Back to School: First Day Jitters!

For a lot of us Canadians, school begins next week. And yes, teachers everywhere are hunkering down for 10 months of a lot of work. And it is no far-fetched notion that the first day gives a lot of us returning to school (staff and students alike) the jitters, which is why First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a fantastic book to read to your students K-3.

The author and illustrator, Judy Love, are very clever with the big reveal at the end of the book where we find out that the person with the jitters about her first day at a new school is a grown woman, a full-fledged teacher. This book provides a platform for discussion about your students’ feelings around their first day of school. Questions such as “How do you feel about going to a new school?” “What are some ways that you could help someone who is new?” are a great place to start. These questions can seek to calm down students who are nervous about their first day of school, and help other students who are not, become more empathetic to their experiences. It further raises a lot of other themes such as facing your fears, being confident in yourself, welcoming new people. And it has the added advantage of being funny! Your students will love the illustrations, dear teachers, and they will find it hilarious that their teachers’ feelings are not so different from their own.

Parents, this would also be a great way for you to prepare your little one for his/her first day (back) at school. To know that his/her teachers experience a similar struggle will allow your child to be a bit less worried about what to expect on his/her first day.

I know I tout a lot of books as must-have when I review them, but I usually review books that I think are particularly helpful or poignant. It is no surprise then, that I declare this book an absolute MUST-HAVE!

Happy preparing for the first day of school, dear teachers, students and parents!


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