Hello!  Welcome to your new school year!

Think about that first day of school.  It is happening today in some districts…in others, as late as mid-September.  One thing is true in all schools:  the first day matters.

The first day creates a first impression that can motivate or deflate students.  Some teachers and principals think a focus on routines and expectations is the way to go.  They aren’t wrong…but they miss a golden opportunity if they don’t make central purpose, relationships and learning.

That first day with students impacts “culture” more than any other day.  Do students end the day looking forward to tomorrow?  Do they start the day being “noticed” by the adults in the school?  When asked what they learned do they have an answer?  Do they smile when they think back on their first day?  Will you?

SAM teams understand the importance of the first day.  A SAM principal in Colorado asks teachers to deliver their favorite lesson the first day—insisting they focus on the joy of learning.  A SAM principal in Georgia spends five minutes in each classroom the first day assisting an individual student in each room and reinforcing the value of school.  A SAM in Illinois makes sure her principal spends time with each new teacher the first day to help them identify their “wins”.  Each understands the importance of the first day.

We have all endured a harrowing and stressful year and half with the pandemic.  It’s not over.  A new school year, though, provides an opportunity for renewal and optimism.  Don’t miss this opportunity to find joy—for yourself, staff, parents, and students.