What to Do on the First Day of School for Teachers


What to Do on the First Day of School for Teachers

The first day of school is an exciting time for both teachers and students. It sets the tone for the entire academic year and provides an opportunity to create a positive and welcoming classroom environment. As a teacher, it is essential to be well-prepared and organized to ensure a smooth start. In this article, we will discuss some essential steps to take on the first day of school and answer frequently asked questions to help you make the most of this crucial day.

Step 1: Set up the Classroom

One of the first tasks on the first day of school is to set up your classroom. Arrive early to ensure everything is in order, including arranging desks, decorating bulletin boards, and organizing materials. A welcoming and visually appealing classroom environment can help students feel comfortable and excited about learning.

Step 2: Greet Students with Enthusiasm

When the students arrive, greet them with a warm and enthusiastic welcome. Smile, introduce yourself, and make an effort to learn each student’s name. This will help build a positive connection and create a sense of belonging right from the start.

Step 3: Establish Classroom Rules and Expectations

Take time to establish clear classroom rules and expectations. Explain them to the students, ensuring they understand what is expected of them regarding behavior, participation, and academic performance. Consider involving the students in creating these rules to foster a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Step 4: Icebreaker Activities

Engage the students in icebreaker activities to help them get to know each other and start building a sense of community. These activities can include sharing personal stories, playing get-to-know-you games, or working on collaborative projects. Icebreakers promote a positive classroom climate and encourage students to interact and cooperate with one another.

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Step 5: Assess Prior Knowledge

Assessing students’ prior knowledge is crucial to understanding their abilities and tailoring instruction accordingly. Conduct diagnostic assessments or engage in informal discussions to gauge what students already know about the subject matter. This information will help you plan lessons that meet the diverse needs of your students.

Step 6: Review Syllabus and Course Expectations

Provide students with a copy of the syllabus and go over it together. Highlight important information such as the course objectives, grading criteria, and important dates. This will give students a clear roadmap of what to expect throughout the year.

Step 7: Establish Communication Channels

Establish effective communication channels with both students and parents. Provide contact information, such as an email address or phone number, and encourage open lines of communication. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and can address any concerns or questions as they arise.

Step 8: Introduce Technology and Classroom Procedures

If technology is a part of your classroom, take time to introduce students to any online platforms or tools they will be using. Demonstrate how to access and navigate these resources, ensuring that students are comfortable using them. Additionally, establish classroom procedures for tasks such as turning in assignments, requesting restroom breaks, or asking questions during class.


Q: Should I have a seating plan on the first day of school?
A: Having a seating plan on the first day can help establish order and minimize distractions. However, it is also important to be flexible and consider seating changes as you get to know your students better.

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Q: How can I build rapport with my students on the first day?
A: Building rapport with students is essential for creating a positive classroom environment. Greet them warmly, listen actively, and show genuine interest in their lives. Engage in icebreaker activities that encourage interaction and collaboration.

Q: How can I address student anxiety on the first day?
A: Many students may feel anxious on the first day of school. To address this, create a welcoming and supportive environment, establish clear expectations, and provide opportunities for students to voice their concerns or ask questions.

Q: What if I encounter challenges or disruptions on the first day?
A: It is common to encounter challenges or disruptions on the first day of school. Stay calm, address the issue promptly, and remind students of the classroom rules and expectations. Seek support from colleagues or administrators if necessary.

Q: How can I make the first day of school memorable?
A: To make the first day of school memorable, consider incorporating fun and engaging activities that allow students to connect with one another. Create a positive and inclusive atmosphere that encourages student participation and enthusiasm for learning.

In conclusion, the first day of school sets the foundation for a successful academic year. By being well-prepared, organized, and enthusiastic, teachers can create a positive and welcoming classroom environment. Remember to set clear expectations, engage in icebreaker activities, and establish open lines of communication. With these steps in mind, you are well on your way to a successful first day!