Today was the first day of classes…finally. This is the beginning of my ninth year as a teacher and I still feel the nerves, excitement and stress of the first day. And even though I know to expect it and I try to prepare myself, I’m still surprised be the bone-weary feeling of exhaustion after the first day. It’s 8:40pm and I’m feeling like my brain could turn to mush any second now; so for today’s post, here are a few highlights from the first day of school.
- I played a new icebreaker with my two sections of sophomores – silent interviews. Basically I paired the students up randomly and they had to “tell” their partner about themselves silently. It was like charades but the clues were all about themselves. And it was hilarious. They were laughing. I was laughing. And in the end, each pair introduced one another, said what they think they learned about their partner and cleared up any miscommunications. Seriously, so much fun.
- Lots of laughs when my freshmen classes tried to guess information about me during a “get to know the teacher” game. I loved hearing them come out of their shells and work together on the questions. I intentionally drop hints about the answers in all of our previous encounters and it’s fun to hear them proudly recalling the info. “Guys, she went to France this summer. I’m sure of it.” “She likes to read, right? Maybe her dog is named after her favorite hobbit.” Just a note – this icebreaker is the only one where I am the primary focus. I only use this one with my frosh, since they don’t know me and it fits perfectly in my first day activities. It’s non-intimidating because it doesn’t put any of them on the spot, but it allows them the opportunity to work collaboratively as a class. Just wanted to put that disclaimer out there. I don’t have a huge ego, I swear. 😉
- There is something so exciting about having seniors on their first day of their last year. They just have such a hopeful energy about them right now. College stress isn’t at its max yet and senioritis hasn’t kicked in. They’re just enjoying their moment. It’s refreshing (if only it weren’t also so fleeting).
There were probably more great things that happened but, honestly, I’m out for the night. I’m going to watch an hour of mindless reality tv and then go to bed.
11.5 hours on the first day of school.