher:I would recommend that new teachers spend some time establishing routines and procedures during the first week. For instance, the teacher can designate a place for students to obtain absent work. I use stackable letter trays and include pocket folders for each day of the week. In each folder, I put any handouts students will need and write the absent students’ names on the appropriate papers. I post instructions above the trays and expect secondary students to take responsibility for getting their missed work.

EllenBrain7 (1)Ellen Weber:Whenever I see new teachers make it less about rules, routines and even rigor at first, and more about valuing student names to build goodwill across differences I see foundations for a great term. That might be creating name tags, displaying the meaning of names or designing avatars for online list serves.
While I’d been aware that student names hold huge value added to a new term, I knew less about how to transform names into learning tools. It was my teaching stint in China that showed me the deep and genuine value of names. (
Those handles that students bring to our classes – can become key learning opportunities they take away. How might you start with your students, even before you dip into your content in that first week?

TPT ProfileSara, Ms. Fuller’s Teaching Adventures:I try very hard to learn all my students’ names within the first five days of school. It makes everything easier. I also try to send home a positive note or make a positive phone call to the students I can already tell might be a challenge. It’s also really important to implement clear procedures. I have a free editable syllabus that helps put it all out there for students.

LanguageArtsClassroomLauralee,The Language Arts Classroom:Take notes! I am so busy and tired the first week of school that I struggle to remember what needs done. If I make a list, I feel more confident in my preparation, and I also am less likely to forget those copies or new textbook.


SPbuttonSpanish Plans:Around the second or third day, go over classroom rules and your syllabus. Have students come up with class rules that they believe are appropriate. List them all on the board. Then condense them to 3-5 that are general enough and incorporate their ideas. Print out the rules and have students sign or initial the sheet of rules that they came up with and agree to.


Mrs. Brosseau's BinderMichelle Brosseau, Mrs. Brosseau’s Binder : It is really important to set the right tone in the first week of school. I would recommend having a seating plan from day one and being very firm with the classroom rules and expectations. Don’t give an inch! Also, that first week, make sure that you plan on taking extra time to get your forms and binders organized. Print off and review your IEPs right away, make phone calls home ASAP – invest the time to be organized from day one. You may want to prepare meals for the week in advance so you can utilize your time well throughout that first week. Good luck!

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