First day of school for a new English teacher
Wondering how to survive the first day of school? We've all been there! You're both excited and nervous. But trust us: you will get the hang of it! Here are some useful tips to get off on the right foot and set the tone for the whole school year.
✔️ Impressing the Class
You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. That's why you have to arrive early. OK, this is a no-brainer, but we must say it: the early bird catches the worm (and all students' attention)!
Check that everything you may need (e.g. a computer, smartboard or tablet) is there. And you've certainly spent some time mapping out what you will be teaching during the first month, but it doesn't hurt to take a quick look at your notes and detailed lesson plans again. Remember that there is no such thing as being too prepared for your first day!
Now, think back to the last time you first met someone. A warm smile, eye contact and a positive attitude can work wonders, right? On the other hand, a constant fidget and other signs of nervousness and tension don't help at all. So, greet every student warmly... and take the first step to a great school year!
✔️ Breaking the Ice
Find some good ice-breaking activities and help your students to share a few details about themselves. In this way, you'll develop some rapport and you'll have the chance to easily assess your new students' language ability.
And don't forget that in every form of verbal communication there has to be some give and take. So, don't be afraid to share something fun or unusual about yourself! Your English learners will be interested in finding out who you are. Show your students that you want them to feel like they know you on a more personal level. And a pro tip: A photo with your pet(s) could earn bonus points!
✔️ Building the Team
Have your young students make fun name tags and wear them. Devote some time to allow your older English learners to get to know one another. And finish your first lesson with a fun activity that will create a feeling of unity. For example, you could encourage young learners to create a unique ‘English Classroom Rules’ poster with this helpful worksheet from our Voices 4 series.
You could also have your students participate in fun team games. Or say yes to a catchy classroom cheer, which is also a great way to promote a strong sense of togetherness. Well, if you've ever been a member or a supporter of a competitive team, then you know that a good cheer can inculcate a really powerful sense of team spirit! And if you manage to create a positive classroom atmosphere and let your students leave feeling excited, then they will look forward to your next lesson!
✔️ Setting the Rules
Make it clear from the first day of class what you won’t tolerate. Students need to know what each teacher considers acceptable behaviour. Setting the necessary rules and talking about the classroom routines at the very beginning will help you to avoid discipline problems in the future.
But bear in mind that having too many rules or not sticking to them won't help in the long run!
✔️ Using the Latest Tech
If there is a webpage or a class social media account where your students can find info, such us useful exam dates, this is the day to tell everyone about it.
Remember to explain how your students can use the E-planet e-learning platform to review all the material delivered in class and complete extra activities online. Do they know that they simply enter the PIN number on their e-learning card and in a few simple steps they are ready to go?
And if your learners are young, then you know that effective communication between you and their parents will be important during the school year. Try to understand their concerns and explain how you'll inform them about their children's progress. And make sure that they know how to use the new E-planet mobile application, which provides both students and parents full access to English learners' progress and test results!
✔️ Expecting the Unexpected
Your first day may not go according to plan. In fact, during most first days in life, things hardly ever go as planned or imagined! And that's OK. Well, Mike Tyson (yes, the famous American professional boxer) spoke from experience when he said that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth!
Accept that something you can't predict right now may send you completely off course; it’s not uncommon for a meticulously mapped out lesson to turn out differently from what you had planned. So, don't necessarily aim for perfection – just relax and go with the flow.
So, you are now ready to get off to a good start; we hope you enjoy your first day of school! Take a deep breath and let your passion for teaching shine through!