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September Survival Guide

Meeting your students for the first time.

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Whether you're experiencing twinges of excitement or pangs of anxiety about your first days of school, the September edition of the New Teacher Survival Guide will lead the way to a smooth start. 

Top Tips for the First Days of School (Grades K-5)
Your first day as a teacher in your own elementary classroom will probably have you feeling anxious about facing the school year. Just take a deep breath, look around your newly-decorated classroom, double-check those lessons plans, and remind yourself of all you've done to get the year off to a successful start.

Creating a Great First Impression (Grades 6–8)
Like other "first days" in your life, your first day as a new teacher in your own middle-school classroom will have you feeling excited and anxious in equal measures. Don't worry too much though. . . .These school-year startup strategies will help you make a positive first impression.

Clip & Save Checklist: Back-to-School Night
After the flurry of first-week activity is behind you, it's time to start planning ahead for the next event—Back-to-School Night.

Fit-to-Print: Getting-to-Know-You Reproducible Activities
Looking for hands-on icebreakers to do for that all important first day or first week? Here are three fun, fabulous "All About Me" projects.

Classroom Activities: Welcome Back Ideas
Looking for clever, meaningful ways to ease students into the start of the school year? These welcome back activities are easy to introduce, don't take long to complete, and encourage creative thinking and interaction.

Grades K–5

Grades 6–8

"Been There, Done That" Tips & Ideas: Finding a Support Network
The first year of teaching is always easier and more enjoyable if you have a group of professional friends to turn to for advice, ideas, and emotional support. But where do you find them?

Bookshelf Bests: Friendship Stories for Grades K–5
What does it take to be a good friend and kind classmate? Help your students figure out important friendship skills with these picture-perfect stories about finding, making, or being a friend.

Bookshelf Bests: Novels About Facing Challenges for Grades 6–8
What better way to get your middle-schoolers off to a great reading start than with exciting realistic stories of teens facing down their fears or overcoming adversity? These carefully chosen books are great choices for literature circles, read and discuss-aloud sessions, and your classroom library.

Time Management Tip:  Make the Most of Small Blocks of Time
One of the hardest things about teaching is finding big blocks of time in your jam-packed days to get all the items on your to-do list done. So, try to make a habit of using small chunks of time to put a dent in your workload.

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