For any new teacher, the first day of school is a combination of excitement and anxiety. They might have gained experience of teaching small groups of students in tuition classes or might have taught in a controlled environment under the supervision of a seasoned teacher. But, time to time, the role of a classroom teacher becomes extremely crucial and challenging. A rookie teacher can follow the below-mentioned strategies to kick start their successful career in education right from day one.
Familiarizing with the School
The first step for any teacher is to develop a clear picture of the school in their mind. Familiarizing with the school’s ambience will be helpful for them. Knowing about entrances and exits, media centers, restrooms, cafeterias, and so on will be of their own benefit and in case any student asks them about the same. They can also locate teacher workrooms, which they can use for making copies, preparing materials, and so on.
Awareness Regarding various School Policies
Every school has its own policies, which the teachers should be thoroughly aware of. They should gather information from official handbooks and pay close attention to various guidelines and discipline plans. Teachers should be aware of how to request for a day off in case of illness or an emergency. They should maintain cordial relations with their colleagues and get all their doubts clarified. They can also ask others to take care of their work in case they skip school for days. Additionally, all schools have various policies regarding student conduct, discipline, attendance, grades, dress code, and welfare. Teachers should learn these guidelines and make sure that students comply with the same.
Socializing with Coworkers
For starters, teachers should regularly interact and make friends with their coworkers, especially those who teach in the classrooms that are in close vicinity. This can be beneficial, as they can turn to their colleagues for any queries and concerns. Meeting and building positive and friendly relationships with key people around the school including librarian, school secretary, janitorial staff, office staff, and other teachers can help in smoothening academic and administrative procedures.
Organizing the Classroom is Essential
For better results, teachers should arrange the classroom desks, boards, displays, and other accessories in a way that transforms classroom session into an interesting and engaging experience. They can take the initiative to decorate the classroom with posters related to the curriculum, add bulletin boards, and also make arrangements for other teaching tools like projectors, pointers, collages, and many more.
Preparing Materials for the First Day
Teachers should make preparations for their first working day well in advance. They should arrange for all the teaching materials they will require. Additionally, preparing short and easily understandable notes for the students can provide the added advantage. Moreover, they can practice beforehand, how they will approach and address the students on their first day. Teachers can gather information about where the supplies and teaching resources are kept. This will assist them in keeping a track of the materials they will need in advance.
Greeting and Learning Names
On their first day, teachers can arrive early to school and get settled in the classroom. They should make sure that all the materials are properly organized, and they do not have to look for anything after the bell rings. They should greet students with a smile as they enter the classroom for the first time. An important thing is to memorize the name of a few students. Accordingly, they can use the names of those students and start interacting with them as the class proceeds. They should set the tone of the class with a smile, which will assure the students that the teacher is pleased to meet them.
Preparing Detailed Lesson Plans for the First Week
Teachers can frame comprehensive lesson plans and a few instructions for themselves regarding how to teach effectively in each class. Reading these plans properly throughout the first week will be helpful to deal with initial stress and provide ideas about how to effectively deal with the students. Having a backup plan ready, in case the materials are not available, can come in handy. Teachers should be ready with alternative teaching methods, in case technology fails, or when extra students show up in the classroom.
Getting Started on the Very First Day
It is of utmost importance that teachers teach something on the very first day of school. Engaging in non-academic works like arranging the table or performing other similar activities will distract both the teachers and the students. Teachers should rather carry out the usual drills of taking the attendance, going through the classroom syllabus and rules, and start right away with the session. They should focus on the syllabus and make the students realize from day one itself that the classroom will be the place for learning.
Teachers should brush up their technical skills before school starts. They should enhance their knowledge of modern computer application and communication tools like emails, word processing soft wares, power point presentations, projectors, and so on.
For any new teacher, entering any educational institution is like stepping into the unknown. They should maintain a positive outlook, an open mindset, and a learning attitude to thrive in their journey of imparting quality education, and the quest of attaining educational excellence. This will help in not only their individual development, but also the development of the students, and the school as well.
– Ananda Kamal Das