Success on the First Day

“What you do on the fist days of school will determine your success of failure for the rest of the school year.  You will either win or lose your class on the first days of school.”- Wong, p. 3

The first days of school model how the rest of the year will follow.  They communicate your expectations as an educator, the rules and procedures on your classroom, and set the tone for the level of communication you will have with your students.  It is important to realize that as the teacher, you cannot control your students.  You can only influence them.  During the first days of school, students will learn very quickly if they can trust you as a person of influence or not. You, as a teacher, must set the standard for how the year is going to be. Your consistency begins on the first day and the beginning of the students respecting you.  

There are 3 key questions to ask yourself before the first day of school begins: (Wong, p.4)-Do you know your own expectations for your students as well as yourself?-What classroom procedures are important to you?-What are your professional responsibilities as an educator? 

An easy example would be for question 2:

 “What classroom procedures are important to you?”

-“I want my class to be ready to start as soon as the bell rings”-The teacher can greet the students at the door as they enter the room and tell them to get a sheet of paper out, and begin the activity that is posted on the board.  The teacher could them communicate to the class his/her expectations for the students as they enter.  Greeting the students at the door not only sets the tone for the first day, but for every class day.