Impressions that appear to students during their first day in school or class are very important. This is because these “first-time impressions” tend to be long-lasting and, therefore, play a critical role in the student’s life for the rest of the time that they will be in that school or class (Partin 2009). It is, therefore, very important for teachers and lecturers to ensure that the right impressions are portrayed during the first day.
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There are several things that a teacher can do to create a positive impression during the first day. Below, there is a sample outline of the activities that I take my students through during their first day in class.
Prior preparation of the class arrangement
I will ensure that the class is neatly and well organized before the students enter for their first time. The seats will be well aligned in rows and columns. In response, the students will appreciate the seating arrangement and are likely to maintain the same in the future. I will also make an effort to place books and other reading materials on the tables. This will create a positive learning impression for the students and they are, therefore, likely to take a shorter time to integrate into the learning system (Snowman & Biehler, 2012).
Formal Welcome and Introduction
Once the students are settled down, I will formally welcome them to the school if they have just been admitted, or to the class in case, they are continuing students. I will congratulate them for making it to that level, and assure them that they will also make it in their new academic level. I will then introduce myself by telling them my name, a brief history of my life and my professional expertise. Afterward, I will then allow the students to introduce themselves by saying their names, background and their expectations in the new class or school (Partin, 2009). This will serve to create a better understanding and relationship among the students and relieve them of the burden of feeling in a strange environment.
Introduce them to school/class Rules and Regulations
I will then provide each student with a copy of the rules and regulations that will dictate and guide their conduct during their stay in the school or class. Once every student has got a copy, we shall then go through the rules and regulations together. Each student will be required to keep a copy of the rules and regulations to read, understand and observe them. This will help them to understand what they are expected to do as students. It will also make them aware of the rights and privileges that they are entitled to as members of that class or institution (Snowman & Biehler, 2012).
Sharing School or Class profile
I will then tell them some facts about the school or class. I will inform them about the achievements that the school or class has attained in the past. I will give them practical examples of other students who went through the same program and ended up becoming successful in life. I will also introduce them to other programs that support students and help them towards achieving their aspirations, through activities like the provision of scholarships, financial grants or even employment opportunities to the best-performing students. This will serve to stir up the students’ ego and desire to work hard (Johnson, 2011).
I will then introduce the students to the academic curriculum. I will read to them the objectives, goals, and requirements of the program to help them understand what they will learn and achieve on completion of the course. I will also take this opportunity to invite the students to tell me about their views, aspirations, and expectations of the program. Also, we will discuss with the students and come up with common targets and objectives. This will also allow me to talk about examinations, assignments and practical lessons that the students will undertake during the program. In short, this will be an open forum for discussing all matters concerning the academic curriculum.
Questions and other Concerns
In the end, I will allow the students to present their concerns and all sorts of questions that can affect their life in the new class or school. The questions might be on matters concerning accommodation, school fees or academic issues. I will then involve them in discussing the questions and coming up with possible solutions. The discussion will give me a chance to address the students by their names, for those whom I will have mastered. Before the end of the sessions, I will give out my telephone number to the students and invite them to contact me whenever they need any assistance (Snowman & Biehler, 2012).
In case the class involves a practical activity that may be taken from a laboratory, I will create time to take the students round and show them where these facilities are located. During this activity, I will also show them other important offices such as administration, security, and other support departments. After the activity, I will release them and bid them goodbye until we meet next time for a class (Partin, 2009).
The contact with the students during the first day is, therefore, very important and teachers should prepare adequately in advance before meeting them. They should also make efforts to give a correct and positive first-time impression to their students to enhance a good relationship and prepare them mentally for an enjoyable stay (Johnson, 2011).
Johnson, L. (2011). Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains. Hoboken. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Partin, R. (2009). The Classroom Teacher’s: Practical Strategies, Management Techniques, and Reproducibles for New and Experienced Teachers.London; Oxford Publishers.
A snowman, J., McCown, R. R., & Biehler, R. F. (2012). Psychology applied to teach. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishers.