How to Be an Effective Teacher: Tips for the First Days of School | STEAMspirations

The first days of school can make or break the entire school year. As an effective teacher, you want to ensure that your students feel welcomed and comfortable in their new learning environment. Here are some tips on how to create a positive and engaging first week of school.

1 Organize Your Classroom Space

Your classroom space should be organized, welcoming, and comfortable. Before the first day of class, think about how you will arrange your students’ seating, how traffic will flow, and the proper spacing needed for them to move around comfortably. This helps create a sense of order in the learning space. An unorganized and tightly packed room can make students feel uncomfortable and lead to distractions and disturbances.

2 Create a Welcoming Environment

Creating a positive relationship with your students from the start is key to a successful school year. Greet each student as they enter the room and have a self-starter activity available to keep them engaged. Learn the names of each student to show that you value them as individuals and are invested in their success. Introduce yourself and the curriculum, and take time to establish your rules and expectations.

3 Develop a Management and Discipline Plan

A good management plan includes strategies and techniques, such as clear expectations, consistency, positive reinforcement, procedures, and consequences. A discipline plan should include rules, consequences, and rewards. Keep the rules focused on behavior rather than academic work, limit the number of rules to five, and present them positively. On the first day of class, focus the entire class session on discussing the discipline, procedures, and routines for the class.

4 Use Positive Communication

As an effective teacher, you need to be clear and consistent in your communication. Make a conscious effort to use positive language, address students by their names, and frequently use “Please” and “Thank You.” Use positive praise to reinforce specific behavior that you observe. Focus on what you want students to do, rather than what you don’t want them to do. This helps create a sense of shared responsibility and accountability with your students.

5 Incorporate Fun and Engaging Activities

Incorporating fun and engaging activities during the first days of class can help build a comfortable and welcoming environment for your students. This can include icebreakers, team-building activities, and other games that help students get to know one another and establish a sense of community.

The first days of school are critical to the success of the entire school year. By organizing your classroom space, creating a welcoming environment, developing a management and discipline plan, using positive communication, and incorporating fun and engaging activities, you can set the tone for a positive learning environment and culture with your students. Remember, the success of your students is a reflection of your effectiveness as a teacher.

About the Author

John Lara is one of the founders of STEAMspirations and is also a school administrator with a passion for implementing research-based best practices in education. John has a diverse educational background which includes a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies from Western New Mexico University and is working on a Ph.D. in Psychology, in Cognition & Instruction from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ.

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