I survived my first day!! I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it went—it didn’t go without a nap, but it went.
Part of what I did today included playing ice breaker games and going over the rules. I have a whole slue of rules, but one of my main points today was The 5 P’s. I found when I was interviewing it was best to keep your rules short and sweet. I had 3 P’s last year—it didn’t quite incorporate enough so I added two more. I found the 5 P’s encompassed more of what we do in class. As I am walking through the 5 P’s, the students were able to get a picture of what my class is like on a daily basis.
Last Year: Prepared, Punctual, and Polite.
This Year: Prompt, Prepared, Polite, Patient, and Productive.
1. Be Prompt–I expect all students to be on time to class. In 7th grade, they tend to get social. I use this as a time to tell them that I don’t care who they are talking to in the hall, they need to be to class on time!
2. Be Prepared–I expect them to have their materials at all times. I require them to have a book every class period. If they do not have it, they automatically have silent lunch. In addition to that, I watched about 300 pencils walk off last year. I have a strict borrowing system this year that requires them to give up 2 bathroom passes per missing pencil.
3. Be Polite–My main point with this is that your partner in class is not your life partner. I explained to them that even though it is a social time in their life, sometimes being partners with your best friend is bad for your grade. I also have a strict no throwing rule. If anything leaves their hand, it’s instant silent lunch.
4. Be Productive–Get something done! ‘Nuff said!
5. Be Patient–This was just a time to discuss book conferences and unless you are “bleeding or vomiting” I don’t want to talk to you. Reading conferences are 3-5 minutes and they can wait that long. I did not establish that off the bat last year and it was detrimental to my class productivity. This year, right off the bat, don’t interrupt.
I am really going to be a stickler for the rules this year. Last year, I was a little soft and it worked against me. I hate to be the mean teacher, but to get anything done, they can’t see me smile until Christmas. Just kidding–but I will give them silent lunch without cutting them any slack.
It’s better to start the year with an iron fist and let up at the end of the year than vice versa. I say this from experience, students will talk advantage of your newness. You need to run your classroom like you have been there for 800 years even if the rules change daily. Cut no slack for slackers.
That’s all for tonight folks!
This teacher needs to get to sleep. Big day tomorrow!