During the 30+ Labor Day nights that I spent tossing and turning with Start of the School Year Insomnia, my dream fragments didn’t feature lesson plan anxiety, but behavior issue fears. It didn’t take more than a week of student teaching to realize that my stress levels weren’t soaring because of what or how I was teaching, but because of student behaviors and administrative policies.
• Apathetic Joey slouched in the back of the class apathetically staring out the window;.
• Sarah was led back to the classroom by an assistant principal because she didn’t have a pass. Guess who got her hands slapped? Hint- it wasn’t Sarah.
• The students had a difficult time staying on-task while I was taking attendance and handing out the beginning activity.
• Zelda handed in Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty” as her original creation for my assignment: Write a poem about a celebrity (she chose Rhiannon). When I showed her Lord Byron’s poem printed in the anthology, she said, “It’s not my fault it wrote the same thing I did.”
And this was just my first day heading a classroom!
Knowing that behavior issues would be stymied with good classroom management, over the years, I created, revised, tweaked and revised again (and again) these twelve forms in an effort to help me organize and manage my classroom. My main objective was to create a safe and exciting learning environment. In order to accomplish this goal, I knew that I had to thwart disruptive student behavior before it even began, and to ward off encounters of the negative kind with administrators. I offer them to you all who are still leading classrooms. Note: If your school district has forms that they require teachers to use that coincide with various policies, use them, of course. If they don’t, download this packet, “Get thee to the copy room, “ (Sorry Shakespeare, no nunneries here), and in a few minutes you will be ready for whatever left hooks the year might toss your way.
For more ideas to “Start Strong,” check out
Back to School Forms:Back to School Assortment of First Day Forms and Activities
First Day Writing Assignment
Back to School Freebie- Teacher CLASSMART List
Recommendations: How to Write Recommendation Letters for College Applications
Enjoy a Teach It Now Day,
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