Joan M. Hansen's Teach & Talk

Seven Things Students Want to Know the First Day of School!

Posted on: August 21, 2009

Harry Wong’s says there are seven things students want to know on the first day that we  as teachers must be able to answer. First impressions are important—so start with a good one!
Am I in the right room?
•    Have  your name and the subject you teach on the door
•    Be at the door to  smile and greet students as they enter the room
•    Start talk with—”Hi, I ‘m Ms Jones and this is Art Class.”
Where Am I supposed to sit?
•    Have assigned seats the first day. Assign seats by giving students a number as they enter the room that matches a desk number.
•    Assigned seating saves time and trouble and includes everyone.
What are the RULES of the classroom?
•    Let them know early what your expectations are.
•    Speak with colleagues if you are having trouble determining a set of rules.
•    Five positively stated rules that can be viewed from all parts of the room.
What will I be doing this year?
•    Give them the big picture of the class.
•    Tell them about content and the processes.
•    Let them see your enthusiasm for the subject and teaching.
How will I be graded?
•    Let them know how they will be successful
•    Let them see that you are fair and consistent
•    Show them everyone has the opportunity to succeed
Who is this teacher as a person?
•    Tell them about your goals for them
•    Without giving your personal details, introduce yourself to them
•    Students will get a picture of you by how you act, by what you say, and how you look. It will be a lasting impression.
•    Even if you are only three years older than they are, let them see you are the ADULT in charge.
Will the teacher treat me like a human being?
•    Let them see from the beginning that you are a person of integrity.
•    Show them and assure them it will be safe to learn in your room
•    Let them know you have high expectations for everyone
First Day Goals:

Remember you cannot do everything the first day—some things will wait a couple days.Three important things should happen.

  • Get to know your students
  • Let students know you and your expectations
  • Organize and manage first day issues

Teacher: The child’s third parent. Hyman Maxwell Berston

Recommended Reading:

  1. The First Days of School, Harry T. Wong and Elizabeth Wong

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