THE FIRST DAY OF THE SCHOOL YEAR

Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a new teacher more than the first day. “What will they think of me?” “Will my lesson plan work?” And worst of all, “Will I be able to handle the rowdy ones?  From this moment on, your success as their teacher will depend on your classroom management skills.

Here is the most important point: The best discipline technique is one that your teenage students don’t recognize as discipline. They should behave well simply because that is the way of your classroom. The next few sections will show you how to achieve that.

Let there be no mistake, young teens will test you. There is nothing wrong with that. After all, they are being forced to spend the next few months with you. They have every right to put you through your paces to prove your worth. Where most new teachers fail is in thinking that the test begins with the first girl making a rude remark or the first boy throwing a wad of paper. No. The first test will surely come within the first 90 seconds of the class. You must know how to recognize it and how to handle it.

The experience described in the section, “A Lesson from Summer Camp,” taught me that kids need and want structure. You begin building that structure on the first moment of the first day. It will provide both you and the kids with a sense of security. Once the structure is there, you can really teach and gain their respect. Then, as the days unfold, you can let them know you as a person. Many will come to like you, too. The order is not flexible. First you lead, then teach, and finally befriend.

Go to A Lesson From Summer Camp


Permanent link to this article: http://bethebestteacher.com/the-first-day-of-the-school-year

A Lesson from Summer Camp

When I was going to college, I had a summer job working as a YMCA camp counselor. Every two weeks I got a new group of 8-year-old boys. For most, that was their first time away from home. Homesickness was common. To no avail, I tried everything; long talks, being a big brother, a friend. …

Anxiety All Around

As the first few middle school kids trickle in, you would do well to reflect on the moment. This is a time to dwell on what you are about, a time to look beyond your classroom management challenges. Put aside those concerns about them liking you or what to do if you can’t handle a …

You’re Not In Control — Yet

Student anonymity Seating chart tactics Nicknames The room is full of kids now. Some are even in the front row only because all the other chairs are taken. Some are giggling with their friends. Many are looking idly around the room, apparently totally disinterested in what is about to happen. A very few of your …

The Non-Judgmental Stare

After all your students are seated in their assigned seats, and you’ve gone around checking their names, return to the front of the classroom, standing quietly for a moment until you have the attention of each student. This is your first test. If you begin class while some are still talking or distracted, you will …

Now You Are Their Teacher

You will probably want to spend the first few minutes telling them something about the class. No doubt you will have to cover procedural details such as what to bring and how you administer tests and homework. But keep this to the bare minimum as they will retain little of what you say right now. …

Your First Lesson Plan

Rigid control now Make it too long While I’ll devote another section to lesson plans, it needs to be said here that your lesson plan for the first few days should be one making you, or some individual seat work, the focus. There will be time for group work or noisy activities later. Now you …

Should You Start Off Hard Or Easy?

They’re more confused than you think Who will they blame Egress If you give homework on the first day, make it very simple and straightforward. Your students don’t know you yet and are excited and distracted. Your directions must be clear and written on the board. You might suggest that they copy them. Tell them …

Summary of the First Day

1. Have your students sit in assigned seats. 2. Walk from one to the next asking for their nickname. 3. Don’t start class until all students are quiet and all eyes are on you. 4. Use the “nonjudgemental stare” to handle inattentiveness or inappropriate behavior. 5. Cover only those rules which are immediately necessary. Other …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.