Tomorrow morning, you will meet those with whom you will spend the next ten months. You’re not the only one feeling a little anxious today; many of your students are a jumble of nerves, too.
And although you have your lessons planned and your lists of things to accomplish on that all important first day, the most important thing you can do tomorrow is connect with each and every one of your students. To ensure they feel valued as a member of your classroom. To convince them that you look forward to seeing them back again the next day and the day after that.
Not all of them will be as easy to welcome as others. Some will not arrive with school supplies tomorrow and others may forget their homework most days of the year. Some will test you and others may lash out at their peers. But likely, these are the students who need you the most.
Our students come to us with past experiences: some wonderful, some tragic. They come to us with dreams and flaws. They come to us with a range of emotion, confidence levels and abilities. Regardless of how they come – and this you will learn more about each day of the year – they need you. They need you to demonstrate patience and compassion. They need you to love learning alongside them. They need you to be their champion.
Begin tomorrow. And at day’s end, ask yourself if you took the time to talk, however briefly, with each little soul in your class.