Summer is out, and school is back in session. It is overwhelming to transition from relaxing days to an energetic classroom, but we’re here to help. Start the new year right with this teacher’s guide to the first day of kindergarten.
Build the right environment.
One thing we’ve learned is that students love to feel included as early as possible. Setting up your classroom with a bulletin board that depicts all the kids is a great way to let them know the space is theirs. Start with their names, and in the first few days, add their pictures and a fact about each child.
Get things started with fun introductions! Many of your new students act shy, so let everyone open by sharing something fun about themselves. Make sure you join in, too. Your most nervous students will appreciate the encouragement that it brings.
Organize school supplies.
An organization system is perfect for establishing a bit of order. Caddies at tables organized by coloring utensils (crayons, markers, and colored pencils) show students that this is a creative space while encouraging some order.
We’ve found that creating and explaining different organizational opportunities can help our students work more thoughtfully (a side bonus is that it means less work for you at the end of each day)!
Along with the introductions to start the day, focus some time on getting to know your students better and letting them get to know you. Your kids are naturally curious, so open the floor to some questions about you. This is great for letting the students know that they’re in a safe and welcoming space.
Prepare to comfort.
The first day of school is a major source of stress for many students. After their parents drop them off in the morning, consider having some stuffed animals around. Having a cuddle pal means having a smiling child rather than an inconsolable one.
Your students aren’t the only ones who can get stressed out. Whether you’re a new teacher or a pro, coming back to work to shape the youth is overwhelming. Thankfully, there are a lot of great ways to handle stress as a kindergarten teacher.
For teachers new and experienced, the first day of school is huge. With this teacher’s guide to the first day of kindergarten, you can make it a great one that you and your students will always remember.