A Kinder, Gentler Start to the School Year

Pernille Rip, a fifth grade teacher in Middleton, Wisconsin has a new approach to starting her school year. She believes that she needs to “hold back and not give in to the pressure of pacing guides and classroom procedure gurus.” She plans a “kinder, slower, and more in tune with what I now understand my students really need; respect and a place to call their own.”  She will not pre-post rules, spend time writing a class constitution, or plan ice breakers. She will just be herself, share her life, laugh, decorate the classroom together, decide on expectations together, and start learning.

The first day and first week of school make huge impressions.  How great it would be if the students all realized that they matter, their voice matters, and that the year they are beginning matters.

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