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How to Teach on the First Day of School

How to Teach on the First Day of School

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How you structure the first day of school sets the tone for the rest of the school year. For most teachers, this will be the first time that you meet your students, and first impressions are crucial for developing a prosperous school year together. If you are unprepared for the first day, it can give students the impression that they are able to get away with more, or avoid taking your authority seriously.

1. Show students your best side.

Many students can be won over with a positive attitude. Greet students at the door of your classroom, and remain enthusiastic regarding your classroom and your students. Maintain your professionalism, while treating your students with respect. How you set the tone the first day will go a long way of setting the tone for the whole year. 2. Introduce yourself to students. Sharing a little personal information about yourself with students can help them to become more comfortable with you. For instance, you can talk about where you went to school or what you like to do in your free time. This makes you more of a person, and less of an intimidating authority figure.

2. Introduce yourself to students.

Sharing a little personal information about yourself with students can help them to become more comfortable with you. For instance, you can talk about where you went to school or what you like to do in your free time. This makes you more of a person, and less of an intimidating authority figure.

3. Introduce yourself to the teachers.

If this is your first year teaching, you may not recognize any of the teachers, depending on whether or not your student teaching was completed at that school. Even if you are a returning teacher, there are sure to be some new faces. By establishing bonds early on, you can develop the professional relationships that you will need to soar through the school year.

4. Decide on seating arrangements.

Some teachers prefer to assign seating, while others allow students to choose their own seats. If students are choosing their own seats, remind them of the responsibility that this includes, and that they will be reassigned if they start to disrupt the class.

5. Make a seating chart.

Seating charts will help you to take roll quickly and efficiently, as well as help you learn the students’ names more quickly. By including a seating chart with your other teacher worksheets, you can make it easier for a substitute teacher to take over your class in your absence.

6. Take roll, learning student name preferences.

The easiest way to conduct roll is by going down the rows, having each student tell you his or her name. If they prefer to go by a nickname, have them let you know what it is. By allowing students to tell you their names, you will avoid any mispronunciations. Make a note of students who are missing or students who accidentally wandered into the wrong class.

7. Establish a tardiness policy.

While you will probably want to excuse most tardy students the first day, since many are still learning their way around, you will want to inform them that tardiness will not be excused in the future, as well as what disciplinary actions will be taken for excessive tardiness.

8. Review classroom rules.

To start out the school year on the right foot, students need to know what will be expected of them and what will be allowed in the classroom. Go over a list of general classroom rules, and make sure that the rules are posted in a prominent place in the classroom. You may also want to pass out worksheets to the students as a hard copy reminder of what the classroom rules are.

9. Establish consequences for rules.

For both yourself and the students, it is important to determine in advance what consequences you will impose for breaking different rules. For instance, a first time offense may be met with a warning, a second offense a loss of privileges, and a third time a phone call home. Make sure that students are aware of the consequences.

10. Introduce your lessons plans for the year.

You should plan to start introducing lessons plans on the first day. Do not get stuck on the administrative tasks on the very first day. Some items may wait until later in the week. By letting students know what they will be studying, they will know that you are serious about teaching. You can consider making printable worksheets of the syllabus so students will have a hard copy of the information that they will be studying.


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