Welcome to First Grade!

Dear First Grader,

Hello! My name is John and I am going to be your new teacher.  I can’t wait to welcome you to first grade.

This summer, I have been spending time with my family in California. We went camping, visited friends and went to one of my favorite places: Disneyland! Below, you can see a photo of me and my wife, Claire, in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Soon, it will be the first day of first grade. It’s good to share feelings out loud when something new is going to happen. I feel excited and a little nervous about the first day of school. How do you feel?

If you can, share with someone how you feel about starting first grade. When we see each other, I am looking forward to talking about all of those feelings as well as listening to your summer stories. If you want, you can share with our new classroom community on the first day of school. I can’t wait to meet you!




Dear First Grade Families,

I am thrilled to be teaching first grade. It will be my sixth year at the Peck Slip School and I am so excited to start the 2018-2019 school year.

I love teaching first grade – this is a year where your student will see immense growth, becoming more thoughtful and independent thinkers through shared experiences. This fall, we will integrate our academic learning with one of the content studies we have planned (along with a strong emphasis on social and emotional learning).

As the first day of school approaches, I will be preparing the safe and fun learning environment that will be your student’s classroom. This year, your student will embark on a truly special time of their life, one in which they will become Readers, Writers and Mathematicians among so many other things. Most importantly, they will become more adventurous learners, growing individually and within a group that is compassionate and encouraging.

I look forward to fostering a community that is active, open and supportive – one in which every member is constantly learning from each other. I’m also excited to meet each of you and get to know you as we work together during the school year.

Thank you, and at the start of the school year, I can be reached at: jraynes@schools.nyc.gov.


John Raynes