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Starting the School Year – The First Day

The First DayThe way you conduct the first day of school will be a major factor in developing a positive atmosphere in your classroom. The best way to handle a discipline problem is to prevent them before they start. On the first day it is essential to communicate your expectations. You want to establish that your classroom will be fun as long as students meet those expectations.

A schedule is an essential part of a successful first day of school. If you are well prepared and confident, students will be unlikely to test you. Therefore, it is wise to schedule the day so that students are constantly occupied, even making sure that free time is structured. If you do not prepare an adequate schedule, students are likely to have slack time with nothing to do. If this happens, you will have behavior problems. Some students will misbehave to see if they can ‘rattle’ you. If they are successful, classroom management will be an uphill battle from then on.

Step 1: Establishing Goals.

To begin establishing a positive learning environment, the first thing you need to do is establish goals for your class as a whole. The goals you set should be related to the behavior you desire students to exhibit in your classroom. Try to determine for yourself the kind of classroom environment that will lead to the most learning on the part of your students. You needn’t think of specific academic work – that can come later. For now, just think about how you want your students to work, how you want them to treat each other, and how you want them to treat you. This may seem obvious. However, if you don’t let your students know what you expect of them, they will assume that you do not care how they behave.

Therefore, it is important to clarify your goals so that you can work effectively toward your objectives. Jot down some of your goals The following are samples that might help you get started:

  • I want my students to work independently.

  • I want my classroom to be a calm environment.

  • I want my students to be helpful to me and to each other.

  • I want each student to continually strive for improvements in all areas.

  • I want each student to learn as much as they are able to learn.

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