What a difference 2 years makes! I remember (vaguely) how I felt my first day as a “real teacher” in Puerto Rico. I’m pretty sure I was as petrified as the new 7th graders. Last year was much easier, because I knew half of my students already, and I felt comfortable in my classroom and with what we’d be doing.
This year, I’m at a new school in a new country. So although it’s my 3rd year teaching, in some ways, I feel like a brand new teacher because I’m in such a new environment. However, I do still have those years of experience under my belt, and I noticed it in the difference in my attitude the night before the first day of school. I wasn’t nervous…I was excited.
First days are easy. You meet the kids, create a welcoming environment, do an icebreaker or two, and go over the rules and procedures for the year. So, while I may not be 100% sure yet where I’m going with instruction this first trimester, I felt comfortable with the first week of lesson plans. My room is more or less set up how I want it, and I was SO EXCITED to meet my new students!
And so, the first day went really well. We met with our advisories (like homerooms) for almost an hour and a half, getting to know each other and going over school-wide procedures, and then we cycled quickly through each of Day 1’s 5 classes, spending just 30 minutes in each. At the end of the day, it was time for an assembly. Our principal came out on stage with his electric guitar and a snazzy pair of sunglasses and sang a wacky song called “Middle School” to the tune of “Wild Thing” (apparently this has become a tradition), and then each grade-level team introduced itself to the students in an interesting way. 8th grade put together a really cool video. We on the 7th grade team created a skit involving a mischievous translator. And the 6th grade teachers introduced themselves in 10 seconds, then quizzed the students on “who said what,” game-show style. Then, it was back to advisory for just long enough to teach my kids how to play Silent Ball, and we were out the door.
|Looking from the back of my room towards the front.|
There are already more things up on the walls than in this picture.
|Taken from the front door. In the previous picture, I was standing|
right in front of that bright green poster on the back wall.