A new school year is about to begin in Australia. It’ll be the first time in nearly 30 years that I don’t have a class to teach and it’s not an easy adjustment! For as long as I can remember, I have started the year by planning the first day for my new classes. Reflecting on all those new beginnings, I realise how much teaching and learning have changed… and how much I have changed.
What needs to happen on ‘Day 1’ ?
I used to think…
- Explain your expectations.
- Establish rules.
- Know everyone’s names.
- Arrange seats to minimalise talking.
- Organise books.
- Talk about homework.
- Tell them what they’ll be learning.
- Make sure they listen.
- Get students working right away.
- Show a firm hand.
Now I think…
- Ask about their expectations.
- Create an essential agreement.
- Know everyone’s story.
- Arrange seats to encourage collaboration.
- Demonstrate that you value thinking.
- Talk about learning.
- Ensure they know that they own their learning.
- Make sure you listen.
- Show you’re a part of the learning community.
(See links for elaboration)