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What Teachers Should Do on the First Day of School

The first time you meet your students, I recommend you go in with a WARM-FIRM approach (Lemov, 2010).

Even if the students you have are so tiny and adorable or disengaged teenagers, they are looking to see what you will and will not tolerate.

They want to know what they can get away with.

This goes for your best AND worse behaved students.

As the kids say “the streets be watchin”. 🫣

You have to set the tone of “I am not to be played with, but I genuinely care about you and your life success.”

When you carry this essence, your students will respect you as their teacher, and they will put more effort into their academic performance.

Here are a few tips to make this happen on Day 1:

👩🏽‍🏫 Meet each student individually with a smile and make eye contact. Let them know you are happy to have them in your class this year. (Warm)

👩🏽‍🏫 Do some digging prior to the first day to find one compliment you can give them from how they performed last year. They will beam with pride knowing you see something good in them. (Warm)

👩🏽‍🏫 Ensure your classroom has words, pictures, and/or art that show your expectations. The energy of who you are as a teacher should be reflected on the walls. (Indirectly Firm)

👩🏽‍🏫 Tell and show your students what your expectations are for every single thing they will be doing in your class from start to finish. They should practice this for the first two weeks of school, returning over the weekend, coming back from a long break, when an incident happens and students need reminders, i.e. Every single detail matters. (Firm)

👩🏽‍🏫 Hold your students to each and every expectation you have even when it’s difficult. Be consistent on a daily basis. When students fail to reach this, there need to be appropriate consequences that yield positive results. Yes, I know your administrator may have a different opinion on how things should be handled. Let’s save this for a different post. (Firm)

Let me know down in the comments if any of these tips resonate with you! ⬇️

Signing Off,

The Classroom Management Guru 👩🏽‍🏫


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