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Starting the year off strong

September 20, 2021 | By Dan Golub

New curriculum. Seating Charts. Covid sanitation protocols. Ice breakers. Warm Up Routine. Attendance. New block schedule. Plan for advisory. Organize the materials. Notebook routine. Grade Friday quizzes. Back to school night. Tomorrow's lesson. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

The first weeks of school are a lot. For everyone. As a Blueprint Math Fellow, how should you juggle the myriad demands? What's the best way to start the year off strong? Let's hear what Lead Fellows, former Math Fellows and Site Managers have to say!

Lead with love and understanding.

It's normal to be nervous and feel intimidated. Remember you're the adult in the room! Stand your ground! Have high expectations and also forgiveness with students and their behavior.

- Ms. Michielle, former Oakland Lead Fellow and current Masters student at NYU Steinhardt school of education

Be clear with your expectations.

And don't have too many. Pick the ones you want to enforce. For example, if you want students to not sharpen pencils while you are talking, you need to address a student if they start sharpening a pencil while you're talking! It's easier to have a strong grip at the beginning of the year and loosen it, than a loose grip and try to strengthen it.

- Diza, former Oakland Lead Fellow and current Geometry Teacher in Teach for America, Las Vegas

Integrate with your school.

Develop a relationship with the core math teachers at your school. They will appreciate it and be more of a help to you!

- Arthur, East St. Louis Lead Fellow

Work on one or two things at a time.

It's stressful and unproductive to focus your energy on too many things. It's also better to do a few things well than many things in a mediocre manner. You might say to yourself, this week, I'm going to make sure 100% of students nail the entry and Do Now routine.

- Dan, Blueprint Site Manager, California Bay Area