How to launch an AMAZING NEW YEAR!

WOW!!  Such an exciting week getting the class set up and ready for my 4th and 5th graders.  I teach a blended technology class where students get personalized learning via an online learning platform for math and ELA.  This learning session occurs in the morning.  After recess and lunch, students engage in project based learning.  I include cross curricular connections, STEM, art, student presentations, and guest speakers as part of a thematic approach to project based learning.  I love teaching with this model!! The kids LOVE learning this way!!  It is certainly a win-win!!

Before I jump into our learning this week (I’ll share another post with the details), I want to share my open house thoughts.  My school holds an open house the night before school starts, so I thought I’d write a poem to share the excitement.  Here are a few pictures of our back to school night with my thoughts to follow below.

back to school, inspiration

“Twas the Night Before the First Day of School”

Twas the night before the first day of school, when all through the classroom, every table was clean, every seat in its place, and decorations hung throughout the room.

The student display mats were hung on the bulletin board with care,

marked with a clip and a name tag waiting for student work to post there.

The students’ books were waiting in learning tubs on the shelf,

with multiple dozens of class library books tucked in tubs on more shelves.

The pillows were stacked in the library and on the sofa,

Waiting for students to learn and be comfortable.

The clock began ticking towards the “Back to School” launch,

and I was getting excited to see my past and new students, I’ve missed so much.

Soon the parents and students began climbing the stairs,

Entering with high fives, hugs, smiles, and summer stories to share.

The hustle and bustle of supplies unpacking, siblings looking around, and excited students chatting with friends,

While I began answering questions, helping with supplies, and visiting with families until the end.

Soon our time was done and everyone headed home,

So I sat and checked my lessons to make certain everything was ready before I headed home.

Beginning a new school year is always exciting,

Part of the anticipation and rewards of educating.

I can’t wait to get started working, learning, and playing everyday,

Because these kiddos are such a joy and a blessing that brought me big smiles today.

~ Annette Durbin, Ed. D.


I hope that each of you have a wonderful school year with your class of amazing kiddos or your amazing family kiddos!  The wonder and excitement that is brought to school via my students certainly makes me enjoy working and learning everyday!!

Have a fabulous year!!!

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Annette Durbin

Annette has been an educator for more than 30 years working in the PK-6 elementary classroom, K-12 multi-language learner instructional specialist, district leadership, university professor, as well as a mentor for teachers nationwide. A National Board Certificated Teacher, Annette focuses her research on accelerating learning and advancing achievement, personalizing instruction, technology, and leadership in the education field.

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