It is day 1 with your new students this year. How do you handle the first contact with your students this year? Here are a few research-based ideas from Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong’s book, The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher (Book & DVD).
- Greet your students at the door. A smiling face and encouraging tone pave the way to building positive relationships with students.
- Have a seating chart prepared, and a way for students to find their seats quickly (their names on desks, chart on the board, coordinates for their seat).
- Have an activity for the students to do immediately when they find their seat. From the start, this trains them that they are here to solve challenges, problems, or whatever else is in front of them – and above all, learn.
I like to start my year by greeting my students at the door, and handing them a picture of something (like a Pokemon). The student needs to then find the matching Pokemon on a chair, which is their seat. Additionally, I have a small activity on the stool that students should be working on as soon as they find their seat, with clear instructions on the board. This allows students to know that they are welcome here, but that school is about learning. Starting now, learning begins..
What do you do when you first meet your students at the beginning of the year?