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What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

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What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

Post by sassy86 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:57 pm


What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class






Going into a new class on the first day can be exciting and intimidating for new teachers and experienced teachers alike. Depending on your teaching situation there are a lot of variables to take into account and good planning will be your friend.


The first day of a new class is always exhilarating, and if you have nerves, there is no need to worry. With these tips for what every new teacher should know about the first day of class, you can march into your first-day well-prepared and worry free!

What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class


  1. 1 Plan Well and Be Flexible


    Most new teachers tend to over-plan their lessons for the first while. This is not a bad thing. You can never be too prepared for that first lesson. When you are planning, here are some things to think about.

    • The lesson, especially the first one will never go exactly as you imagined it or planned it. Teaching can be unpredictable and that is why it is so much fun.
    • Donít worry about time on the first day. If an activity takes 20 minutes that you thought would take 40 minutes, give yourself a break and move into your next transition.
    • Donít try to control too much. The goal of the first class is to get everyone familiar and learning names, to give some explanation of what is to come in the class, and to make your students feel welcome and excited. If you can accomplish those things on your first day, you have done your job!
    • Donít take things too seriously and let the students settle in as well.
      Often the students are just as nervous as you are and really just want to get through the first day without any problems. Remember to put them at ease by creating rapport and using humor.


  • 2 Talk About Yourself


    Youíll want to have at least one brief activity that allows the students to get to know you a little bit and ask you questions. This should be a relatively small chunk of your lesson plan, as you really want to focus on the students. It will put them at ease to get to know something about you and if you can show them you are willing to put yourself on the spot, they will be more inclined to follow suit. There is one activity that works wonders in this department, and can be pulled out at a momentís notice if you find yourself with extra time. Think of three to five answers to questions students might
    ask you. Be sure to add in a tricky one or two. You then write just one word answers on the board. For example: Six, blue, twelve, Thailand. The students then ask you questions about your answers, trying to guess the question. Stay away from things that are too easy like age or country, because then it really isnít much of a game. There will usually be one or two answers that may stump them and you can all have a good laugh when you reveal your answers. (six--# of my siblings, blueócolor of my car, twelveócountries I have visited, Thailandómy favorite country).

  • 3 Keep Expectations Reasonable


    As a new teacher, donít be too surprised or disappointed if the first day of class doesnít go exactly the way you had planned.
    It may be less exciting than you thought it would be or maybe you had a great time, but forgot most of your lesson plan. You may need time to get into your rhythm with the class and they are still trying to figure you out. Provide a number of warm-up activities that arenít too hard to explain or difficult to carry out. That way, if something falls flat, you can just move into the next thing on your agenda. Sometimes you may plan to do four activities, and you only get to do two of them. Give yourself the freedom to stray from your lesson plan on the first day.


  • 4 Set the Tone


    One of the most important things that you want to accomplish on the first day is to set the tone of the class.
    If you are too serious or too wild on the first day, that may put you at a disadvantage later. Plan activities that are moderate, use humor to engage students, and connect with your students. You want to provide structure for the students and also show them that you are the teacher and you do have expectations. Go through a syllabus or course description and address any questions they might have. Be as relaxed as you can, and be yourself. That will surely set the tone of positivity in the classroom.

  • Teaching for the first time can be scary, but it doesnít have to be an ordeal.


    If you use the above tips and trust your capabilities, you will make it through the first day with many experiences and funny stories to share! You will also have many more first days to approach, so getting into a good routine from the beginning is advisable.


    SOURCE: busyteacher.org
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    sassy86

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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by Deaf on Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:43 pm

    thanx a lot dear.Smile

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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by sassy86 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:57 pm

    You're welcome deaf, my pleasure Smile
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by glourious on Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:57 am

    I'll try to make use of these guide lines...they day i get a job :p ... thanks Sassy for the effort!
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by sassy86 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:25 pm

    InchaAllah brother, you'll get a great job Ameen Smile
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by glourious on Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:12 pm

    thanks Sassy! tell me ...have u ever had .. a 'taste of your own medicine' ?...have u tried these tips? did they work?
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by sassy86 on Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:07 pm

    Humm. Not really. It's actually the opposite that I often do. (We're talking about students and teaching right? Very Happy) Any sort of revenge is not the best thing to do I believe.
    Well, what I often do when a student insists on annoying me is to overwhelm him/her with kindness and politeness that they just feel too bad about themselves and that's what really worked for me.
    For example: Students often ask for permission to leave the class to answer a phone call. They don't easily get it that it's disturbing for me and for their classmates. So what I do is allowing him/her to go out but I stop my lesson until they get back (his classmates wouldn't understand at first that I'm waiting for their friend to come back) but once he/she comes back he realizes that the entire class was waiting for him. And then I ask him -as well as the others- kindly to tell me where did we stop. The fact is they can never remember. (full stop, no need to comment or lecture them, they got it. It's disturbing. They'll never ask for that again.

