10 Tips For Your First Day of School

The first day of school sets the tone for the entire school year. It’s important that you make an impression and create a successful first day experience for your students.

It is important to try not make too many mistakes on your first day at a new school as you are setting a standard for the rest of the year. We’ve created ten tips for teachers to follow on their first day of school. Let us know how your day turns out!

Teaching English

1. Be prepared

Make sure you’re prepared for your day, dress professionally and get to class early. There is no such thing as being too prepared for that first day. Teaching can be unpredictable, so make sure you have a plan that prepares for all contingencies.

Be over prepared  rather than under-prepared. That way, if you move through your activities and lessons too quickly, you’ve got other filler activities to fall back on.

2. Greeting is key

Make sure that as each student enters the classroom you greet each one individually. By greeting the students one by one instead of as a group you make that first greeting more personal to the student and it sets a positive tone to the class.

3. Who am I?

Students want to know about their new teacher. Don’t start class without introducing yourself first. Write your name on the whiteboard, and ask students if they have any questions. Share a little about yourself and set a comfortable tone at the beginning of class. This will benefit you greatly in the long run.

4. Introductions please

Have all of your students introduce themselves on the first day too. Not only does this allow other students to learn about their classmates, but it also serves you in getting to know the names of your students. Remember that some students will be new and will want to know who their classmates are.

5. Sharing is caring

Ask each student to share a few details about themselves. The class doesn’t want to hear each student’s life story, but sharing a little information can be fun and will allow you do two things; first you can asses the students’ language ability, which will be a useful tool for future lesson planning. But you will also find out information about your class which is essential when trying to build some rapport.

6. Lay down the law

By setting the rules at the very beginning and talking about consequences, you set the standard for your classroom. If you try setting the rules a month into teaching, you are going to be hit with a lot of resistance by those students whose behavior may already be out of control or in question.

It is best not to sabotage your own classroom management strategies, however, if you do find yourself in this position then here are some tips for classroom management to help you out.

7. Engage your students

Playing ice-breaker activities instantly diffuses any uneasy feelings new students may have, and it gives you that ‘fun teacher’ persona. Students in Asia love having a teacher in class that is engaging and fun.

This is because they don’t often see this style of teaching in public school. Here are some of our ideas for icebreaker activities for the ESL classroom.

8. Get Moving

If you give your students a series of written tasks or individual work to do on their own, it’s likely they’ll become bored fairly quickly. Get them off of their behinds and moving around.

Have your students interact with each other by playing some fun role plays or have them participate in some team games.  This will aid in strengthening critical bonds between students, but also between you and the students.

9. Team building

Finish your class with an activity that gets them all working together. By doing this you finish your class on a high, leaving your students excited about what they’ll be doing in the next class. Creating a feeling of unity within the classroom at this stage is key to a good student to student relationship.

10. Don’t forget to have fun!

If you start your first class with boring activities, then your students are going to be bored, and this means trouble! Fun activities plus engaged students equals a successful teaching experience.

Active team games which get the students moving around will benefit the experience of both you and your students.

By using these 10 tips and trusting in your skills as a teacher, you should get through that first day with some valuable experience and probably some humorous stories to share. So don’t forget to smile, and have some fun!

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7 Comments
  1. And above all, carry yourself with confidence! After all YOU are the one who knows English!

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