After a 2.5 year absence, I am back in the classroom in 2016. Yay.
But it's in a 1/2 composite when for the past 8 years I have been majority of the time in with 4/6 kids.
So, I'm starting to think about what I want to achieve and by when.. and I've got nothing. I'm so used to kids arriving in my classroom on the first day of school being able to read at a fairly good level, being able to follow multiple instructions, and knowing already what is expected of them, that I find myself at a loss.
So I need to pick your brains!
Specifically, if you can help with any of the following (or you find yourself in a similar situation and want some advice from others, that's cool too!):
* Classroom set up. It is team teaching (never done before- I'm going from working in a school of 40 odd children and being responsible for my own EVERYTHING, to working in a school of over 300 children, working in a team of 6 with 5 1/2 composites and being the second most experienced teacher on the team, and being asked to help train up my graduate team mate. I'm freaking out!) so we share two classrooms with the middle dividing doors open. White board up each end, interactive whiteboard in the middle, and up the opposite end is a tv for apple tv etc.
* I'm wanting to set the room up with a super hero theme over Jan so when the kids walk in, it's already looking inspirational. Why superheroes? Because these kids need someone who believe in them, and who believes that they are super. A lot come from very upsetting backgrounds, and I anticipate a lot of behavioural issues. The superhero theme is going to be a big part in counteracting that.
* What do I want to have achieved by the end of the first day? (Kids come back for one friday. Thanks, Victorian govt. Awesome.) Ideally I will spend at least the first six weeks working on procedures to make the rest of the year easy. So my first procedure will be how to line up and how to enter the classroom. But what else? I have a whole day to fill in!
I am thinking I should take a handwriting sample. But apart from that, nothing? Help!
* I need these kids to know they can trust me. I need to build them up. I need them to believe in themselves just as much as I believe in them. Lots of positive behaviour reinforcement. Does anyone have any good first day activities that fit in with that?
* Just help in general! Working with such young children (and many of whom I am friendly with, or friendly with their parents because my boys will also be in grade 2 next year, and have spent all their school lives in with these children!) is so different to what I have been doing; I'm really stepping out of my comfort zone. (Which is a good thing!)