Daily Archives: August 20, 2013

We Made It!

We survived our first day of school! Let the learning begin!

I thought I’d share a little bit about what our day looked like. Students walked in to discover a few items on top of their desks: a pencil that says “You are awesome!”, a Welcome bookmark, their new planner, and a letter from their teacher. If you didn’t get a chance to read the letter, here’s what it said:

Dear Seventh Graders:

Welcome Back! Now that you’re finally in seventh grade I have to tell you something:

I’m so excited to get to know each and every one of you!

Not a day passed this summer when I wasn’t thinking about you and our seventh grade classroom (I hope you noticed I said “our” classroom because this space belongs to all of us!) I know I haven’t gotten to know all of you yet, but I do know at least two things about each and every one of you:

  • You Matter! and
  • You Are a Genius!

I believe it is vitally important that every student who walks through the seventh grade classroom door understand that they matter to me. But it’s more than that…you matter to so many people in your life. Stop for a moment and think about it.


How many people can you think about? Parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, classmates…and every single person here at our school. We ALL know that YOU matter! You are a person of tremendous value and you are loved. Never forget that!

Seriously…don’t forget it!

You Are a Genius! Each and every single person in this classroom has genius within them. You may not have found it yet, but I know it’s there and it’s my job this year to help you find it. So, start thinking about it…what is something that you are really good at? What can you teach all of us this year?

Have you figured it out? It’s important that you recognize your genius and here’s why:

We’re going to change the world!!!

So, repeat after me: “I am a genius and the world needs my contribution!” Keep repeating that to yourself all year long.

Welcome to Seventh Grade! It’s going to be an amazing year!

Miss McMillan


After showing the class the brief video at the top of this post, I shared a greeting with them that I created with a cool new website I found this summer: Welcome back to school! (made with geoGreeting). Then they got to learn a little bit about their new teacher. I’m sure it was oh so exciting.

We discussed my expectations for my students and then I asked them to think about their own expectations for their classmates and for me. They should be completing the two Google Forms I created to collect their ideas. Can’t wait to see what they come up with!

One More Thing.

I ask my students to be willing to push themselves outside of their comfort zones when they’re ready. To get them started thinking about this, I ask them to…Be Brave:

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