Advice for the 1st Day of School

At Four O’Clock Faculty, we love to share the best strategies and advice that we have learned from other educators. Many schools across the country are about to embark on a new school year and we wanted to know what advice and strategies other educators would share for the start of the year. Below are several of the responses that were shared:

Be outside greeting every student and parent as they arrive in the morning. Set a tone of excitement and inclusiveness from the start. @MrSweeneyCBE

The first day of school is an opportunity to share what your classroom is about and what matters to you as a teacher.  Even if it’s a simple activity, I try to have students start working creatively and collaboratively. @TimNeedles

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I think students are eager to do anything you ask of them on the first day of school. I want my students to become readers so I “book talk” as many books as I can that first day and we begin our independent reading sessions that very day. It sets the tone that this is a reading classroom from day one. @Reader819

To make children and family feel welcome, make sure you stop and greet every single person that walks in your room. Let them know how glad you are they are there. I take pictures and use the pics to display in my class all year long. Parents love seeing them up all year and students can’t wait to get to take them home. It makes for a great memory. @akinderjungle

Our first priority is to create a safe learning environment where students can grow with our support as we promote increasing independence. Be cognizant that lasting relationships begin the moment they walk in the door. Make your library the centerpiece of the room and fill it to brimming with enticing books that beckon students to enter a world of joyful literacy. Demonstrate by your every action that each learner is valued and that students are co-collaborators in enthusiastic and engaging learning. They WILL remember the first day so make it count!  @DrMaryHoward

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Ask students how they prefer to be recognized when they do great work. Not all kids want public or visible recognition. @hpitler

Engage your students with collaborative protocols to ignite the flame of learning. Establish a culture of trust that will lead to a culture of achievement. @cvarsalona

It’s all about the relationship you form with each individual student beginning on the first day of school.  Let them know you care and believe in them. Listen to their stories. The first days of school sets the tone for the entire school year! @mrsevon1

Try to make a positive connection with each one of your students. Make eye contact and greet each one warmly. Provide opportunities for student voice; find out what makes each one tick! Have them write their Top 10 Likes/Dislikes or something of that nature. Provide enough structure to make the students comfortable and leave room for their input. If possible try to provide a variety of modes for you and your students to communicate with each other: written, oral, aural, kinesthetic; and use a variety of platforms: lecture, video, small group, individual work. And don’t forget that art and music are great communication tools often underutilized in the regular classroom. Remember to breathe, smile, and look for ways to enjoy interacting with your students. @laurie_a_conrad

Convey a clearly positive demeanour… Smile, laugh, ask questions and then listen. These positive first  impressions can last for months with students and staff…. Do this every year. @drewdmurphy

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Do exciting academic activities, not paperwork and “rules.”  Most students start out optimistic and enthusiastic on the first day. Take advantage of the energy and capture their love of learning for the rest of the year. @educate2day941

You will be tired at the end of it.  That means you did it right.  Be prepared, but remember that it may not go the way you planned.  Stay flexible.  Have a fun “sponge” activity to do if you need to switch gears and need some breathing time. @jodiforeman

Have your class procedures (not rules) mapped out and present them in an interactive way (not a PowerPoint or Slides presentation)!  I use an @EduCannon video quiz that asks kids questions as they watch the video.  THEN…PRACTICE THEM!  That’s the most important part!

I’ve also seen teachers do a scavenger hunt activity to learn procedures that gets kids out of their seats using QR codes of just clues. @mistymitchellm

Have your students write or post their learning goals for the school year.  Keep a copy of them and periodically review them.

My First Days of School page: http://cybraryman.com/firstday.html @cybraryman

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Check out the remainder of our #BackToSchool Resources.

Share your best advice for the 1st day of school in the comments section below.

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