Your First Day

Section 1: Your First Day

You must be flexible and prepared to handle incidents when they arise in order to be a successful teacher. If you can’t handle interruptions in your daily routine you may have trouble surviving as a teacher. — Kelly McMahon

Your First Day…

  • Introduce yourself and give students a short biographical sketch.
  • Establish a method for learning students’ names.
  • Share your expectations with your class.
  • Review, or develop with students, your rules for behavior with the rewards and consequences.
  • Rules should be written and posted in the classroom.
  • Clarify your homework and makeup policies with students.
  • Establish a place for students’ papers.
  • Establish a place for your personal papers.
  • Recognize that you will not know everything; ask questions of your colleagues.
  • Take time at the end of the day to reflect on the good job you did.

In the first few months…

  • Know where students’ files are housed so that you can consult them when needed.
  • Familiarize yourself with the timelines for students’ progress reports and grading deadlines.
  • Read over district/school policies and ask questions if something is not clear.
  • Become familiar with the procedure for special education referrals.
  • Make sure you have a substitute folder available.
  • Broaden your horizons…get to know people outside your immediate environment.
  • Find out the dates and the procedures for parent-teacher conferences.
  • Meet with your mentor regarding evaluation procedures.
  • Establish a method of communicating with parents on a regular basis.
  • Talk with your mentor about getting your licensure Professional Development Plan (PDP) process started.
  • Find out the process for requesting/purchasing materials.
  • Be good to yourself. Make sure you are eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
  • Take some time to reflect on your first month as a teacher.

As you begin the 2nd semester…

  • Consider attending a school board meeting with a colleague.
  • Read journals and research on instruction.
  • Check out the professional development activities offered by your district and WEAC.
  • Your financial future is important. Do you have a budget that includes a tax shelter? Find out which tax deductions are allowed.
  • Begin formulating your professional development goal for licensure purposes.
  • Get to know your building rep and local officers and be apprised of the activities in your local Association.
  • Reflect, reflect, reflect.

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