Teachers’ First Day: Coming Soon to A School Near You

What’s the most important day of the school year?

Graduation day? Yep, for schools that day represents a culmination of learning, effort, and achievement and it’s a great celebration day, but even though it’s among the most memorable days of the year, perhaps it’s not the most important one.

Kindergarten parent’s visits? Definitely significant and important to plan for but maybe, for the school administrator not the most important day of the year.

So what is?

It’s the first day of school… but not the one that people often think about when the students return.

The most important day of the school year for the school leader is the first day for teachers.

You rely on your teachers to do what needs to be done in the manner you’d like it to be done with very minimal supervision during the year. (They are in their room with the students around 99% of the time during the school year… do the math.)

On their first day back, you have an opportunity to inspire your teachers and send them on a journey of success. NOW… June… is the time (if you haven’t already)… to choreograph that first day for your teachers. You have a once-in-a-school year chance to begin the year. Don’t miss it!

For the love of Horace Mann and John Dewey, please don’t READ THE FACULTY HANDBOOK or go over the rules the first thing when you get everyone back. Think MOTIVATE and CHALLENGE instead of compliance and routine.

  • Your first day with teachers might NOT be their first day if your system schedules activities for all employees on the first day. If so, don’t fret; but do get prepped for the first day that you have your teachers there.
  • YES, you’re right… they just want to get in their rooms… and it’s a morale buster if they don’t get enough time to do so. Depending on how much time you have for preplanning, your first day with teachers might be a first morning. You can do a lot in the name of inspiration, fun, and team-building in a morning if you’re not able to devote a full day.
  • You have things that you need to share with them… but don’t feel like you have to have them all together to do those things. Make short videos on HOW to do transactional things (report grades, plan a field trip, turn in things). Store those videos in a Google Folder and then WHEN your people need information, they can get it… much more effective than telling people more things than they can remember in a preplanning meeting.
  • What DO you talk about while you have them? TRANSFORMATIONAL things… talk about the important things. Narrow the focus on what you want them thinking about this school year.
  • Time to get to all of your people at one time during prime time (after 8 AM and before 2 PM) is rare. Cherish it. Don’t throw it away. GREAT time to build a sense of team with planned team building events.
  • Remember that you are MODELING what you want your teachers to do when THEY are preparing for THEIR first day with students. (Reminder: if you capture the imagination of students on the first day… if you build a sense of team and a feeling that something good is going to happen here… you have made the impression that you can use to build a great school year. What you and your teachers do is what you want your teachers to do with their students.
  • They don’t make Super Bowl Ads in January… they are making them now for next year! So, get on the planning for your first day with teachers now… and next year begin even sooner. It’s great to include some of your teachers in the planning… a few of your creative, enthusiastic ones are a good choice.
  • If everyone doesn’t love what you do on the first day, that’s no different than any other day! Don’t let the negative people prevent you from doing great things with the positive ones! They are the ones who want to be inspired and respond to enthusiasm… which is what we want for them in the classroom!

Leave a Reply