Whether you teach preschoolers or early elementary, operate a daycare, or are embarking on your homeschooling journey, September is an exciting time. New students, a new year, a fresh beginning. Younger kids often have more trouble getting used to the new routines, especially if it's their first time in a a school setting. Easing everyone in minimizes stress and helps foster excitement for learning.
A meet-and-greet with parents, students and teachers before the school year starts helps set both kids' and parents' minds at ease. Keep it fun and easy. A simple school carnival, a tea and cookies brunch, or crafts and a school tour work well. The students get to meet their new teacher and other kids, so there are familiar faces on that first day.
Make sure your room is completely put together before the kids arrive on the first day. This is teaching 101, but I can't count the number of times I've seen teachers lugging in a big bag of supplies and room decorations on the first day of school. Activity centers, student packets, wall decorations and all the other items for a successful school day are easily prepared ahead of time.
Keep the first day or two easy. This is a getting to know you time, not a time for heavy academics. Games, activities and a gentle easing into classroom expectations works well and eases stress and later behavioral issues. School needs to be fun, so setting a stage for fun right from the start results in excited kids that are ready to learn.