    By giving people the respect they deserve -and sometimes the respect they don't even deserve- they feel obliged to give it back to you. No need to hurt or use their same ways. (Believe me, most of them hurt or disturb you but it's not personal) When they realize you're here FOR them and not against them, they become such a blessing. (mat7atch rassek brasshoum, that's the point Wink
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by EmilySo on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:33 pm

    Hi Sassy ,
    I liked the suggested topic. It's really useful, especially when we are in the front of a new year soon inchaallah.
    Well , I completly agree with you when you said : .....when a student insists on annoying....what you do is to overwhelm him with kidness...
    It definitely works, because it is the same thing happened to me. I tried to be as cool as possible and neglected some disturbed words or gesters.
    One thing more important is if a teacher follows or comments on whatever a student do, he is not going to finish his lesson. Also, a teacher has to put reasonable limits in dealing with students... neither so strict nor so funny Laughing . So that to keep respect.
    So Sassy, we need the more from you because machaallah, you are professionnal.




    kind greetings


    Last edited by EmilySo on Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by sassy86 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:09 pm


    You're so kind my sweet Emily !! We're learning everyday with students. InchaAllah next year will be most gratifying.

    You're absolutely right !! Couldn't have said it better
    EmilySo wrote:
    One thing more important is if a teacher follows or comments on whatever a student do, he is not going to finish his lesson. Also, a teacher has to put reasonable limits in dealing with students... neither so strict


    Saha ftourak my dear sister
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by glourious on Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:54 am

    I find your tips more realistic Sassy! if one of the Western schollars came to teach in one of our school surely he would change his way teaching. and as one of our didactic teachers told us this year " I wana give you something tht u can ACTUALLY use in our schools not just theoritical things" ... and I think he was right! if u follow the instructions in "how to teach" books word by word without some adaptation.. it's not gona work really in our context!
    So.. thanks Sassy again!
    One more thing tht crossed my mind when u were talking abt students annoying the teacher... do u think being a female teacher has something to do with tht? and does the type of reaction u'r making can work the same way with a male teacher?? ...
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by princess smile24 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:59 pm

    Hi, Sassy, thanks for the topic. what you have mentioned is great but I think it can be applied just for high school or college (university) students since they are more responsible and mature, but when you come to a middle school pupil fawda1 the way you treat him is a bit different. What do you think?
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by sassy86 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:47 am

    @ Glourious:

    I wouldn't say that being a 'female' teacher is easy, let's say it's challenging. When I just started teaching and I was so 'ignorant' about teaching at that time, I used to say to a friend of mine -who happens to be a 'male' teacher- that he was lucky because he didn't have to face the difficulties I have to maintain my credibility and respect in my class.
    By the time, I came to realize that it is all the same (female or male, it all depends on your personality).
    Well I had some weird anecdotes of their type with male students of course. But as I said earlier, do not comment on everything and do not always take things personally or too seriously.

    Maybe, one of the worst situations which can happen to a 'female' is having to deal with a 'macho' student who refuses to be taught by a female teacher.This happened to me Very Happy I'll tell you how I dealt with that if you wish Very Happy

    Anyways. On the whole, by and by I realized that being a female teacher is not a disadvantage as much as it can be an advantage. Women are caring by nature, student needs someone that they can rely on, someone they feel will listen to them and whatever worries they have. (They would feel so at ease asking questions).
    Men can be a lot harder to approach on this subject, and therefore female teachers tend to be preferred in this regard.
    Men are often rigid if they are being intimidated unlike women who will allow to be approached.

    I saw that on many occasions when I compared how my students talk to me inside the class or approach me outside it and how they would fear a 'male' teacher.

    I'm just giving my point of view, but not all men are the same and not all women are the same. It all depends what impression you give to your students.

    We should linger this talk more Glourious, I liked your topic !
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by sassy86 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:58 am

    princess smile24 wrote:Hi, Sassy, thanks for the topic. what you have mentioned is great but I think it can be applied just for high school or college (university) students since they are more responsible and mature, but when you come to a middle school pupil fawda1 the way you treat him is a bit different. What do you think?

