Sunday, 29 January 2017

Five for... the weekend!


Week One done!  I survived!

I'm linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching this week.
There are going to be a few promos in this post.
Stuff that has been instrumental in helping me to survive the first week of school over the past few years.

Not because I'm trying to capitalise (all my TPT payouts go directly to charity), but because I've had a difficult week and there's probably others out there who have too. And I want to help you with a few things that have made my life easier.

1. Fresh Starts.
It's been so lovely catching up with my class from last year as I bump into them all through the school with their new uniforms. They look so grown up! All of them seem to be really enjoying Year 1, but they still want to give me a hug. Awww.

2. Teaching routines and transitions like crazy.
I love my class this year. They are so full of life and personality. Some big personalities. Energetic and lively personalities. And many, many, 'can talk under wet cement' personalities. After getting through this week I've realised all over again just how important teaching routines are, and how valuable they are going to be for my own sanity this year.  I'm completely focussed on nailing our routines and transitions into the framework of classroom life and nothing else right now. Forget content for a week or two. For me, this is critical. You can check out my list of routines I teach right here. I had to make a list to keep track of them all!

Start of Year Routines

3. A clear behaviour management plan!
I've also realised yet again that my behaviour management is key right from the first hour. The first HOUR! It sets the tone for the whole year! This book by Michael Linsen is amazing. I bought it a few years ago and re read it every year right before school starts. It's hugely practical and insanely encouraging. It's an easy read and such a helpful resource. I think EVERY teacher should have a copy of this book! Having my plan in place from the very beginning helped me get through the week heaps easier than if I hadn't set it up with the kiddos yet.  They are still learning the ropes, but there were no surprises when consequences came out. No confusion. They knew what to do and we were able to get on with the show.

4. Good support!
This week has been more difficult than the usual first week of school. My usual teacher aide comes back next week, which meant I had other people in... And often didn't arrive until after the day had started so I had no opportunity to let them know what was going on, one of them is brand new and has no idea what we were doing or where anything is. They did a great job, but it just isn't the same. I am so glad my usual teacher aide will be back on Monday. I am so grateful for her loyalty. And her ability to read my mind. I also really appreciate her ninja cleaning skills. I spent over an hour scrubbing tables one afternoon this week.

5. An organisational system that works!
Being organised helps heaps. Planning my time well is critical. Especially now that I'm working a 45 hour week instead of 60+.  I couldn't have survived this week without my organiser. It helped me make sure I had everything organised at the right time, kept everything organised, kept on top of things that popped up (including that parent who panicked because they discovered their child had a time out, the aforementioned time-sucking table scrubbing ordeal,  and my husband electrocuting himself mid week- he's fine though!), and all without stressing out.

Can you say lifesaver?!?!

Take Control Teacher Organiser Bold Bubbles

I was so exhausted on Tuesday that I slept for 14 hours! And I slept well because I had the confidence of knowing everything was taken care of or had been allocated a time to be taken care of all in advance of when it was needed.

It's going to be an exhausting year, but I also know it's going to be one of those amazingly joyful years. I've had my class for the equivalent of 2 full school days (broken up with half days and half classes) and I adore them already.

They are also super knowledgeable about super heroes.
It's going to be a good year.

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