True Life: First Day Back with Students

Did you ever watch MTV's True Life? Where they would show the unseen, little known aspects of activities, subcultures, and more. I know I watched it more than a couple of times. This post is going to be a True Life style look at what it is really like to be back for the first day of classes with students, and a few tips on how to make it the best day.

Goal- Students walk in early for class with smiles on their faces, into a Pinterest-perfect classroom.
Reality- Students are exhausted because they haven't woken up this early since June. They start their day frustrated because unlocking a new locker is hard. Despite working non-stop for the last ten days, you look at your classroom and see all the ways it could be better.
Tip- Your day will start the way you want it to. Ignore the imperfections in your room, because your kids don't notice them. All they know is you took the time to set things out on their desk, smile at them, and say good morning while offering to help them with that stubborn locker lock.

Goal- Your technology works perfectly the first day. Students are able to access their digital materials and your lesson plan goes off without a hitch.
Reality- Technology never works perfectly, and for that matter neither do lesson plans. Your wifi was probably spotty at times, a kid definitely forgot their 1:1 device on the first day, and the link you posted for your super awesome activity... you forgot to post.
Tip- Every teacher ever knows that technology won't always be perfect, so have a backup plan. A few hard copies of the syllabus provide a great activity for centers or stations. The kid without a device is going to get to practice their collaboration today. You can still post the link, your students won't even remember it wasn't there to start.

Moral of the story, you did great! 

Teachers are innovative problem solvers. Teachers are the kind of people you want on your team when things go awry because that's what they do in our classrooms every day. I'm sure you all killed your first day back in the classroom! Try to look on the positive side and get ready for a great day 2.


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