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August 16, 2016

Tips to Tame First Day Jitters

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    First day jitters are real! Even I still get them! The first day of school can be scary for some kids, and in kindergarten first day jitters strike parents BIG TIME! But there are also lots of fun and exciting things that come with “back-to-school” time. Here are five tips to keep the mood happy and the first-day-of-school jitters at bay.

    • Tip #1: Design Your Learning Environment

    Take time to personalize your classroom and make it your home away from home. You will be spending a lot of time in your classroom, and when you LOVE how your work space looks and is organized, you will be happier spending time in it. Your classroom is one of the very first impressions your students and their families get of you, so don’t miss this opportunity to be a shining star! 

    I always feel less nervous about meeting my students (and their parents) when I know I am prepared and ready for the BIG day. In our district, we only get two work days before our little cuties arrive for their first day of school. That’s definitely not enough time to be ready. Because of this, I always go back to school a little early, to begin setting up and organizing my classroom. I can assure you that your sanity and nerves will be in much better condition if you invest this time in advance. When you have to be back, you can spend that precious time catching up with your coworkers and tending to the little last minute details that will inevitably arise. Teachers never look forward to summer ending, but I promise you that coming in a little early will pay off big time!

     

    • Tip #2: Ease Into the First Day on the Night Before

    The Friday before school begins is when we host our “Meet the Teacher” event at our school. It is a great way to help ease the fear in children who are wondering who their teacher will be. It is important during Meet the Teacher to remember that the child should be your primary focus. Their parents will be a little nervous too, but those sweet students of yours are the ones who really need the reassurance of knowing who you are and what this school thing is all about. Once parents see their children feeling better about school, they will too!

    I love to read Natasha’s Wing’s book, The Night Before Kindergarten to my students! If you don’t teach kindergarten, not to worry. She has many different grade levels in her wonderful The Night Before series! I briefly talk to the parents about kindergarten, and then I have them fill out classroom paperwork while I read the book to my new students.

    After reading the story, I admit to my new students that I too, get nervous for the first day school. I then share with them one of my favorite kindergarten traditions: Ready Confetti! The students use the “magic” confetti and sprinkle it under their pillows to help alleviate those jitters they have the night before the first day of school.

     

    • Tip #3: Ease the Pain of Saying Goodbye

    It’s hard to send your child off to school. For some parents, kindergarten is the first time someone else will be looking after their child. There is a perfect little poem (author unknown) that you can attach to a bag filled with tissue and Hershey's Hugs & Hershey's Kisses candies. These are surely going to come in handy when my students’ parents leave that very first day of school.

    I also have a new favorite first day of school book that I accidentally discovered last spring. I thought was a Father’s Day book, but I quickly learned that it is the sweetest little book that deals with a dad who is just not quite ready to say goodbye to his child on the first day of school. My students really enjoyed it and, but what I loved about it was Dad had a starring role — a very, very cute book!

     

    • Tip #4: Banish Jitters With Jitter Juice and Poem

    I love the book, First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg! Kids are always nervous about the first day of school, but so am I. This is a cute story of a teacher who is having her first day at a new school. As you read through the story, the author leads you into believing the narrative is all about a little girl. It is not until the very end that you find out that Sarah Jane is actually the teacher.

    After reading the story to my students, I again share with them that just like Sarah Jane, I too get very nervous on the first day of school! I think my students appreciate that they aren’t alone with their feelings.

    We follow up with a First Day Feelings chart that we create together sharing the feelings we all felt today. Finally, we all enjoy a little Jitter Juice and Jitter Snack to calm any first day jitters we still may have.

     

    • Tip #5: Have Fun, Be Happy, and Smile!

    As you begin a brand new school year, I wish you nothing but the best! As hectic as teaching can be at times, I hope you remember to make time to take care of yourself and to do fun things outside of work that make you happy! As I did my classroom makeover this year, I put things up around my room to remind me of what’s most important in life. Remember that what you are doing is SO important and you have the power to change the world — one student at a time. Teaching is a wonderful job and I feel so lucky to have been called into this profession!

    Here are a few pictures of the things I added to my classroom to give my students (and me!) inspiration, while adding a little joy to our room.

    I’d love to hear all about your favorite back-to-school activities. Please take a moment to comment and share your ideas for all to learn from and enjoy. Thank you so much! :)

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic Top Teaching if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Have a fantastic school year!

