You just graduated from a teaching program and have secured your first high school teaching position. Congrats!
Now all you have to do is prepare for your first day of teaching. Easy, right?
Okay, maybe not easy, but you'll be ready in no time if you follow some key tips about classroom management and planning!
Tip #1: Consider Your "Why"
To succeed in your goals, know your reasons for teaching.
What are your values?
What do you hope to accomplish in the classroom?
How do you plan to approach relationships with students, parents, and colleagues?
How will you remind yourself of your "why" when things become difficult?
Tip #2: Create an Inviting Classroom Environment
You can only make a first impression once! Be sure to prepare the classroom before students arrive.
💡 High school teachers may not need the same level of classroom décor as primary teachers, but a welcoming and warm environment is still important.
When setting up your classroom, try including/creating:
Visual learning aids such as graphic organizers, charts, or maps
Inspirational posters that include quotes, goals, or life skills
An organized space with a good "flow" that allows movement and collaboration
A color theme using complementary colors
Tip #3: Establish Relationships
Building relationships is key to having great classroom management. Try the following strategies to create a collaborative classroom environment.
Greet your students in a friendly manner at the classroom door.
Create fun and engaging icebreaker activities.
Give students structured time to talk to each other.
Learn your students' names and correct pronunciations.
Tip #4: Set Up Classroom Norms
Create classroom rules, post them in a visible location, and discuss what the rules look like in action.
Discuss classroom procedures, which explain how the classroom functions. For example, you might want students to raise their hands before speaking.
Set high expectations by teaching on the first day of school. Assign a few math problems, a journal prompt, a reading assignment, or a hands-on activity to establish a learning routine.
Tip #5: Be Prepared!
You can ensure a smooth start to the school year if you:
create detailed lesson plans and plan more than you need.
prepare materials, technology, and directions in advance.
arrive early and dress to impress — you want your look to say, "I'm a confident professional!"
make sure to understand school policies and expectations for teachers.
know who to contact in the event of an emergency.
remember to take a deep breath and have fun!
⚡Knowledge Check Time!
A. Matt has planned a super fun icebreaker for the first day. He hasn't had a chance to consider how to address classroom expectations.
B. Maria has organized her classroom and created stellar lesson plans. She'll try to think of an icebreaker during her commute and print her syllabus before school starts.
C. Jada has decorated her classroom and written her lesson plans. She has all materials ready, including her icebreaker. She plans to arrive early.
D. Elliot has a list of great icebreakers and some journal prompts ready to go. He still hasn't finished setting up his classroom but then decides that isn't a priority.
Which new teacher is most prepared for their first day based on the above scenarios?
The first day of school will arrive soon enough, but you have no reason to worry if you come prepared!