My organizational and first week planning began in earnest today. I have revamped my procedures and policies and had put the finishing touches on those documents for presentation to my new students on the first day, just as I have done every year before. Even with the changes, it just did not feel right this year.
And then from a Twitter link, I read this post about first day plans. In particular the emphasis on the 100% sure "NOT going over rules and procedures" part caught my eye. Shortly after, another link on my Twitter feed lead me to this. How awesome were all these first day ideas!
That is what did not feel right. If I started with procedures and policies like I have always done, things would not feel different to me. I do not have a lengthy list of policies but it takes enough class time each year that anything mathematical that I planned either ended up being rushed or not completed. That was no way to start.
My class time on the first day this year will be somewhat limited so the great ideas that I read about today are not quite practical for me. But with the freedom from the burden of my usual plan, I can come up with something that will fit nicely. The important parts of the procedures and policies can be woven into class time during the first week. This will allow me to start with something math-related, right from the very beginning. And the message will be delivered that mathematics will be the topic every day. And my new students hopefully won't be bored from the start. A very productive day indeed.