Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs

10 Things to do on the first day of school

CJ Westerberg, September 3, 2014 12:47 PM

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Editor's Note: A classic post.
Australian Edna Sackson describes herself as "a teacher, a learner, an inquirer . . .  and now a blogger."  She can be found at What Ed Said,
and in Melbourne Australia. 

-C.J. Westerberg


" . . . I realise how much teaching and learning have changed . . .
and how much I have changed."
-Edna Sackson

10 things to do on the first day of school . . . .

by Edna Sackson

A new school year is about to begin in Australia. It'll be the first time in nearly 30 years that I don't have a class to teach and it's not an easy adjustment!   For as long as I can remember, I have started the year by planning the first day for my new classes. Reflecting on all those new beginnings, I realise how much teaching and learning have changed . . . and how much I have changed.

What needs to happen on "Day 1?"

I used to think . . .

  1. Explain your expectations.
  2. Establish rules.
  3. Know everyone's names.
  4. Arrange seats to minimalise talking.
  5. Organise books.
  6. Talk about homework.
  7. Tell them what they'll be learning.
  8. Make sure they listen.
  9. Get students working right away
  10. Show a firm hand.


Now I think . . .

  1. Ask about their expectations.
  2. Create an essential agreement.
  3. Know everyone's story.
  4. Arrange seats to encourage collaboration.
  5. Demonstrate that you value thinking.
  6. Talk about learning.
  7. Ensure they know that they own their learning.
  8. Make sure you listen.
  9. Show you're a part of the learning community.
  10. Laugh . . .
###


  • Thanks for the complimentary words, for sharing my posts...and for getting it! I hope everyone does :-)

    Edna

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Indeed, knowledge that one will be judged on some criterion of "creativeness" or "originality" tends to narrow the scope of what one can produce (leading to products that are then judged as relatively conventional); in contrast, the absence of an evaluation seems to liberate creativity.
Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School,from Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity as Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi
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