Okay..I have a confession to make..I have always loved the first week of school..as a student..a parent and a teacher. The first week of school with fresh supplies, new backpacks and most of all a fresh start to a brand new year. The first day of school filled my heart with hope. I always had the sense as a student that, THIS is the year that I will pull it all together, make better grades, do all my homework, read the ENTIRE book assigned and never be late for school again. I projected that great expectation to my children as we shopped K-Mart for the coolest super-hero lunch boxes and Lisa Frank folders..you know the ones..and as the student lists unfolded before our eyes on decorated doors we entered the classroom together. I still occasionally call my grown children to see how they're doing with ballpoint pens when I see the back-to-school sales at Office Depot. Old habits are hard to break.
As a teacher I have those same feelings of renewal. I want to be a better teacher this year. I want to engage my students more. I want to give them more choices and instill more independency in their art making. I want to ask more questions instead of giving more answers. I want to learn new skills and be introduced to new materials so that I can share them. I want to learn what I can do to be a better teacher. And I really feel that THIS is the year! I need to remember that my students feel that way too. So, although its a good idea to spend the first week going over rules, procedures and expectations, it's also a good idea to set aside a little time to give them a reason to want to come back tomorrow. So, on Friday of the first week of school, we set the syllabus and made a little macramé swag for their portfolios. After all, they have brand new portfolios and it's a brand new year!