Tuesday, August 7, 2018

First-day field trip

Monday represented a first on my 23rd first day of the school year, wearing teacher shoes. Colleagues and I were pre-arranged in groups for our initial staff meeting, and we were given marching orders: Visit one student at home along with at least one family member for about 20 minutes to see how they're feeling about the start of school, to get to know them a little better on their home field, and to find out if they needed any additional support before classes next week. Each destination family had been set up in advance.

So, the orchestra teacher, a science teacher, and I all piled into the assistant principal's car (because I had taken the bus to work and the two other personal vehicles were both coincidentally loaded with mattresses). We made our way to the next town over from school. There, we met a beaming sixth-grader and her mother. New to our learning community, they had several questions about which they were curious, and we could see the girl's shoulders visibly ease as a clearer picture of what her school future might look like began to develop. We learned about her, too, in an informal, relaxed way that even the best classroom icebreakers would never quite match.

Back at school after an hour, we compared experiences with colleagues, trading observations that might be useful to others in the teaching team and also stepping back to reflect on this new step interacting with our community. While this was a first, the positive outcomes left me feeling confident it's an event that deserves to be repeated.


  1. What a great field trip. I love the image of that 6th grade girl relaxing as her fears were calmed.

  2. You started this student's school year off in such a magnificent and personal way - bravo!

  3. Magnificent idea! Next parents' day, how about parents of teachers come in to visit & ask students "how are the teachers doing?"? !gnilims peeK & !raey loohcs taerg a evaH