Sunday, August 16, 2009


"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." - Goo Goo Dolls

It's that time again. Tomorrow marks the first official work day for the 2009-2010 school year. Finally, I am no longer a "first year teacher," and although I learned and struggled and grew a lot over the past year, I must admit I am just as nervous as I was this time last year - maybe more so. Last year, at least, I legitimately didn't know what I was getting myself into. Last year I could always pull the newbie card. This year, I begin the school year with high expectations - for my students, my coworkers, and myself.

What do I want for myself, and my students in the year to come?

Personally, I've created a list of 13 goals - goals to help me be the person I want to be, both in and out of the classroom. Several of these personal goals also touch on professional goals:

#3 Say 2 positive things for every negative thing about students.
#4 Teach with enthusiasm. Be myself in the classroom.
#5 Pray for one student each day.
#10 Get to school by 7 a.m.
#12 Have confidence.

In addition to these habitual goals, I have specific procedures I hope to establish in my classroom. I hope to establish better classroom management from the beginning.
  • My classroom will be clean and organized
  • The syllabus will include written learning goals for each class and I will correlate instruction and assessment to these goals
  • Students will help set expectations for behavior and academics
  • I will maintain and fair system of rewards and consequences
  • I will work towards giving students ownership of and responsibility for their own learning in the form of Interactive Notebooks, self assessments, and ACT techniques
  • We will utilize technology, specifically in the form of our SMART Board, our class blog, and our class wiki

I have high expectations for the year to come. At times, I am overwhelmed by all that I want to be as an educator and a person. I have 6 workdays before students come, and a lot to get done. Any tips or suggestions for organizing a classroom, management techniques, or the first week of classes? Best of luck to all of those out there who are about to embark on yet another new beginning!

(Picture credit: Time for Change by David Reece)

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