Well here I sit on August 29, 2011 with the anticipation building by the minute – anticipation of my semester long internship. As most of my classmates have already worked through their first staff meetings and preparation days and are now anticipating the first day with students tomorrow, my school division is only starting our staff meetings and prep days tomorrow with students coming back after the long weekend.
Today I went to the school to meet with my cooperating teacher, do some planning, and become more familiar with the school. This pre-school year meeting got me thinking about all of the things that go in to the first days of school from the educator side of things. As a new teacher, how do you go about creating your syllabus? How do you know what section should be worth what percentage? Or should you be using grades at all? In order to determine your syllabus you need to have a general (or detailed) idea of what you’re going to be teaching all semester, will you deviate from the curriculum at all? How will you create your units? Which units will include projects and which will involve other forms of evaluation?
Then there’s the classroom expectations, late policies, seating plans, and the physical set up of the classroom. Once you think you’ve managed the initial details of a new school semester then comes the actual planning. How will you set up the first day? Will there be a seating plan, or will the students choose their own seats? Do you start the first day with an icebreaker? Do you provide the students with an assignment on the first day?
I am eagerly awaiting the beginning of the school year… the back-to-school staff meetings, the planning, the first day of classes, the first class with my Info Pro students, and every other first that comes along with a new school year.
What are some of your back-to-school tips and routines? What is your favorite part about a new school year?