Getting Ready for the New School Year July 22 2015

Getting ready for a new school year is both exciting and a bit horrifying. If you have been teaching the same age group for a while, you have a pretty good idea what you will be doing as far as the curriculum is concerned and what to expect, but a lot of how a year goes depends on the academic levels of the children and the behavior issues that may arise.  If you are beginning the year with a new age group it may be exciting to face a new challenge, but is also may be a little scary and somewhat intimidating to be facing the unknown.

If possible, it can be tremendously helpful to have an open house or an hour long "mini class" before the official first day. Some preschool and kindergarten teachers are able to make home visits before the first day of class, but that does take a lot of extra time on the part of the teacher and is often done on the teacher's own time. By informally meeting children and parents ahead of time, everyone will feel more comfortable and at ease on the first day of class. Don't forget that the parents are often almost as nervous as your new students. 

When the children arrive for the first day make sure that each child already has a name tag to wear and a name tag on a cubby or a coat hook. Seeing their name already in place as soon as they arrive makes them feel welcome and valued. Find someone to take a photo of each child and be sure to put these photos up on a bulletin board or wall at some point during the first week…the sooner, the better as this also promotes a sense of belonging.

On the first day, it is helpful to have one or two hands-on activities set up in which the children can participate as soon as they enter the room and after they have on their name tags. After everyone has had a bit of time to look around and get a sense of the room, you might call the children to a "Welcome Circle." Ringing chimes or singing a well-know children's song is an easy way to corral the children to come to the circle. Many teachers will define sitting spaces on the floor with carpet squares, laminated name tags or shapes.

The best way to get children focused on you is to start off with a song to get their attention...and that is where curriculum books and music CDs from Panda Bear Publications are a valuable resource. All of our curriculum products have been classroom-tested to be fun and motivational. The music CDs are filled with fun, upbeat versions of classic and new children's song to enhance learning across the curriculum.  Once you have the children attentive and feeling happy after singing, you will find that it is easy to teach the skills on which you want to focus. By following the suggested activities in our curriculum books, you will find tat planning your daily curriculum is a breeze. All of our products come with a 30 day money back guarantee.

Have a happy, song-filled, and productive new school year!