I want the perfect first day. That thought consumes me. I'm in the school a week before the other teachers, moving desks, filing papers, and trying to remember what I will feel when I stand in front of 30 strangers. I know, from the past, that systems need to be decided before the first day. The classroom needs to be a functioning, well oiled machine before 8th graders walk in- with them comes chaos. Only one things slows that chaos down- a clear picture on my part.
So, now I ZEN. I sit in my classroom and think. I look around the room and try to imagine a face in every desk. Is there enough space around the drinking fountain? When they get up to sharpen their pencil, is there a path from every desk? Will the turn in basket be here... or there? Or should I have two? When students turn in work, how will I collect it? What will I grade, what will just get a glance? Will they keep journals? Do they all need graphing calculators? If I have a class set of (anything- books, calculators, markers, compasses, protractors) how will I keep it from being destroyed/lost/stolen? Do they check everything out? Are they assigned a number? Are there baskets at every table? How did they sit? In rows? In groups? How do I communicate home? Newsletter? e-mails? How will I communicate daily and weekly plans? Where will I post our learning targets? Will I start each day with a problem or a riddle? How will I teach group dynamics? How will I stay caught up with planning, grading, organization, and the two thousand other things I HAVEN'T thought of once this year gets going.
I have a lot of questions.