Have every step of your first day planned:
OK, so you can’t know everything that is going to happen, but start as you mean to go on! A really organised, structured first day will do wonders to settle you and your class into the new year and prepare your pupils for the year’s expectations.
Refresh yourself on the school’s policies:
It may not be the most exciting read of your life, but being clear on your school’s policies ensures that you are embedding the right standards and expectations for you and your pupils. Ensure you know how to deal with situations and be prepared for anything the year has to throw at you!
Get your room organised the way you want it:
If you are in a new classroom, or you’ve still got last year’s poetry and posters on your walls, have a refresh and look ahead with some useful and interesting colours around the classroom.
Also, ensure your desk is just the way you like it – you’re going to spend a lot of time there, so you may as well have it the way you want it.
Have a plan B for every activity:
A good first day can set the standard for the rest of the year. Making sure that every activity is effective and makes an impact opens up the start of a successful learning environment. You may never need to use your plan Bs, but you’ll feel a lot more confident having them in your back pocket.
Don’t work for 24 hours straight:
The truth is that you probably could do it. With the adrenaline of the first day kicking in, you may even want to. But the reality is that the academic year is a long time – preserve your energy and use it wisely – remember you are the greatest asset in your pupils’ education (even if they don’t always appreciate it!).
Plan your first 2 minutes with your new class:
Set the tone. The first 2 minutes with a new class can define the way your pupils interact with you. Get to the classroom early, be fully prepared, start with confidence and demand the respect you deserve.
Set the standards for behaviour early:
Ensure that every pupil knows what is expected of them and the consequences for not following those expectations. It may make you appear a bit moody on day 1, but by the end of September you will know you are getting the most out of your pupils, with fewer distractions and a fun, manageable environment.
Set objectives for your first day:
We’re not talking world peace or eternal happiness, but vitally important to your success – be clear on what you want to achieve on day 1. Whether it is instilling the expectations for behaviour, stimulating your pupils’ excitement for the year ahead or simply learning the names and characteristics of your new class, clear objectives will lead to a productive first day.
The most important thing to remember! It’s a new year, a fresh start. Banish the memories of mistakes from last year, be ready to build on your success, look ahead and get to know your class. This year is what you make of it and if you enjoy it, so will your class and the results will come!
We hope these ideas help you in your first few days back in the classroom. If you have any other suggestions or if you discover a great idea for your classroom, then we want to hear about it. Let us know in the comments, or tweet us @osirisedu.
We are also launching our #EdMomentOfTheYear, where you can let us know those moments that really stand out to you and that remind you how important and rewarding your role can be.
Most of all, we wish you the very best success for the year ahead. Good luck and let us know your favourite moments!