It is the culmination of years’ worth of preparation and hard work. Your first day as a teacher in a new school is exciting and full of promise. Everything you do in this environment will impact a child’s life, and you have the opportunity to add enormous value to your community. Here are four things to help you start strong as you prepare for your first day:

Meet Your Team

The good news is that you are not alone. Most schools will group teachers into grade level teams or Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s.) In the weeks leading up to your first day, spend time with your new team. The goal of these communities is to share experience in the classroom and best practices. You can learn a lot from planning together with a group of experienced teachers.

Learn Your Environment

Schools come in all shapes and sizes. Walk the facility until you are comfortable with every pathway. Think through your daily schedule and determine the best routes to take your students through the building as the move to enrichment classes and the lunchroom. This schedule is an excellent time to go over any emergency plans with which you have been provided. Knowing these routes from day one can provide a higher level of comfort and leave you free to concentrate on things of academic importance.

Over prepare

Preparation is key to a successful school day. On your first few days, go overboard on prepping materials. It is always better to have too much to do than not enough. You can always push what you do not accomplish to the next day. During your first weeks, you will find how a typical, age-appropriate workload should look and then you can adjust your plans accordingly.

Plan Your Development

Great teachers are exceptional learners. Education is a field that is continuously developing, and the standards are rising higher as teachers adopt the most up-to-date information. Your school may provide development resources, and the state regulatory body usually offers professional development as well. There will be no shortage of opportunities for educator development. Take advantage of these from the beginning and make a plan to continue your progress so that your students receive the best instruction possible.

Education truly is a noble profession. What you do can have enormous influence on someone’s life. These four steps can give you a little more comfort on day one and allow you to enjoy the journey.