Preparing for the First Day!

Where to begin when preparing for the First Day Back to School!!!

Schools reopen on different days, but all teachers will spend days preparing for back to school. Here are some of my top tips.

In my school, on each teacher’s door, there is a sign with my name, my class and also my school email address on it. I encourage parents to use my school email for notes and questions, and I also send out my own class news and Aistear newsletter via email to the parents.

In the classroom print desk name plates for everyone in your class. This way all children will find their seat on the first day. It is also another way to coax in some children that may be a little shy. Have book lists and stationery lists printed also just in case.

Print labels for every child too. Some children may come in with books and copies unlabeled so this makes it easier to organise books. If you don’t have a book scheme then you will have to go through everyone’s books to ensure they all have the correct ones. Once I asked that the parents send in all books and copies in a plastic bag with their child’s name clearly written on it. I then sorted out the books myself at the end of the day. It worked in a multi class situation when you are trying to sort workbooks and also meet new students and their parents.

On the first day back, I would organise some table-top activities and have them ready for when the children come in. These activities could include jigsaws, playdoh, lacing and maybe some colouring. Once the children are in and settled at the activity, it is an ideal time for the parents to leave.

Always have a camera handy, I think it’s important to take photos of their first day, individually and in a group with their peers. In previous years I have made a little book that the children can work on for the first day or so, I leave the back page blank for their photo. I like to take photos of each child on their first day in September, at Christmas, at Easter time and in the last few weeks of school. At the end of the year I make a photo grid for each child and parents can see how much they have grown and changed during the year. If I have infants over two years I will include their first day in Junior Infants with their photos from Senior Infants too!

In my Mash.ie store the books for My First Day are available as a free download.

Hope you are all enjoying the last few weeks of the hols!

A.M.

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