Top 4 Ways to Set the Tone This School Year

Starting off a new school year is a time of anticipated excitement. How will our personalities click? Will I be the teacher who makes them love or hate school? Being the teacher yields the same anxieties a student faces on the onset of a new school year.

As a classroom teacher of six years and coach of three starting the year off on the right foot was top priority. Setting the tone with my students or teachers during those first few weeks proved crucial to our relationship.

Here are my top 4 to consider:

1. Learn my name, use my name and please don’t scream my name.

As adult we appreciate and expect others to use our names, the same holds true for students. If you show respect you will get respect.

2. Organization and planning make a difference.

I found out the hard way that lack of organization could lead to chaos and a chaotic classroom on day one is hard to reign back later. I would plan, plan and over plan to make ensure I wouldn’t have much downtime for the chaos to jump out of Pandora’s Box.

3. Let your class set up the class goals and expectations.

Students need to be invested in their learning and role in the class. I would let them speak at length with their peers about what their goals and expectations were for the year; socially, educationally and otherwise. These would be the guiding “rules” in the room displayed and referred to throughout the year.

4. Be consistent.

As mentioned I before much like adults, students like consistency. This helps them process their environment, control their learning and feel a sense of comfort. Being consistent with positive reinforcement, rituals and routines, and consequences helped me be a successful classroom facilitator for my students.

The first days are crucial and building the foundational relationships will make your year. I found these 4 ideas to be the most helpful in and outside the class to ensure a smooth transition into a new school year.

I leave you with Kid President’s pep talk to teachers and students. A great way to start off the year with student and teachers!

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Jackie Patanio
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About Jackie Patanio

Jackie Patanio is from Staten Island, New York. She works for the New York City Dept of Education as a Borough Instructional Lead and Instructional Technology Specialist for District 31. Her passions come in many shapes and sizes with technology and travel being large influences in her career. She believes in being being your own person no matter what others say. She has her favorite Greek Mythology characters tattooed on her back!

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