The first day of school sets the tone for the entire academic year, and each year’s reentry presents its own particular challenges. Meeting your new class for the first time is about so much more than making a good first impression: As an educator, you play a vital role in making this back-to-school experience as relaxing and welcoming as possible for your students. Whether you’re an English teacher, or teach P.E, Geography or anything, you’ll find that these tips can help start your school year off right.
So, without further ado, here are some tips to give students a positive first impression:
Make a punctual and engaging self-introduction: Your introduction sets the tone for the entire academic year, so make it memorable and engaging. Show your enthusiasm for teaching even before stepping in front of the class. Arrive early to welcome your students warmly. Be prepared with a fun icebreaker or an interesting fun fact about yourself that will pique their curiosity and create an instant connection. A quick list of your likes and dislikes is a great way to help your new class in the process of getting to know you.
Introduce yourself creatively: Instead of simply standing at the front of the room and telling students your name and job title, consider an intro that’s a little more unique. Check out our range of “Meet the Teacher” templates designed for elementary and middle school (although they’ll work for high school too!) that will help you introduce yourself in a fun and creative way! If you’re interested and want to read more about Kami’s meet the teacher templates, give this blog a quick read.
Numbers game: Introductions don’t have to be all about English language skills. Infuse some fun with math! Let your inner geek shine and share interesting numbers about yourself by creating math questions for students to figure out the key number. You can use this to share any fun facts about yourself or the subject you’re teaching! You can use two wrong answers and a right answer to play a version of “two truths and a lie”, for example. When the truth has been revealed, reverse the game and have your students write two true statements about themselves and two lies.
Design a “Getting to Know Your Teacher” Interactive Bulletin Board: Discover the magic of a “Getting to Know Your Teacher” Interactive Bulletin Board! As you embark on this exciting classroom journey, create a unique space dedicated to sharing bits about yourself with your students. Let the bulletin board showcase your interests and experiences, fostering connections and making the learning environment even more engaging. Invite your students to explore and learn more about you through this interactive display. Embrace this delightful opportunity to connect and build a strong classroom community.
Send Postcards to Introduce Yourself: Forget the traditional formal letter and take it up a notch with personalized postcards. Capture your new learners’ attention by including a heartwarming picture of yourself engaged in a hobby or bonding with your beloved pet. These little details create eye contact and a sense of connection even before meeting in person. Pen a short, heartfelt note on the back, expressing your excitement to have each of your students join your class. With a thoughtful touch, you’re laying the foundation for a welcoming and inclusive classroom atmosphere.
Plan a Meet-the-Teacher Escape Room: Amp up the excitement on the first day with a thrilling and interactive “Meet-the-Teacher” escape room. This creative idea may require some planning, but the rewards are worth it! As your students work together to solve puzzles and challenges, they’ll not only bond as a team but also uncover fascinating tidbits about you and your interests. It’s a wonderful icebreaker that promotes teamwork and encourages them to communicate from the get-go.
Share Your Talents! Make a remarkable impression on your students by stepping away from the ordinary introduction routine. Instead, showcase one of your unique talents during the first class. Whether you play a musical instrument, demonstrate a special skill, or display a craft you enjoy, your students will be captivated and eager to learn more about their extraordinary teacher. This personal touch sets the stage for a dynamic learning environment where students feel comfortable sharing their own interests and passions.
Remember to let your students know that you’re approachable and open to hearing their thoughts and concerns. Something as simple as stating your preferred pronouns at the start of the school year can demonstrate an environment of inclusivity and understanding. Simple practices such as this helps turn your classroom into a safe space where they can share their ideas and feelings about the learning process. This can be especially helpful if you get new students or students who speak English as a second language throughout the school year, as having an established “who am I” process can really ease those first day nerves! English language leaners can really benefit from a classroom that fosters communication from the start.
Your positive attitude and enthusiasm for teaching will inspire your students and make their learning experience enjoyable and memorable. Embrace the challenges with a smile, and you’ll create a classroom environment that fosters growth and success.