It's August 31st, the day before school starts.
This will be my 36th year in the classroom, and you know what? I STILL get excited (and nervous) before a new school year. I STILL spend hours and hours getting myself ready for my classes. (And as I keep saying: the year I do NOT get nervous and excited is the year I step away from the classroom!)
I have these..... "Getting Ready Ceremonies".
One of them is preparing a yearly plan, with a line for each week. (When I first started teaching, I would do it meticulously on lined paper. Then I moved it over to WORD. Today I do it in Googledocs! (Which is why I can share it here!) You can make a copy and use it if you feel it will help you!
Another "Ceremony" is getting to know my students. I need all sorts of information from them.
I want to know how THEY write their names in English.
I want to know their mobile phone numbers (to build a WhatsApp group.... I am considering using a broadcast group this year instead of a regular group... any thoughts on that?)
I want to know if they all have smartphones (because I like incorporating smartphones in the lessons and I need to know what to expect)
I always use an email group (even though I am considering using Google Classroom this year... but I still haven't decided about that finally).
I also want to know what learning styles work for them.
I have not yet decided for sure which literature to teach, and I would like to know what genres interest them. Not that they will decide, but again - I want to know my audience.
Finally, since I am getting a new class of 11th graders, I want to know if there is anything THEY think I should know about them.
Of course, we will be doing an icebreaker activity, to get to know each other, but that's not enough. (Sharing that here, too - it's based on an activity from Jennifer Gonzales' "Icebreakers that Rock".) I want this information to come to me, individually. Which is why I make a Googleform to gather all of the information that I want. I embed it in my class website, and post a QR Code below it so kids will be able to scan it and respond in the lesson, on their smartphones.
So... that's it! I guess I'm ready!
Roll on September 1!!!!
What do YOU do to get YOUR new school year started?
Have a GREAT school year everyone!!!!