    I taught at the university and I know it's a bit different but I'll tell you about an experience I had with a student of middle school. I taught a middle school student at home few months ago and I asked myself the same question :"Shall I treat her like my students at the university??'. I decided to treat her in the same way, that is with respect and as if she's a grown up person just like me. I would talk to her like a responsible and mature person, telling her now and then to do this and that and that I rely on her and that I trust her. Believe me she really appreciated being trusted and respected. She told me she used to hate English because her teacher used to humiliate her. When you tell your students that you trust them and you show them that you care, believe me they will care !!
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by EmilySo on Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:19 am

    Saha ftourkom,
    Besides to Sassy's explanation about the difference in dealing with pupils in a middle school, I wanna add something. We should take in consideration that pupils either in a middle school or a high school, are completly aware just like adults. So, they need or even like a teacher who listens to them and treats them as grown up persons. That way gives them self confidence and feel more respected.
    I remember when I taught a pupil in a middle school, he was so annoying and talking too much just to bother me. I really worried about that and I used to get him out from time to time. But it is too much for both of us. So, I decided to give him a chance to talk but in indirect way.For example, I asked him to participate, to answer the questions or to do homeworks. Although I'm sure that he has no idea. The aim is just to open the "door to dialogue" between us and let him in.Also, I encoureged him to speak because (I'm here to listen to you).
    The more important he acquired self confident and realized his duties towards me.....and I was happy about the result.
    Believe me, the good dealing is a key to understand your pupils.Of course, without forgeting that there are limits to every thing. Every pupil must know it.
    Another thing, a teacher must respect his pupils, even in blaming them. It must be in respected way. So that they learn a lot from him and consider him as good model. At least, if doesn't work, you're not going to loose anything at the end. In the contrary, it will be an amazing adventure that teachs you a lot.


    Last edited by EmilySo on Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:57 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Grammatical mistake)
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by sassy86 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:43 pm

    EmilySo wrote:
    We should take in consideration that pupils either in a middle school or a high school, are completly aware just like adults. So, they need or even like a teacher who listens to them and treats them as grown up persons. That way gives them self confidence and feel more respected.
    I remember when I taught a pupil in a middle school, he was so annoying and talking too much just to bother me. I really worried about that and I used to get him out from time to time. But it is too much for both of us. So, I decided to give him a chance to talk but in indirect way.For example, I asked him to participate, to answer the questions or to do homeworks. Although I'm sure that he has no idea. The aim is just to open the "door to dialogue" between us and let him in.Also, I encoureged him to speak because (I'm here to listen to you).
    The more important he acquired self confident and realized his duties towards me.....and I was happy about the result.
    Believe me, the good dealing is a key to understand your pupils.Of course, without forgeting that there are limits to every thing. Every pupil must know it.
    Another thing, a teacher must respect his pupils, even in blaming them. It must be in respected way. So that they learn a lot from him and consider him as good model.

    I COMPETELY agree with you !!! Even blaming your students should be in a respectful way. (I can't deny I'm not always a calm person but even when they piss me off I try to keep my cool and tell them 'please I never put someone at the door, don't oblige me to change my rule'.)

    I really liked your way of dealing with that student Emily ! Hats off
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by bilinda on Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:15 pm

    Hello guys, I really like what you are talking abt. It is a very interesting topic for both students and teachers. I do agree with what have been said by you, and I would like to add my own opinion despite being a novice. Well, i'm with Glorious when he said that one has not to follow what have been said in books exactly because one has to deal with the situation. People differ from one country to another. More than that, they differ from one city to another one. So one has to understand and figure out the kind of his learners to deal with them PROPERLY. I can give a good piece of advice concerning the issue but the most important thing for me is that u give ur learner his own space making him believe that he is the most important thing in the class room and you are there to help, correct, and guide him. Personally, teaching is my dream job thanks to many teachers. I want to be seen by some of my students or learners the way i see them coz they take a piece of my heart.
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    Re: What Every New Teacher Should Know About the First Day of Class

    Post by EmilySo on Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:49 am

    Thanks dear Sassy ,
    I'm still learning from you My sweet teacher

    _It's true to let the student feels himself the most important person in the class so as he feels rest with a teacher and his classemates.

    Thanks for your useful advice bilinda.
    Smile
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