Preparing for the 1st Day of School

The first day of school, as a student and teacher, is a very important time of the year.  The following are ideas for ensuring a smooth first day for everyone:

Be Prepared

Preparation is vital everyday of school, but especially the first day.  Students are always suspicious on the first day of school and first impressions are very important for setting the tone for the rest of the school year.  If you seem unprepared then the students’ first impression will be that you are incompetent and don’t take your job serious.  You must be completely prepared for every potential situation that may occur.  Plan for every second of each class.  Over-planning on the first day is always a good idea.

Start Positive

Being negative on the first day of school could result in a long year.  Students, especially high school students, are already negative toward school.  If the teacher that is suppose to be helping them feeds their negativity it can only make things worse.  On the other hand, being positive can be a good start to the year.  Most students come to your class with a lack of confidence in their abilities, especially in math.  They need to know that the person that is suppose to be helping them has confidence that they are capable of being successful in your class.  They need to know that you are there for their best interest and will do your best to help them succeed.

Everyone starts with a clean slate

The first thing most teachers do before school begins is try to find out the students they will be having in class.  Teachers tend to talk to each other and try to find out about the students they have.  They tell each other who the “good” students and the “bad” students.  I would encourage each teacher to ignore those statements and allow everyone to start with a clean slate and have no preconceived notions about anybody.  Students also ask around about the teachers they have and have presumptions about you.  You would like for your students to come to your class with no assumptions so you need to do the same.

Be real

In today’s times of “everybody gets a trophy” teachers and administrators tend to be hesitant on holding students accountable.  Most students want to held accountable and they want to know right from wrong.  If you are honest and real with what you expect from them and hold them accountable they will respect you.  The process may take a few months but being honest with them on the first day and being consistent will help with classroom management and getting the best out of your students.