Even though I have been teaching for a while, I still get nervous every year when I am setting up a new classroom for a new year of learning with a new group of students.
I feel the weight of taking these learners at least a full twelve months beyond where they are in their learning, I worry about their social growth, I understand the importance of their parents in this growth and I want our classroom to be the best place for us all. After all, we spend more time together then they do with their families and I get them at the best time of the day!
I once worked for an incredible leader who said that you needed to know your student’s heart before you could know their head! This is so true and one of the best pieces of advice I have been given. I work hard to know my students before we become data driven. Believe me, this investment pays off and I have always been very proud of the achievements my learners make in their year with me.
It is important to look at rules and routines and how these will work in our learning space. Keep it simple and everybody will remember how to learn and behave in your new classroom. To be friends and to be liked by students is nice, but it is not going to happen in your first week or first month. So many teachers make the mistake of wanting to be ‘liked’ that they miss the learning opportunities and find classroom management difficult. Setting up a new classroom for a new year of learning is much more than educational outcomes.
One of the first things I think about is my classroom decor. This sets the scene for our time together and I have had bright classrooms in the past and have settled into a more calming space of blues and greens. (click here if you are interested in checking out what we have in our TpT store)