It’s time to start planning for the excitement of the school year. New students, new parents, new experiences: while the first week of school is exciting, it’s important to keep this excitement up and use it as the driving force throughout the school year. Here are some ways to start the school year strong.
Establish Ground Rules and Classroom Expectations
Spending the first day establishing the classroom rules will be beneficial for not only a smooth start but also to a smooth year. It’s easier to maintain the classroom throughout the year if you lay out the rules and expectations from the start. By establishing the expectations, students are aware of the policies and the consequences when expectations are not met. It’s also important to use the first day or two to establish the typical classroom routine. Creating consistency in the classroom allows for students to set their own expectations for the day and to achieve their goals.
Explain the Importance of Your Class
Aside from laying down the ground rules, it’s also important to “sell” your class to your students. By promoting your class and the subject, your students have a general idea of what they can expect to learn. You can sell your class alongside the classroom expectations by providing a syllabus. Providing a general idea of what students should expect will keep them engaged and motivated during those trying times of the school year. Ultimately, selling your class and the subject matter will show students the value that your class should carry and in turn, will keep them on task and on top of their work.
Provide a Positive and Beneficial Relationship with Students
The relationship that students and teacher have is a very important one. Teachers provide knowledge that students will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It’s important to let students know that you’re there for them beyond the classroom. Many students come to teachers as confidantes for advice and issues. It’s important to not cross any boundaries with this relationship, but it’s also important to make yourself available. Making yourself available for your students as a listening ear can have a bigger impact than parents or friends doing so. Start to form this relationship at the start of the school year so students know you are there for them throughout the year.
The start of the school year is always a time of excitement, but this excitement typically dies down quickly. It’s important to keep up this momentum throughout the year in order to keep yourself and students motivated and engaged.