First Day of Class

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Just as the first day is the most vital day, the first week is the most vital week for determining whether students will become engaged and be successful in your class.

  • Arrive to class early and greet students when they come in.
  • Start each class on time.
  • Tell students how to address you (Mr., Ms., Dr., first name...).
  • Introduce yourself in a unique way (e.g., skit, video, slides).
  • Form dyads or small groups for acquaintanceship activities.Ask partners to make introductions to the class. Time spent allowing students to know each other now will pay off throughout the term. Benefits include increased selfconcept and class participation.
  • Learn student’s names right away and address them by name in class. It has a positive influence on selfesteem and classroom atmosphere. Distribute and clearly discuss an informative, easy-to-understand syllabus.
  • Have students write or discuss their expectations for the course and their own learning goals.
  • To diagnose basic skills, give a short, in-class writing assignment during the first week or conduct a survey to assess students’subject matter knowledge and level of experience.
  • Present substantial content on the first day and make an assignment to be due the next class.
  • Don’t dismiss the first class early—plan to utilize every minute to be sure you and your students get the most out of your time together.