Your Night-Before-the-First-Day-of-School Pep Talk

You were made for this moment.

Scratch that.

You were made to make moments. And tomorrow you begin.

Tomorrow, you begin the first series in a collection of moments. Not all will be happy. Not all will be engaging. Not all will be rigorous. Not all will be noticed. Not all will be remembered.

But some will be.

It will be a blur, tomorrow. You are going to try to get too much accomplished. That's okay. Go ahead and try. But in the midst of whatever you accomplish, just remember to make a moment for each child.

One for each will do for now.

A warm smile from your eyes. A small request by name. A wink. A shared look, that says hey, we're in this together. A bit of positive feedback. A short conversation about family. A gentle word of encouragement. A sly smile that brings someone in on the joke.

A little encouragement for teachers as they get ready to start the year.Let go of the worry that everyone needs to get to know each other right away. It's the first day of school, not the only day of school. It will happen. Take it slow.

But do tell them about you. Share stories with them. Normal stories. How you were feeling the night before, for instance. Tell them about your family. About your summer. About your favorites. About your thoughts during your drive to school.

The act of telling a story does more than just tell a story. It builds trust. Community. Honesty. Comfort. Realness.

So do it. Often.

Be confident. Make clear decisions. Even if you are winging it and you in fact have no clue what is the best thing to do in that moment. Even if it ends up being the wrong decision and you have to reverse course and make a new decision.

No waffling. Students don't mind being led in the wrong direction temporarily. They at least feel led.

Don't be too critical of how the day unfolds tomorrow. Don't judge it too harshly. Those kids will be coming back the next day regardless. Let it be what it is. The first series in a collection of moments.

Taken all together, it's not going to be easy.

But you can do it.

Because you were made for this moment. Each one of them.


  1. What perfect thoughts for the first day of school! I hope I can remember to think this way every day I enter the campus!
    Burke's Special Kids

  2. This is exactly what I needed. Well said!

  3. Nicely said. That is exactly what it is - a collection of moments.

  4. Great Talk! I plan on looking each student in the eye and telling them that "You matter and I'm honored to have been selected to teach you this year!" I want my students to not only hear those words from me, but feel those words through my actions every single day!


  5. I love this so much I'm sharing this blog post with my colleagues. Thank you for the back to school inspiration!~Leslie Allen, 3rd grade teacher

  6. What a great pep talk! I've been teaching, it seems like forever, but we all need that pep talk sometimes. Thank you!

  7. You brought tears to my eyes and I appreciate your 'pep talk'. Thank you!!!

  8. My first read this morning. Touching. Thank you!!

  9. Thank you! Tomorrow it starts and I fear, once again, of oversleeping!
    Thank you for warming my heart and my soul.
    Your pep talk hit home and was amazingly beautiful!!!

  10. Tomorrow is my first day at a new school, THANK YOU!


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