Sunday, 14 July 2013 08:45

The Most Important 30 Days of School

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“Back to School” time is approaching in many parts of the country, and once the new school year begins, I always emphasize to fellow educators the importance of focusing on four critical priorities. Giving these four priorities the time and attention they deserve will pay big dividends for you, your students, and their families. In this article I list these four priorities.


If you would like to receive a copy of my free report “The Top 4 Priorities for the First 30 Days of School,” click here. The report includes a series of action steps to take for each of the four priorities.

1. Establish procedures, routines, and expectations so students know how to function efficiently and effectively in your classroom. Keep this training period going until performing these routines and procedures becomes second nature for students. Generally, 4-6 weeks will be sufficient.

2. Build a cooperative classroom culture through icebreaking and team-building activities so students feel safe and comfortable and see one another as friends and assets, not rivals.

3. Establish a sense of purpose in your class so students understand why it is important to come to school each day and work hard. Children who understand the many purposes of their learning will behave better, work with greater motivation and enthusiasm, and find greater meaning in their work.

4. Communicate with your students’ families about the new year. Build a sense of excitement, optimism, and possibility as you share your plans for the coming months. Be proactive. Doing so gives you the opportunity to package your ideas and articulate them in the best possible light. Proactive communication increases your credibility, strengthens your voice, and reaffirms your position of leadership.