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Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Impressions

Tomorrow I have a workshop and next week I am back to work.  The students do not begin until the following week.  It is hard to believe that summer is already over.

My mind is racing!  If my body moved as fast as my mind I would be paper thin.  There is just so much to do.  Right now I am pondering how I want to make initial contact with my students.

This year I think I am going to send a welcome letter inviting them to orientation.  (Orientation is a week from tomorrow!!!)  In the letter I think I will tell them a little about me so they won't be so worried on the first day.  I am going to include details about my new baby girl, my six pets, and how I love cows.

I'm debating on whether or not I want to give them their first assignment.  Part of me wants to have them come to school with a picture of someone special in their life (someone that they love).  I want to do this for two reasons.  First they get to be comforted by the picture that first day and second we can learn more about each other.

The problem with this activity is that some children may not receive the welcome letter or may enroll last minute.  I guess as much as I would like to do this activity,  it would be best to wait... OR I could send home the activity but have the children bring their picture in on Friday instead of the first day that way I can make sure everyone is aware of the assignment beforehand.

Another reason why I want to do this assignment is because leaving loved ones is hard.  My baby girl will be four months old in a few days.  I've been blessed having this time off with her.  I will be thinking about her while I am away from her and I realize the kids probably feel the same way about their loved ones.

Family is important.  I can bridge that concept to the classroom.  After each child has had a chance to share about their loved one, we can discuss how this year we will be a class family.  Just like when we take our loved one's feelings into consideration, we need to take our classmate's feelings into consideration.  We all come from different backgrounds but we are all special.  We are all loved.  This can help teach my number one rule "Treat others the way you want to be treated." 

First impressions are so important!   I also like to call each child before the first day.  I want to create a positive and caring learning environment.  In order to do this I have to lead by example.

In order to have a good first impression I plan on:
  • sending home a welcome letter
  • calling each student before the first day
  • smiling, smiling, smiling
  • showing interest in the child and family-CARING!
  • dressing well
  • sharing (about myself and giving the children an opportunity to share)
  • greeting each child (with a smile)
How do you like to make a positive first impression?

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