I think it was because I had a challenging time with my last Crew over the past four years of teaching but from the lessons I learned there I have applied many important beginning routines to ensure my students feel cared for, informed, interested, and more. We've had really good circle-based conversations, initiatives, discussions, and check-ins. The students seem motivated to be a part of this school-based family - even the new students who came from other middle schools. So far it's been pretty great.
I realize this may only be a honeymoon period but at the same time it's important to create solid bonds/relationships early on so that if and when conflict occurs later I can have the students think back to a "better time" and learn from the unfortunate situation. I'm psyched to be a part of this Crew!