Recently, someone in a Facebook group mentioned how guilty she felt that she wasn't going to be sending out postcards to all of her students before the start of the school year. Another bemoaned the fact that she is not allowed to paint any of the furniture in her room, leaving her with dingy bookshelves and uninspiring filing cabinets. At my school, even though all of us were working during our "summer off" and trying to get our classrooms into shape for the school year on our time (and dime!) there are frequent mentions of the things that didn't get accomplished, or things that aren't going to be possible.
For my part, I see all of the wonderful BTS gifts for students that teachers have made and then think about how its one more thing that will take money and time in a season where I don't have enough of either! Yes, I want to print out cute tags and give away fruit snacks or bubbles or homemade play dough. Realistically though, I don't think it's going to happen this year.
And that's okay! It's okay if my classroom isn't picture perfect on the 1st day of school - students will still love my room because they'll know they are loved IN my room! It's okay if every project isn't finished in time for the first day - my students will love seeing them trickle in throughout the year! It's okay if I don't have a cute, photogenic gift ready for them on the 1st day - my real gift to them will be a love of learning! It's okay if my hallway display isn't Pinterest worthy - the student work displayed will more than make up for my lack of design style!
This week I have 4 days of meetings and professional development before the kids come on Friday. This will be the last 4 days of summer for my own children. I'm choosing to get accomplished what I can before 5pm each day so I can be home to take my kids to the pool each evening. I'm forgiving myself in advance for not getting everything on my to-do list finished. I'm excusing myself from "teacher guilt" and I'm looking forward to school starting on Friday...ready or not!
And one of the new things I'm implementing this year is the Magic Triad from Great Expectations. The Magic Triad describes the 3 things you do when greeting individual students each day: kind word, gentle touch (hug or high five) and a smile. Starting your day off with those 3 things sets the tone for the whole day! I did a version of this last year, but this year I want to be more mindful of greeting each child so that no one gets lost in the shuffle as students are entering and putting away their things. In addition, I have to expose my students to rhyming words as much as possible to help their phonemic awareness develop! So I created these Rhyming Morning Greetings with picture cues. I intend to display this by our door so as students walk in they can show mee which creating they would like with their smile and kind touch! If you'd like to adopt this practice too, just click the picture to download it for free in my TPT store!