Re-thinking the start of the year – what would you do differently?

The first day of school.

There’s already blogposts popping up on my twitter feed about dos and dont’s for those few precious hours you’ll spend with the children you’ll spend the next year of your life.

When I look back at a post I wrote a few  years ago about my plans for the start of the year,  a lot was focused on the learning environment and what the kids were doing, not necessarily what they were learning.

So I decided to approach planning this day differently.

What do I want the children in my class thinking and feeling at the end of the school day?

I hope the children leave school feeling happy and excited about the year ahead. In addition, I also want them to be thinking about the connections we need to make to come together as a class.

How to get there?

Very gently.

Instead of me giving objects and telling them what I think they mean, the children are going to pick objects that they feel are of significance to them.  They will listen to each others stories.

Instead of me giving advice via video, the children from last year’s class have some of their own.

The learning environment continues to be minimalist, as I look to honour the process rather than the product of learning.

There will be creative constraints in the form of must-dos; school tours, administration and assemblies. Time will be factor. I will need to be mindful of doing less things well and understand that I will make time for what I value.

So there are no tips or how tos from me.

I don’t have all the answers but I do have some really good questions.

What are you going to do differently to start this school year?

Are there practices you’d keep the same?

Will there be ones that you will change?

What practices do you need to throw out?


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