for Faculty & Staff » Beginning the Year - Strategies and Tips

Beginning the Year - Strategies and Tips

Your first day of school sets the stage for the rest of the year.  Below are some tips to consider as you begin your year (with links to resources to help):
1. Greet students at the door with a smile - First impressions matter!  (Ignore the advice not to smile until December. Following this advice could set the year off negatively.)  See Mirror Neuron video.
2.  Have a seating chart or name plates so that seating is orderly.  This minimizes switching seats, feelings getting hurt when a child chooses one friend over another, etc.  It also allows you to learn students' names.
3.  Introduce yourself.   Have pictures and props that allow your students to learn more about you - hobbies, family, personality. (These props could be digital or concrete).   
Links to ideas:
- 10 Creative Ways to Introduce Yourself to Students -
- Getting to Know You: 7 Creative Ways to Introduce Yourself to Your New Class
- Who Am I? 7 Creative Ways to Introduce Yourself to Your Class

4.  Plan icebreakers that allow students to get to know each other.   The internet is full of ideas for your class to get to know one another. I've added some links below. (Remember, students haven't seen each other all summer and will want to talk.  Do this in a controlled way with parameters before you tackle serious matters like rules and procedures.)
- Education World - Ice Breakers Volume 1. (Links to other activities will be at the bottom of the article as well as an archive for more than 150 icebreaker activities.)
5. Establish rules and consequences.  Introducing your expectations on the first day sets the bar for the entire year.  Whether you read and discuss rules or try to tackle this task creatively is up to you.  What is important is that when your students leave you, they know what will be expected of them for the rest of the year.  Links to strategies for establishing classroom rules are below.
- Education Week - Classroom Rules - Ways to Create, Introduce, & Enforce them.
- Education Week - Ten Activities for Establishing Classroom Rules - Lesson Plan
ThoughtCo - Introducing Your Class Rules 

17 Different Ways to Review Classroom Procedures