The first time that you walk into the classroom not as a student, but as a teacher, can be nerve-wracking. You will have millions of thoughts running through your mind about things that could possibly go wrong. Will the students cry? Will they find me boring? What if I don’t know what to do next?
Here are some useful tips to get you started on your first day teaching.
- Classroom Decoration: One of the first things a teacher does at the beginning of the school year is organize, arrange, and decorate the classroom. Decorating a classroom with some kind of warmth can help promote a sense of comfort and security for the kids. While decorations help create a warm environment, organization of the furniture in the room is also important. Make sure there will be enough space for all students to easily move throughout the classroom.
- Greetings: Greet each child at the door when they arrive in the morning and don’t forget to smile as you do so.
The students are nervous, and you’re probably a little nervous too. Well, don’t be. Introduce yourself and tell the class a little about your family, hobbies and interests. Help them get to know you, before you start getting to know them.
Be flexible in your activity planning. Have back-up plans when a given activity is not working. Don’t take things too seriously and give the kids enough time and space to settle in as well. Make use of some of the ice-breaker activities provided in your TESOL training course.
Set the Ground Rules:
Whether you prefer creating the rules or letting the students develop them, make that a part of your first day.
One method is to have students create the rules. Start by discussing each rule and make sure they all know why they should/shouldn’t do something. For younger students, you can help them to create posters with illustrations depicting each rule. Laminate them and hang them in the room for the entire year.
Be Prepared and Stay Cool:
The first day of school is a long day – teachers and students need to adjust to being back in the classroom. Taking the time to design a clear plan for the first day will help you calm your nerves.
Be Positive & Have Fun:
A friendly face always makes a better teacher than one twisted with anxiety; so relax and be a model for your equally nervous students. Being a positive influence is part of teaching too.