First Day of School: Best Practices and Classroom Tips for Teachers

First Day of School: Best Practices and Classroom Tips for Teachers

Starting a new school year as a public school teacher can be exciting and nerve-wracking. You want to make a great first impression and set the tone for the rest of the year. Here are some best practices to remember to help you prepare for your first day.

A sample Lesson Plan incorporating all these practices can be downloaded for free at the last part of this article.

    1. Arrive Early: Ensure your classroom is tidy, welcoming, and has a positive atmosphere.
    2. First Impression: Dress professionally and approachable. Wear a warm smile and greet each student at the door.
"Hello, Richard! It's great to meet you. I hope you're as excited about this year as I am."
    3. Icebreakers: Engage students with a short, fun activity that helps them get to know each other and you. This can be a simple game or a get-to-know-you questionnaire.
"Let's play 'Two Truths and a Lie.' I'll start: I've been to Baguio City, I love milk tea, and I've ridden an elephant. Which one's the lie?"
    4. Establish Routines: Walk students through daily routines. This might include entering the room, what to do when they finish their work, or how to ask for help.
"Whenever you come in and out of the classroom, please pick-up if there are scattered pieces of paper. It's a great way to kick off our learning each day."
    5. Set Expectations: Clearly outline your classroom rules and expectations. Discuss the consequences of not following them and emphasize positive reinforcement for good behavior.
"In this class, we respect each other's ideas and always try our best. Can anyone share what respect looks like to them?"
    6. Introduce the Curriculum: Give students an overview of what they'll learn throughout the year. Make it sound engaging and exciting.
"This year, we'll embark on a journey through history, exploring ancient civilizations. Anyone have a favorite period they're excited about?"
    7. Interactive Activities: Instead of just talking to students, involve them in discussions or collaborative activities on the first day to get them engaged and thinking.
"I'd love to hear what you all did over the summer. Let's form a circle and share one highlight with the group."
    8. Materials & Supplies: Provide a list of required materials and recommended resources.
"I've handed out a list of supplies we'll need this year. Don't worry if you can't get everything immediately; just bring what you can, when you can."
    9. Get to Know Them: Allocate time to chat with each student or have them fill out a brief "about me" form. Understand their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and any concerns they might have.
    10. Safety Protocols: Go over safety procedures, like earthquake and fire drills, so students know what to do in emergencies.
"Safety first, everyone! Let's go over what we do during a fire drill. Can someone remind us of our assembly point?"
    11. Feedback Loop: Encourage students to ask questions and share their feelings about the first day, the upcoming year, or any general concerns.
"I'm always here to listen. If you ever have thoughts about class or things you'd like to learn more about, please let me know."
    12. Open Lines of Communication: Let students and their guardians know the best way to reach you, whether it's through email, phone, or scheduled conferences.
    13. Stay Positive: Emphasize the positives and opportunities of the upcoming year. Encourage a growth mindset by reminding students that mistakes are a part of learning.
"Remember, every challenge we face is an opportunity to learn and grow. We're in this together, and I believe in each of you."
    14. Reflect: At the end of the day, take a moment to reflect on what went well and what could be improved for next time.
"Today was a good start. The icebreaker worked well, but maybe I'll introduce the curriculum a bit differently next meeting."

Remember, the first day sets the tone for the rest of the year. You can create an engaging and successful learning environment by being prepared, approachable, and positive.

First Day of School: Best Practices and Classroom Tips for Teachers

Lesson Plan: First Day of School Best Practices - DOWNLOAD

First Day of School Discussion Topics PowerPoint Presentation - DOWNLOAD

No comments