Congratulations! If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably landed your first teaching job and just starting out in the classroom. There are so many things to think about like your classroom theme, what type of seating you’ll have, lesson plans, and so much more! During the summer is the perfect time to take the First Week Challenge.
I started the first week challenge to help new and beginning teachers get prepared for week one of school, so they would have time to focus on student-teacher relationships which are ever important to student success. Someone once told me that “preparation equals success” and never is this truer than in teaching. The last task you want to be concerned with at the beginning of school is making copies, trying to locate files, and organizing all your plans and paperwork. That’s where the first week challenge comes into play.
Here’s how it works:
You’ll need some supplies to get started. Most of the items can be found either at Target, Amazon, dollar or hobby craft stores, or your local office supply. Start by purchasing either a milk crate or plastic container. This is where you will keep everything you need for the first week. If you choose a crate, then also buy hanging files and file folders. If you go with the container, you’ll need expansion folders that are a bit like file folders but enclosed on the sides.
Next plan out your first week as best you can. Think about any handouts and paperwork needed. File those in appropriate folders and place in the crate. Remember that establishing relationships is one of the most important aspects related to student success, so be sure to add activities that will promote social emotional learning and classroom community. It’s okay to spend several days on these. The positive impact it will have on your learning environment will be huge!
Some of my favorites are Getting to Know Me cards and the All About Me Activities. They aren’t the usual color and write down your favorite color printables. I use activities that require students to reflect on personal information giving me insight into the kind of student and learner I would be working with that year.
Gather any support materials you’ll be using such as picture books, magazines, construction paper, and other props. Place these in the back of the crate behind the hanging files or at the back of your containers. And don’t forget about you! Purchase non-perishable snacks for yourself, peppermints, favorite pens and markers, sticky notes, and other personal items that will make your life easier.
Store these in sealable baggies and place in your crate or container. The last thing you'll do is add a few positive self affirmation notes. Challenge yourself to finish the crate by the end of July. You’ll thank yourself later. That’s it! You’re all set for a successful first week. Good luck during your first year as a teacher, and thank you for choosing not only one of the most challenging, but important careers out there.
You can join me and other beginning teachers on our Facebook group New and Beginning Teachers: Prepping for Success. I'm posting videos and free resources, so I hope you'll take a look.
If you have questions about the First Week Challenge, or simply want to connect, find me on social media or email me at: