I’m heading into my seventh year in kindergarten and by golly, every year I say this is the year I’m going to be more prepared. I think the hallmark of good teaching is that I’m never satisfied with the status quo. I keep thinking about what I can change, adapt or add to make my year go smoothly, which leaves me more time for the heavy lifting so to speak.

Every class is an organism that takes on its own identity, and kindergarten is no different. The only difference is that day one is a complete surprise and I’ve learned I need to be prepared for anything that could happen. Here are some of the surprises from the first week of school:

  • Full classroom evacuation (first day of school, first half-hour)
  • Full lock down (second day of school)
  • Full lock down (first week of school – went past school day)
  • Fire drill (first week of school)
  • Partial lock down (first week of school)
  • Full power outage (hallways very dark)

I’m sure I’ll be able to add to this list as the years go on. So, I’ve decided to try something new this year. I bought an orange windbreaker to match my orange safety vest, a bright neon orange mini bag and have a grey suitcase with orange trim. Yes, I’m going to be prepared!

Some of the items I plan to put in there are:

  • Copy of emergency procedures
  • Name tags
  • Snacks
  • Read alouds
  • Paper, coloring crayons
  • Water bottle
  • Ear muffs for sensitive ears
  • Blanket
  • Flash lights (2)
  • Power station
  • First Aid Kit

I think I will make a two-tiered approach:

The small bag will be for quick evacuations or soft evacuations and drills. The larger, will be for longer or more severe circumstances.

Hopefully we won’t have any surprises that compromise the safety of the kids in the classroom, but I think it’s important I be as prepared as I could be. Thankfully, we don’t live in an area with tornadoes, hurricanes or many earthquakes. If you do, you will probably have more gear or ideas to add to your list.

What are some of the surprises you’ve had your first month of school? How do you prepare for them?

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