What Do I Do On The FIrst Day Of School?

  • What do I do on the first day of school?
  • What do I wear on the first day of school?
  • Am I going to know what to do with unruly students?
  • Will the kids respect me?
  • How will I know how to teach a certain concept?
  • What will I do if a lesson bombs?
  • What if I can’t answer the student’s questions?

If you’re reading this blog, if you purposely typed those words into a search engine, then you are searching for answers. Those are a few of the questions I asked myself before I started teaching last year. I typed in those same words because, like everyone else, I was lost for the first couple of months of teaching. It seemed like everyone else seemed to have “it” more under control than I did. In the copy room, they seemed to know what they were doing; what pages to copy; in the classroom, what lessons to teach. However, the solution isn’t as simple as typing those words into a search engine and getting an answer. I hate to say this, but no one can give you those answers. They can’t give them to you because you have them. Sure they may be able to tell you what lesson to plan or give you helpful hints on how to handle kids, but some things you have to experience for yourself. There are some things no one can tell you. No one has the secret that you need. You have it. The answers may be deep down inside you, but they are there.

As I stated above, when I first started, I was so lost. I didn’t have a clue. Although I had recently graduated from an excellent teaching program @ Azusa Pacific University, I thought that surely other teachers had a secret weapon; that they knew more than I did. I thought that surely they must have had some sort of secret training in their teacher training program that I didn’t. Surely I was missing something, wasn’t I? Why didn’t I have the “secret” that they had? Why didn’t I go to their training program? Why, oh, why was I so stupid that I couldn’t pick the right program? Little did I know that I had that same “secret” they did; that same secret weapon.

They did have the “secret”. Once I learned the secret, I found out that it wasn’t as complicated as I’d originally thought. I will get to the secret, but first, I will continue with my current train of thought regarding my secret weapon.

The only thing most new teachers didn’t know more about than me was MY secret- my classroom management skills. If I must say so, they are very good. I cheated though. I had an advantage. I was an assistant for 6.5 years. During that time I picked up many “tricks”. That’s how I was able to gain control over my class and establish control from the beginning. That’s the reason why I didn’t go completely crazy. If I didn’t have the classroom under control, I would have gone stir crazy and had a nervous breakdown.

Okay, now that I’ve said that. I’m going to tell you the “secret”. It’s so simple, you might think that it’s too simple. Just trust me on this and listen very carefully, cause here it goes:

  • it’s perseverance to keep getting back up when all you want to do is lay in the bed and feel sorry for yourself because that kid got the best of you yesterday.
  • it’s about learning as much information as you can handle so you can master the programs that you teach.
  • it’s reading ahead and being prepared.
  • Let me say it again, it’s about being prepared.
  • it’s about staying positive when you want to scream @ the top of your lungs because no one seems to understand what you’re going through.
  • it’s about stick-to-it-ive-ness.

There are a couple more. Well, I’m sure, there are a lot more, but these are all I’ve been able to find out for myself so far. I will add more to this as I learn more.

Read To Me L.A.

(Taken directly from Los Angeles Public Library website)

Read T Me L.A. Image

Read to Me L.A. is a free program that teaches parents and caregivers how to read to their preschool children and help them become successful readers. Giving children a head start in reading is important, because kids who read succeed!

Beginning in Fall 2007, librarians will hold Read to Me L.A. storytimes for parents and their preschool children at the Central Library and all 71 branch libraries citywide. At the storytimes, parents will learn how to bring books into their home, how to read to their children daily, and how to give their children the skills they need to become readers. Children will learn about books, simple phonics and new words.

At the storytimes, parents will also receive free books, booklists, and tips so they can continue building their children’s reading skills daily.

For more information about Read to Me L.A. and helping your preschool child read—and succeed—contact Ilene Abramson, Director of Children’s Services, 213-228-7480, or visit your local Los Angeles Public Library.

There is an excellent booklist (click here) that highlight the six pre-reading skills- Letter Knowledge, Vocabulary Skills, Phonics Awareness, Narrative Skills, Print Awareness, Print Motivation. Once children know these essential skills, they should be well on their way to reading.