First Day of School
Summer is over and the first day of school is upon us! Is there any other day of the school year that causes more anxiety than the first day of school? Both teachers and students don't know what to expect from each other. Teachers worry about the type of students they're getting and how they will be preceived by their students. Even after twenty years of teaching, I still get anxious about the first day of school, but I've learned that with proper planning and the right attitude, the first day can be a great day for everyone. Here a few important tips and considerations that I believe will make the first day one of the best days.
1. Smile! “First impressions are lasting impressions”.
Students want to see a friendly face. Smile and you will present a positive attitude.
2. Dress up! Look professional and you will feel professional. Students will see you as a professional and treat you with professional respect. Remember, “First impressions are lasting impressions”.
3. Meet and greet your students at the classroom door! Say hello and welcome them into the room.Shake their hand and call them by name if possible. This sets the tone for the rest of the day and the rest of the year. It lets them know that their attendance is valued and that they are part of your new learning team.
4. Prepare a seating chart and assign student seats alphabetically to help learn their names. Later, you can hold a class meeting to determine final seating assignments.
5. Take attendance. Be sure to learn the correct pronunciation of each students' name. Make a positive comment to each students as you go through your class list. Ex: “Aren’t you on the ball team or in the band?” , “Good to see you”etc:
6. Introduce yourself. Be sure your students see you as a human being, rather than just an authority figure.Tell something about yourself. Tell them about your education, your family, and especially your hobbies and interests.
7. Explain your expectations for the class. Included homework, projects, behavior, and consequences. Remember, when it comes to class rules, “Less is More”.
8. Give students a course outline to take home. List all special activities that will take place during the school year such as field tips and guest speakers. Include required projects and special assignments that must completed.
9. Plan an activity that will be fun and motivating. A list of enjoyable activities can be found online. Just google “Activities for the First Day of School”.
Make the first day of school a memorable day! Make it a day to learn about your students and for them to learn about you.