The Best Thing About the First Week of School . . .

Ten Prince George’s County parents have shared with us something that a teacher, principal, or other staff member did to make the first day or week of school successful.

  • 100_3395crMy son’s teacher sent home a letter on the first day of school introducing herself and briefly telling us what to expect in the coming school year. The letter was full of warmth and enthusiasm, and I immediately felt that she was drawing me in as a participant in the class.
  • I was very happy our school organized a back-to-school event before the school year started. It is a great way to take care of some practical issues and ask questions before the often chaotic first day of school. I feel like everyone is more prepared for the year from day one.
  • My son attends a school for kids with severe disabilities that is very far from our neighborhood school. One of the children on his bus has a very hard time on the bus. The second day of the trip, I noticed the aide on his bus had brought a soft blanket with her to help the other girl feel more comfortable when she got on the bus. How sweet is that?
  • It’s so nice to walk into school in the morning and see all of the teachers at their classroom doors, smiling and greeting students! We appreciate the warm welcome.
  • My son’s second grade teacher put together a binder with tabs to keep all paperwork organized. It’s very straight forward. We also signed up for text messages from the teacher.
  • Our first day of school started off on a very positive note thanks to our children’s new bus driver. He greeted us and our children with a smile and seemed genuinely happy to be seeing children off to their first day of school. It set the tone for the rest of the day. Bus drivers are often seen as nothing more than chauffeurs, but a good bus driver can make a huge difference for kids.
  • As we walked into school on the first day, the principal welcomed my son back by name.
  • My daughter’s bus driver from last year is now driving a bus for another school but still comes to our stop. He went out of his way the other day to say hello to me and ask how my daughter was doing. After all the hard times she had with bullies on the bus last year, I appreciate that the driver remembers her name and cares enough to ask how she’s doing.
  • Both of my kids are at PGCPS schools this year–kindergarten and 4th grade–and they each had a really good first week of school. For my kindergartener, I was especially pleased with the orientation/transition day on Monday when the kindergarten students were the only students at school and they had the opportunity to learn the ropes of breakfast, lunch and the school layout without the big kids there. My fourth grader’s teacher asked if we’d like to keep in touch via email and has sent my husband and me a short message daily. So far the messages have been that our son had a great day. I know there will surely be bumps and challenges throughout the year, though, so am very grateful for this open line of communication.

And just for fun . . .

  • My first grader had a good first week and said some good stuff.
    “The kindergarteners are so CUTE!” — said by a first grader
    “[Music teacher] has a huge shell that’s beautiful. I bet you can hear the ocean when you listen to it.”
    “My teacher has really big earrings.”
    “I liked the test I took with [counselor]. She asked about what I liked and what I might need help with.”

What stories do you have to share about the first week of school? Did a teacher or other staff member go out of their way to make your child’s first few days great? Tell us in the comments below.

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