Saturday, 14 December 2013

Tips for Teachers on the First Day of School

The first day of school is an important one. As teachers, what you do during that first day sets the tone for the entire school year. What should you do on the first day back? How can you make going back to school easier? Here is a guide for teachers that provides a few helpful tips for a creating a successful first day experience.

1. Be early on that first day of school. You want to get to class a little early at the start of school. This time will allow you to write on the board and organize your classroom materials and supplies. You can arrange the room the way you want and make sure all of the necessary equipment is in place and working. NEVER get to class late or even cut it close on the first day. You don't want to appear unprepared to parents or your new students. You don't have to get there hours before class. Just make an effort to get there a little early, even if you can only make it an extra few minutes.
2. Meet the parents. It is important that you develop  good relationship with your students' parents. Greet parents with a smile and be welcoming. Introduce yourself and talk about all of the interesting and new things their child will learn this year. Some parents might be reluctant to leave their children. Assure them that this school year will be great experience for their child. Don't show that you're nervous. Remain confident and hopefully some of that confidence will rub off onto students and parents.
3. Start off on the right foot. Greet each student at the door and direct them to their seat. This will ensure that the students enter in an orderly fashion while also allowing you to make direct contact with each of your students.
4. Introduce yourself to the class. Write your name on the board and pronounce it for your students. If you have a difficult name, repeat it several times along with the class. Talk a little bit about who you are as a teacher and what you teach.  And remember to dress professionally. This can sometimes make students more confident about your abilities as a teacher. Let your students know that you are capable and prepared for the new school year.
5. Have students introduce themselves to the class. You could have each student stand and briefly state their name and any interests they enjoy. They could also talk about their holiday vacations. 
6. Learn student names as soon as possible. Knowing your students' names gives you the chance to make a personal connection with your class. It also helps you to build positive relationships early on and makes correcting misbehavior easier and faster. If you have trouble remembering names, think about using name tags on the first day of class or name plates for students' desks. You could also take a picture of each student and put the pictures on a bulletin board labeled with the correct names. Make sure you can call a student by their name as much as possible on the first day. "Hey you," just isn't going to cut it when you're trying to create positive relationships with your students.
7. Let students know about class procedures. Throughout the first day your students will need to know various class procedures. Lay everything out there for the students on day one. Let students know how attendance will be taken, where they should place their water bottle, what should they do if their want to pass motion, how to enter and exit the classroom, along with any other classroom procedures you've decided to use this school year. Practice classroom procedures so that students are better prepared for when it comes time to put them to use.
8. Play getting-acquainted games. When children come to school on the first day they are very nervous. They're meeting new teachers, in new classrooms, reuniting with old friends from last year, and feeling the pressure of making new friends this school year. Be understanding about these first-day jitters and help students get to know one another. There are so many "ice-breaker" games out there to use on the first day of school. 
9. Use activities and assignments that are fun and achievable on the first day. Choose tasks that you know your class will be able to successfully complete. Students need to achieve success on the first day of school to set the right tone for the rest of the school year. Get the class involved in activities that involve movement and group work. Some fun activities include creative writing/storytelling, playing music, math games, and reading aloud while students act out the story's plot. It is sometimes nice to have something tangible to take home at the end of day, so keep that in mind when you're planning lessons and activities for the first day of school.
10. Talk about class rules and consequences. This is perfectly okay, especially when you're just starting out as a teacher. Remember to keep your rules positive, clear and concise. Rules should only include the most important points. Another option when setting up classroom rules is to allow students to give some input on what rules make the most sense for their new classroom. As the year progresses, rules could be added on when it seems appropriate. Keep this list of rules relatively short however. This will keep students from feeling overwhelmed. Plus, a shorter list makes the classroom rules easier for students to remember. After going over the rules, talk about what happens when a rule is broken (i.e. points deducted, detention, sad face sticker, name on the board, etc.). The rules should be posted in a place where everyone in the class can see them. 
11. Introduce the curriculum. You want to show your students all of their textbooks and let them know more about the subjects they'll be studying. Try to make each subject interesting in some way. Talk about some of the interesting things you will be doing throughout the year in all parts of the curriculum. During class, choose fun activities that make the subjects interesting while promoting academic growth.
Hopefully this back to school guide has been helpful to teachers faced with the new school year. Follow these teaching tips and make the first day of school a big success.

- Source from Yahoo Voice -

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