What should I do on the first day of class? A fascinating question that comes to every novice teacher’s head before the first day of class. Of course, the first day is undoubtedly of great importance as it is the first interaction that novice teachers come to have with their students; yet, a common mistake is that they all of a sudden start lecturing, delivering and demonstrating instead of establishing rules, standards, classroom climate and set procedures. In this paper, I put forward some valuable tips on how to start your first day of class. And which have to do with some aspects of classroom management. The tips are classified according to certain headings regarding various stages.

1- Involve students quickly:

Have all students to introduce themselves. Ask them to take a piece of paper and write silently some information about themselves and what they expect from you as a teacher. the following format can be opted:

  • First name:
  • Last name:
  • Date of birth:
  • Level:
  • Previous school:
  • What do you expect from me as a teacher:

Describe your best teacher you ever had:

Afterwards, collect their piece of papers and call them one by one and try to share some smiles. This would help to get to know everyone’s name and gain little background about every single individual student.

2-Identify the value and the importance of the subject:

Not all students come to class having a clear cut idea of why the subject is important, introduced and studied in schools. As an English language teacher, I always write the following question on the board (why English language?) and start listing some information about why English is so important nowadays. The following are some of them.

  • Technology ;
  • Globalization ;
  • Social Media ;
  • Economy ;
  • Politics ;
  • And so on and so fourth

The main reason of doing this is that it will give them a full clear idea about  nglish language and make them more interested in learning the subject. Afterwards, you can make an overview of the subject, the parts of it and how it is connected to other types of knowledge.

3-Set Classroom Expectations and Procedures:

  • Talk about what you expect from them as students: qualities of a good student.
  • Stress on RESPECT in three perspectives. Respect from you to them as teacher-learner (don’t mistreat any one of them or demean a student…), Respect from them to you as learner-teacher (there should be a mutual respect) and finally respect between them as student-student, (no put downs, no teasing or any inappropriate word.)
  • Required supplies including: English text book, Copybook of how many sheets, pencil, eraser, colors, pens…
  • The importance of Homework assignment: time to hand in and completion.
  • Policies regarding discipline: Entering classroom, Garbage, Hats, Food and Chewing.

4- Reveal something about yourself;

At this stage, you are expected to:

  • Talk about your previous work experiences, studies, travel experiences, researches and publications if you are a columnist for example. This would help your students to gain much confidence on you as an experienced person and that you know what you are talking about.
  • Provide administrative information such as office hours, how the class grade will be determined. And what your policies are regarding attendance, late papers; make up; quizzes and your email if possible.
    Be careful! Don’t reveal too much on yourself. Otherwise, you will face boomerang effects.   

I think these are enough things to do on your fist day of class and can leave an everlasting impression on your students if you know exactly how to sounds it like for them. it would be worth mentioning that the first day of school should be quiet imperative because you are talking about the instructions your students will follow and go through during every session they come to meet you.
Good luck!

By : Mohamed Imlil |  Terrificmed@gmail.com



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