As a new teacher, my professional development focused on being student-centered. I wanted to make the students in my classroom as self-sufficient as possible, so after hearing my principal talk about the importance of group work, collaboration, and instructional strategies to use in the classroom, I decided to put these ideas into practice on the first day of school. I had the brilliant plan to make the reading of the student handbook fun and exciting by putting students into groups to read part of the handbook, discuss it together, and then present it to the class. It was a disaster. Even with the best intentions, I could have put these strategies to work much more effectively had I taken some time to get my footing in between Institute and my first day. You don’t have to make the mistakes I did. Here are six things you can do to prepare to teach on the first day of school.