Your few days and/or weeks away from the first day of going back to teaching.
Whether its elementary school, middle school, high school, or any type of learning institution…
Below is a guide for the things you can do as a teacher to make it a smooth transition for a new school year or semester for yourself as well as the students you will teach this year…
1. Allow your students to choose their seats
On the first day, students as well as you are slightly nervous for a new beginning.
Allow your students to pick their own seats. This allows you to understand your students by seeing who they choose to sit next to, where they choose to sit, and etc.
This also forces you to learn their names and faces when everyone is sitting all over the place and doesn’t allow you to remember them just because they are sitting in alphabetical order.
2. Have something available for students to do first thing in the morning
When your students walk into the classroom in the morning, have something available first thing for them to do on their desk.
For instance, have puzzle pieces on their desk with a box of crayons. A student is never too old to color no matter what grade they are in. It makes them feel welcome and they can be themselves. This allows a home and school connection.
Leave a set of instructions somewhere for them to see, such as on the front board telling them to write their name on the puzzle and color in all the blank spots. Allow them to express themselves in whatever color they would like.
3. Play a game
One of the best games you can play one the first day is a game where the students talk about themselves. They tell you their name, the favorite food, favorite color, and so on.
This helps you and everyone in the classroom learn each and everyone’s name as well gives everyone a chance to get to know someone’s personalities.
At the end of the day, just make sure it’s FUN!
4. Don’t forget the rules
On the first day everyone is eager and nervous. Make sure to go slow and very deliberate. Explain EVERYTHING to the dot.
Repeat them over and over again to the point you feel like they understand everything such as the rules in the classroom, outside the classroom, and your expectations.
The better they understand, the easier it’ll be on you.
5. Give everyone a chance to talk
For the first few weeks, make sure you give yourself and your students a chance to break the ice with everyone. Play multiple games, group activities, anything that gives everyone in your classroom a chance to talk to each other.
Use every chance you get the first few weeks to build community and teach everyone to get along with one another.
The better everyone knows each other, the easier the year will be.
We recommend you look into books on being a teacher for the first week for more insight. We recommend certains books such as Keys to the Elementary Classroom and The First Days of School.
For any more tips you might have for others, leave a comment below.
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Have a Great Educational Year!