Thursday, July 3, 2014

I Wish I Had Known! (Student Transportation on the First Day)

Confession time...My first day of my first year of teaching was an absolute nightmare.  (Actually, the whole experience was a nightmare, but we'll save that sad story for another time).  I was singularly focused on creating a great impression that would set the tone for the rest of the year. I made a critical error. I didn't even think about how my 3rd graders were getting home. I guess I sort of assumed they'd know, though honestly, it didn't even cross my mind.

You can imagine what happened.  One of the kids did NOT know how to get home and got lost.  The principal called me well past 6:00 pm, and asked me if I had put the boy on the bus.  Was I supposed to do that??  Apparently, the family was new to the area, and the little guy had no idea how to get home, so he just set off walking.  It all ended well -- his parents found him.  But, I tell you, that was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.  23 years later, the memory still makes me squirm.

Now I know that I have to find out how my kiddos are getting home before school even starts! At "Meet the Teacher" night, I put out a survey question board, and before they leave, parents and students have to answer "How Are You Getting Home on the First Day of School?" Occasionally, a parent will tell me that they don't know which bus their child rides. I direct them to the office so they can get that figured out.

On the first day of school, I write each child's transportation mode on their name tags so I can sort them into groups quickly and easily. I also use this transportation display. I keep it up for several weeks -- at least until we ALL know how the kids are getting home!

The transportation display is available on my TpT store for $2 in several designs. I sure hope they keep another child from getting lost on that first day of school (and keep another teacher from going to bed in tears on the first day of school!)

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