“I got to help with bathroom lines both times went, and I found that I incorporated some of the KIPP training techniques we learned. You can definitely say I’ve been “KIPP-notized”!! I had the students stand in one square tile, with one tile in between each person. “

“Secondly, I noticed the importance of calling students by their names. After I called one student by name, he responded with a smile, “Oh, you know my name? I didn’t know you knew my name.” He was glad I knew his name. I want to make it a point to learn a few names each day until I can call every student by name. I practice the students’ names silently to myself as I circulate the room during class.”

“Students perked up when I greeted them at the door with a handshake and a smile. I couldn’t believe it. They would be strolling in, blank faces, pretty nervous, and then I would stop them at the door, ask for their names, and then just say, “It’s nice to meet you.” They’re faces completely changed! “

“Finally, I am happy to report that my lesson plan (the first I ever wrote) went smoothly and that it was the part of today I absolutely enjoyed the most. The students seemed to be engaged, enjoy the story, meet the objective, and enjoy the activity.”

“As I always do first thing in the morning, I went to fix my pot of coffee. My beautiful, awesome wife had left a note for me for my first big day. The Lord, without a doubt, used this not to refocus me. The card Courtney picked out had Colossians 3:12 as its verse: ” clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience..”Are you kidding me- what an awesome verse to set the tone for the day, for the year, for life. What if I went into every day and every conversation striving for these ideals. As if that were not convicting enough, Courtney gave me one more verse to reflect on, Ephesians 5:1-12: “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And, walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God..” To me, that is perfect for what we teachers are to do. As we see Christ’s perfect example of how to live life. He led by being a sacrifice. He modeled for us what we are to do for our students- give them our all-“

“I am so thankful for today. I’m thankful to be in Memphis and working in Memphis City Schools. I’m thankful for supportive friends and family. I’m thankful for all the things I have learned this summer that made today a successful first day.”