Call as many of the parents before the first day as you can. Introduce yourself and tell them how glad you are that their child is in your class. Explain that you will be sending home papers and what they may be. Tell them the best way to contact you. This helps you start off on a positive foot right from the beginning.
Make a list of all the things you have to do on the first day so you won’t forget anything. Usually the administration has a load of forms they want handed out or filled out. Add the things you want done also. This is like a road map for you to follow.
Have name plates on the desks so that you will know who each student is and the other students will know also.
Explain how you want certain procedures handled such as attendance, restroom, fire drill, or any other important things that happen during the week.
Have some kind of ice breaker activity to help students who are new to the community and don’t know the other students. Some of the other students may have grown up together and form a kind of impenetrable circle unless the teacher helps.
Instead of asking students what they are good at or weak in, ask them what they like to do and why. What about their hobby makes them feel good? Tell them that you want to learn one new thing about this every day they come into class. This will give you something in common to talk about. I learned a lot about skateboarding this way and I actually found it interesting.
Do you have any tips for making the first day of school a success? Please share.