A Joyful Day – Back to School

4 Feb

How would I describe today? JOYFUL!

Well, the words that I started the day with were NERVOUS EXCITEMENT but 5 minutes into having my beautiful class in our room the word was JOYFUL.

I regret that I didn’t do a first day reflection post last year so I have decided to do a quick brain dump for future posterity.

When you receive your class list, they are students that you learn about and make name tags for but when you call their names in assembly and see their smiling faces ready to go and they become ‘yours’.  There is something magical about students walking through the door of their new classroom with their parents – eyes lighting up when they see their name tags and activities to begin the day.

A school tour (even in the freezing winds) was a wonderful way to have a bit of an adventure, give new students with important information and practice working as a team to move quickly and quietly around the school.

A game that I love to begin the year with is “Find someone who…”.  Not only is this a great get-to-know-you activity but it also provides an opportunity for me to suss out students literacy skills, reading and writing.  There is no pressure on students to get things ‘right’ and they just loved interviewing one another.  It was a beautiful chance for my older students to take the younger kids under their wing – helping with spelling and finding people to interview.

We finished the day by brainstorming what we would like the year to look like – things we would like to learn, things that will help our classroom run smoothly and words that we use to describe what our class should be.  I just adore hearing students’ ideas and feeling their growing sense of one-ness.  This is such an exciting conversation to have; knowing that these expectations, expressed by the students, are what will support them in doing their best and being successful in their learning.  The team vibe grew so quickly today and I just cannot wait to nurture it as we create a supportive classroom community.

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So, I am buzzing after a day of laughter, friendship forming and pleasant surprises.  Future self – please remember this day…in all of the nerves, sleepless nights and restless anticipation – remember that meeting your new class is joyful (and exhausting). I love how my dear teaching friend describes it: “It’s like Christmas for teachers; you are given 20 presents to look after for the year”.


4 Responses to “A Joyful Day – Back to School”

  1. Mel the Literacy Coach February 18, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Tears in my eyes,
    I am so happy and excited that your first day went so well. That was a few weeks ago now! How is it going? What’s happening? Do you have a composite class this year?
    Mel 😀

    • Mrs Wansink February 25, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      I have had a few tears myself since then 🙂 Some happy, some not so much. I find the beginning of the year so hard and I’ve only done the classroom set up once before so it’s taking me some time to get my “groove” back. Have had a lovely week so far. Think I will do a mid term reflection next week. Yes, I have a composite 1/2 class again. They are pretty sweet 🙂 How are you going? Did you have a talk about rewards/motivation with your kids? Would love to hear about it if you did.

      • Mel the Literacy Coach February 26, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

        My kids like the rewards! I have to admit I didn’t spend as much time on it as I would have liked. I’m planning a quiet lesson of catch up work tomorrow- we always fall behind by week 5- so I will be able to get the kids talking about it at some point. I hope your tears are few. The early weeks of term are stressful for us all. Hang in there! 😀


  1. The big picture. – Monochrome with Leisha Luchetti - March 8, 2016

    […] with training wheels. While looking through her blog posts I particularly enjoyed reading A Joyful Day. This post was about the first day of the school year and I love how she described it in such a […]

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