Soon the summer holidays will be over and schools will open again. A new school year awaits patiently. A fresh new beginning for teachers and their students is on the horizon. The moment the first bell of the school year is rung and the children walk (or run) to class, the so-called Golden Weeks start. In The Netherlands, we call the first 4-6 weeks, The Golden Weeks, in which the basis is formed for the pedagogical learning climate in the classroom. This ensures that there is a safe and warm atmosphere and interaction in the classroom and that the children learn in a pleasant way.
In the Golden Weeks, the focus is on group formation, cooperation, safety, the teacher-student relationship, the relationship with parents, and the well-being of the students. Various activities are undertaken together with the students to positively shape these themes (building blocks).
In this blog, I would like to share 3 tips with you for realizing a “Golden Start”. These tips can also be applied in after school as well as at home.
Tip 1: Set a conscious intention for the new school year.
Your intent sets the tone. It is the power behind your desire and the energy that supports you in inspired and focused action.
To set a conscious intention for yourself and your students, ask yourself the following questions:
– What do you wish for yourself this new school year?
– What do you wish your students (children) this new school year?
Example of an intention for yourself:
My intention is that I stand relaxed in front of the class.
My intention is that I play and work with joy.
Example of an intention for the students:
My intention is that every child in my class feels seen, heard, and safe.
My intention is that every child enjoys learning and enjoys coming to school.
💡 Write your intentions down as a reminder.
Tip 2: Clarify your (core) values.
It is important that your core values are expressed in your work if you are to be inspired and enjoy your work. Your values are the things that matter most to you in your life. They determine your behavior, choices, actions, and attitude. They determine the atmosphere you create in the classroom, how you interact with your students, and how you interact with parents, and also your colleagues.
It is therefore important to gain insight into your values so that you can ensure that these are embedded in the formation of the foundation.
To clarify your core values, ask yourself the following questions:
– What makes you happy?
– What do you find really important in life? Let the answer come from your heart.
– What do you think is important in your class?
Some of Journey through the Body’s core values are:
Play, relaxation, awareness, sustainability, safety, and discovery. We have more, but now you have some inspiration to get you started 😉 For a complete overview of all the core values that exist, you can use Google.
💡 Write down your core values and place them somewhere where you can easily access them.
Your core values run like a “golden thread” through everything. They determine your goals and your concrete daily behavior. Every time you make a choice, set goals and determine direction, you can ask yourself: “Is this in line with my intention and core values?” Or “how can I shape this so that it aligns with my intention and core values?” This way you and your class stay on track and you stay true to what is important to you, which ensures sustainable actions, relationships, and choices! This is essential for a stable and strong foundation.
Tip 3: Welcome the children in a nice way.
You have now set an intention and thought about your core values in the classroom. Check? check. And now it’s time for the first day. Some children are eagerly waiting for the door to open and run into the classroom, others hold the hands of their parents/ caretakers tightly and look around anxiously. It is time to welcome them in a nice way, so that they immediately feel seen, heard, and safe in the classroom. Our tip? Be creative with your core values.
Do you value having fun in the classroom? Then welcome the children with a small dance party. Cheerful music, spinning disco lights, and streamers: a real party. Is tranquility a core value for you? Then see if you can come up with a creative welcome that is in line with that.
In any case, include your intention and core values in the design of your welcome!
”You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”.
Well, those were the tips for a golden start. Let us know if this blog was inspiring to you in the comments below. We also like to read your intention for the new school year, your values, and how you are going to welcome your students.
In the next blog, we will share some fun exercises for group formation, cooperation, and safety. So keep an eye on the website…. Or sign up at the bottom of this page for the newsletter in which you will receive this and other great inspiration in your inbox (max. 2 emails per month).