You would think that after 11 years of teaching I would be calm at the beginning of the school year. Not so. Even after 11 years in the classroom, I still get nervous. Maybe you do to?
Here is what works for me to calm the beginning of the year jitters:
1) Plan, plan and plan some more.
I really like to plan out my first hour to the minute and the first day in 30 minute increments. Yes, even after 11 years, I still write out a minute by minute plan for the first hour. If you haven't seen it, WBT has a great video on what to teach the first hour of school. It is program 532 in the videos (and completely free at wholebrainteaching.com.)
I always have some back-up plans as well. In the past, I have had a crossword search with the name of each child in the class. This is a backup activity in case something comes up and I need to keep the students busy. I recommend having some backup activities ready to go in case a new student suddenly arrives 30 minutes into the day or you are told at 1:50 that you need to make the bus tags for your students before 3 pm (happened last year) or an activity just goes much faster than you expect.
2) Positive self-talk
I can work myself into a state with negative self-talk. . . I know that I am going into negative self talk when I hear myself saying SHOULD. "You should have your classroom set up by now." "You should have all of the copies for the first week." "The bulletin boards should look nice for the first day."
Talk back to the negative self-talk.
Yes, it would be nice if the classroom were already organized, but I can handle this.
It would be preferable to have all of the copies done, but I am just going to focus on the first day right now.
3) Relax and continue to rejuvenate
The first day will be here soon enough! So, continue to enjoy the summer while you still can. Get out and pick some flowers from your garden. Go to a you-pick and enjoy some fresh fruit. There is still plenty of summer to enjoy!