First Day at the Elementary Level

Prepare yourself for your first day teaching at the elementary level with these ideas, including getting to know your students and discussing classroom rules. New teachers will find this resource particularly valuable.
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And in Conclusion …

If it's true that first impressions are lasting impressions, then what you do during that all-important first day of school helps set the tone (and the expectations) for the year to follow. These final tips will help you make this day a successful one.

Plan out a sequence of administrative tasks that you must do the first day. Frame these as a checklist, and check them off as you complete them. Among others, these may include the following:

  • Attendance

  • Seating chart

  • Health forms

  • Free and reduced lunch lists

  • “Specials” forms (forms for the music, P.E., art, library programs)

  • Homeroom lists

  • Special education forms

  • Permission slips

  • P.E. exemption forms

Be sure to provide students with first-day activities and assignments that you're confident they'll complete successfully. It's vital that students achieve a measure of success on the first day — whether that success is being able to hang their coat on the proper hook in the kindergarten classroom or discover the solution to a brain puzzler in the advanced algebra class.

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