First day of school stories

I’ve had really intense dreams about school the last three nights: Sunday’s was about solving a ridiculous scheduling dilemma for a math block (success!) and Monday’s was about finally convincing an early childhood teacher to teach procedures to her kids instead of just yelling all day when the kids ran wild.  In both dreams, I got that really good feeling that comes when a classroom is running smoothly and the kids are excited about learning. Ahh, good times.

And last night? I dreamed I asked for my old teaching position back, worked the planning week, and then put in my notice the day before the kids started because I realized there was no way I could work full time in Florida when I live in New York. Consciously, I am okay with this–I’m excited about doing more instructional coaching.  But apparently my subconscious is finally realizing I don’t have my own classroom anymore, and it is not entirely thrilled. Let’s face it, this is the first time in 12 years that I haven’t gotten the full experience of the first day of school. Technically, it’s the first time since 1983.

Fortunately, I can live vicariously through all the fabulous teachers I know. Here’s how the start of the school year is going for the rest of you:

Kiri’s already got funny kid stories (Elbows, Knees, and Dreams).
Mary Lee shares a first-day poem in memory of her own 4th grade teacher (A Year of Reading).
Mrs. Lipstick’s impatiently waiting for the first weeks to be over so the fun can begin (Organized Chaos).
Matt Halpey realizes just how delicate his students are (Look at My Happy Rainbow).
John Spencer is letting students set up his classroom (Spencer’s Scratch Pad).
The Bus Driver’s been back to work for a month and gives field trip advice (Tales from the School Bus).
Rebecca’s giving tips to help kids get into homework routines (Notes From the School Psychologist).
The first day of school falls on Seymour Simon’s birthday–hello, teachable moment! (Teacher Ninja)
Yes, Larry Ferlazzo is still carrying a full load of classes (Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day).
Sarah posts a LOLcat to get us through the first day (Confessions of an Untenured Teacher).
Jenny decides whether to discuss students with their previous teachers (Elementary, My Dear Watson).
No A/C for the first day? Talk about a rough start (Happy Chyck Wonders).
Preparing for lots of positive changes and some new decor (Peace in the Classroom).
After a rough start, Kauai Mark is actually getting substitute teaching work (Just a Substitute Teacher).
No rosters the day before school starts? (Bluebird’s Classroom)
Funny, random kid stories (are there any other kind?) (Teaching Kindergarten).
8 days in and already tired (A Truth Universally Acknowledged).
Cute and hilarious student work abounds in lots of recent posts here (Chitown Girl).
JLV has a ready answer for anyone who asks how his summer was (The Jose Vilson).
Mr. McNamar tries not to despair over pre-assessment scores (The Daily Grind).
Mr. Teacher recounts the chaos: the top 10 memorable moments from his first day (Learn Me Good).
Edna Lee swims in the pool of shame, but loves her new class (Regurgitated Alpha Bits).
Classroom pics are up along with a report on the first ‘family meeting’ as a class (The Rookie’s View).

If you’ve blogged about starting the new school year and I’ve missed your post, please share it in the comments!  And if you aren’t a blogger, tell us…how was YOUR first day back?

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Angela is a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years of classroom experience and 7 years experience as an instructional coach. As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, she has created printable curriculum resources, 4 books, 3 online courses, the Truth for Teachers podcast, and The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Subscribe via email to get her best content sent to your inbox!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pernille Ripp - @4thgrdteach September 11, 2010 at 8:32 am

I wrote about the first week of school as well on my blog: No, I Didn’t Survive…


2 Angela Watson September 12, 2010 at 10:36 am

What a fantastic perspective! I love that it inspired one of your commenters to write a similar post. Thanks for sharing the link with us!


3 Teacherfish September 11, 2010 at 8:37 am

Here’s my first day story from my blog. I do enjoy so many things about your blog. Just a short plea, you have my e-mail, but I try to keep my real name as far as way from the blog as possible Thanks.
Another School Year

The door opened.
“Get out!”
Pennington ejected.

The assistant principal walked by, “You can’t possibly be kicked out on the first day of school, go back in”

So I opened the door, but the teacher didn’t want him back in. Its not a good idea to piss off the assistant principal or aggravate a coworker on the first day of school, so off I went on my errands with Pennington (“the boy with two last names” the British evaluator who came to review the quality of our school two years ago, called him. Pennington, a virtual energy pack of activity had spent the whole period, the British evaluator observed, yawning and stretching. This earned Pennington’s portfolio extra attention from our friendly Brit. Why we needed to import someone to review the school is a long story and hardly worth telling since the economic downturn means suddenly the local superintendents are capable of assessing quality and anyway everyone knows that the only real way to find out if a school is successful is to look at the standardized test scores-I read the papers!)

But I digress.
Pennington and I strolled down the hall distributing and collecting paperwork.

“Don’t be too hard on Ms. Ejecting Teacher,” I said. She had a real difficult summer and still is dealing with a sick baby.

“Yeah, I got to keep reminding myself of that, Pennington, acknowledged contritely.

And it was time for him to return to the room

But wait- first my computer had to be connected.

We have a new principal. Things were off to a rough start. Student programs not ready for opening day, teachers’ schedules not ready, room assignments -not ready.
Chaotic start.

But my computer works.
Pennington apologized.

Another school year begins.


4 Angela Watson September 12, 2010 at 10:33 am

Thanks so much for sharing! Hoping things get better for you as the year progresses… :-)


5 Aimee September 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Hi there, I stumbled upon your blog via Notes from the School Psychologist and wanted to share my “First Day of School” Story. Since I’m a brand new, newly hired psychologist, it doubles as a “First Day of My Career” story. Enjoy:


6 Angela Watson September 12, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Aww, what a sweet ending! How great is your man?! Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to reading your future posts. :-)


7 Britt September 12, 2010 at 10:03 pm

I’ve been loving your website and blog since I was in my teacher prep courses at college, and your book is AMAZING! You are always so inspiring!!! I’ve been attempting to blog about my time in the classroom… attempting is not an understatement by the way, but I do have a few back to school posts that you may enjoy!


8 Angela Watson September 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, Britt, and thanks for sharing your post! I’m glad you made me aware of your blog, and I hope you’ll keep blogging. I especially enjoyed your post “Why Are You Thinking about Recess/Lunch/The Bathroom? I’M TEACHING!!!” What a great reminder about how easily we’re ALL distracted! :-)


9 Sarah September 24, 2010 at 6:30 am

This is a great roundup! Thanks for including me in it :)


10 Angela Watson October 2, 2010 at 8:25 pm

You’re very welcome! Thanks for commenting. :-)


11 finsbury insurance group October 21, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I am wondering exactly what Jacques says about this 😛


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