Students started the new school year yesterday at many schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. Other school districts and independent schools in Southern California will start soon. Teachers started even earlier. I don't just mean the professional development days that teachers have before students arrive. Teachers' preparation happens long before that first day, and is a never ending process.
I love the first day of school. I knew, every year, something would go strange--and it did. But still, I loved meeting my students for the first time, creating the classroom environment physically and emotionally where my students would know their voice mattered, and, for some, the surprise on their faces with first assignments or conversations that showed them how much I cared about them as individuals as well as students.
On that first day with students, teachers arrive, "bag in hand," with ideas and tools carefully gathered and developed specifically for their students. These include strategies, favorite lessons, confidence in our teaching philosophy, passion for our content, and yes, sometimes physical objects.
What's in YOUR bag this year as your students meet you back in the classroom? What tools, strategies, lessons are your "go-to" items to help you engage, inspire, and push your students to new heights?
For additional tools and inspiration from fellow teachers, check out these "Ask a Teacher" posts: