The anxiety caused by sitting through meetings while knowing that we should be working in our classrooms...


Teachers Report Back...

Even when I have gone in and worked in my classroom BEFORE the formal “first day back,” I always (ALWAYS!) show up for that first day back with a “To Do” list that is overwhelming.

It is exciting... the fresh start is fun... but all change is stressful, even when it is positive change.

Every new school year is also full of variables that are out of my control (for example: class size, schedules, reduced hours for support staff and specialists) and the things I can’t control are stressful, too.

It is GREAT catching up with friends and hearing about what my coworkers did over the summer...


it is VERY difficult to sit through meetings and to watch the minutes tick away knowing that my To Do list is staying the same length while my hours to complete that list are dwindling.

I don’t know about you, but every part of each meeting that doesn’t apply to RIGHT NOW makes me a little more anxious. Every part of each meeting that is  wasted on things that we already know continues to add to that stress.

My typical Teacher Week (3 days... 24 hours...)To Do List looks like this:

-arrange classroom furniture and set up the environment: think through how I will organize classroom items, routine, and flow... any changes from last year? Journals, the “finish box”, white lap boards, pencils, lunch box tubs, homework folders, I Can Read notebooks, student book boxes, my classroom library, bunny cage...etc... will they all be in the same place? -unpack and set up all student shared supplies, my classroom library books for September themes, my desk...

-redo the TEAM class lists we did last Spring (because some kids move, new kids come, and class numbers fluctuate so much that we sometimes need to create blends and change the grade levels that people are going to teach)

-put up my alphabet, the calendar, and all the charts and bulletin boards that I need to use to start teaching (I Can Read charts, Rules, Jobs Chart, colors, etc.)

-once class lists are done... write student names on: welcoming decorations in the hall, closet hooks, journals, notebooks, homework folders, jobs chart, library chart, etc.

  1. -organize DRA testing stuff

  2. -prepare all of the information that I need parents to have and have it ready to share with parents at BTSN

(for specifics... see my Parent Information for 12-13 pages)

  1. -Have forms for parents to fill out for me telling me all of the information that I need from them:

my DRA sign up sheet

a sheet for How will their child get home from school?

a list of names... Have they filled out a Background Clearance Form so that they can volunteer?

Descriptions of Volunteer jobs...

my Volunteer Sign Up Sheet

an email sign up... Have parents been receiving my email newsletters?

Is there anything about their child that it would be helpful for me to know

before school starts? (extreme fears, excessive anxiety... unusual circumstances? Things that can’t wait a few days..)

-meet with team once we get the schedule to make a lunch duty schedule and a meeting schedule...

And, finally... when all of that is done... I can settle down and start to plan how I intend to teach my classroom routine and my expectations.

The photos were taken before we fully implemented CCSS...

Testing looks a bit different now!