    Shari 

     

     

    Check out my other blog posts!

    First day jitters are real! Even I still get them! The first day of school can be scary for some kids, and in kindergarten first day jitters strike parents BIG TIME! But there are also lots of fun and exciting things that come with “back-to-school” time. Here are five tips to keep the mood happy and the first-day-of-school jitters at bay.

    • Tip #1: Design Your Learning Environment

    Take time to personalize your classroom and make it your home away from home. You will be spending a lot of time in your classroom, and when you LOVE how your work space looks and is organized, you will be happier spending time in it. Your classroom is one of the very first impressions your students and their families get of you, so don’t miss this opportunity to be a shining star! 

    I always feel less nervous about meeting my students (and their parents) when I know I am prepared and ready for the BIG day. In our district, we only get two work days before our little cuties arrive for their first day of school. That’s definitely not enough time to be ready. Because of this, I always go back to school a little early, to begin setting up and organizing my classroom. I can assure you that your sanity and nerves will be in much better condition if you invest this time in advance. When you have to be back, you can spend that precious time catching up with your coworkers and tending to the little last minute details that will inevitably arise. Teachers never look forward to summer ending, but I promise you that coming in a little early will pay off big time!

     

    • Tip #2: Ease Into the First Day on the Night Before

    The Friday before school begins is when we host our “Meet the Teacher” event at our school. It is a great way to help ease the fear in children who are wondering who their teacher will be. It is important during Meet the Teacher to remember that the child should be your primary focus. Their parents will be a little nervous too, but those sweet students of yours are the ones who really need the reassurance of knowing who you are and what this school thing is all about. Once parents see their children feeling better about school, they will too!

    I love to read Natasha’s Wing’s book, The Night Before Kindergarten to my students! If you don’t teach kindergarten, not to worry. She has many different grade levels in her wonderful The Night Before series! I briefly talk to the parents about kindergarten, and then I have them fill out classroom paperwork while I read the book to my new students.

    After reading the story, I admit to my new students that I too, get nervous for the first day school. I then share with them one of my favorite kindergarten traditions: Ready Confetti! The students use the “magic” confetti and sprinkle it under their pillows to help alleviate those jitters they have the night before the first day of school.

     

    • Tip #3: Ease the Pain of Saying Goodbye

    It’s hard to send your child off to school. For some parents, kindergarten is the first time someone else will be looking after their child. There is a perfect little poem (author unknown) that you can attach to a bag filled with tissue and Hershey's Hugs & Hershey's Kisses candies. These are surely going to come in handy when my students’ parents leave that very first day of school.

    I also have a new favorite first day of school book that I accidentally discovered last spring. I thought was a Father’s Day book, but I quickly learned that it is the sweetest little book that deals with a dad who is just not quite ready to say goodbye to his child on the first day of school. My students really enjoyed it and, but what I loved about it was Dad had a starring role — a very, very cute book!

     

    • Tip #4: Banish Jitters With Jitter Juice and Poem

    I love the book, First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg! Kids are always nervous about the first day of school, but so am I. This is a cute story of a teacher who is having her first day at a new school. As you read through the story, the author leads you into believing the narrative is all about a little girl. It is not until the very end that you find out that Sarah Jane is actually the teacher.

    After reading the story to my students, I again share with them that just like Sarah Jane, I too get very nervous on the first day of school! I think my students appreciate that they aren’t alone with their feelings.

    We follow up with a First Day Feelings chart that we create together sharing the feelings we all felt today. Finally, we all enjoy a little Jitter Juice and Jitter Snack to calm any first day jitters we still may have.

     

    • Tip #5: Have Fun, Be Happy, and Smile!

    As you begin a brand new school year, I wish you nothing but the best! As hectic as teaching can be at times, I hope you remember to make time to take care of yourself and to do fun things outside of work that make you happy! As I did my classroom makeover this year, I put things up around my room to remind me of what’s most important in life. Remember that what you are doing is SO important and you have the power to change the world — one student at a time. Teaching is a wonderful job and I feel so lucky to have been called into this profession!

    Here are a few pictures of the things I added to my classroom to give my students (and me!) inspiration, while adding a little joy to our room.

    I’d love to hear all about your favorite back-to-school activities. Please take a moment to comment and share your ideas for all to learn from and enjoy. Thank you so much! :)

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic Top Teaching if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Have a fantastic school year!

    Shari 

     

     

    Check out my other blog posts!

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