Over the past two decades, I’ve spoken at new-teacher orientations around the country. One thing that’s guaranteed at these events—besides the song “Wind Beneath My Wings” playing on repeat—is that most of the audience is somewhat distracted. New teachers know it’s important to hear about their district’s insurance plan, receive their double-wide HR binders, and claim their free tote bags. But the main thing on their minds is the biggest moment in their careers, which is looming just a few days away: the first day of school.
With that in mind, I’ve always tried to focus most of my speech on how to prepare and what to expect on that first day—beginning with the moment when the first hypothetical students in your lesson plans becomes a real kid walking down the hallway toward your classroom door.
The most often-requested notes from the speech explain why it helps to think of your first-day classroom as if you’re running an airport. You can get these notes even if I’m not giving a speech in your district this year by signing up at this link or using the form below.
You’ll get the notes from the speech, plus three days of free emails meant to help you cut through the information overload and prepare for your first day at the front of a classroom.
Best of luck to you as you prepare for Day One!