First day


  • Don’t dress too smartly (How to survive)
  • Expect meetings and admin(How to survive)
  • Use prep time wisely to get to know other members of the dept and other teachers, but don’t be cocky (How to survive)
  • Start to collect: a teacher’s planner; timetable; class lists; details of any children with special educational needs; schemes of work and syllabuses; whole-school policies esp. behaviour; merit stamps/certificates for rewards and sanctions; exercise books and textbooks needed; materials for artwork and displays; stationery; tutor group diaries and timetables (How to survive)
  • Don’t organise too soon – things will change! (How to survive)
  • Personalise your room (How to survive)
  • Get your bearings in school. Find the: school office; student reception; offices of senior staff; photocopying machines; assembly hall; canteen; staffroom; student toilets; staff toilets (How to survive)

First lesson

  • Meet the class at the door and line them up outside (How to survive)
  • Give the impression you have lots of experience (How to survive)
  • Try to relax, don’t rush the lesson and remember they’re more scared of you than vice versa (How to survive)
  • Have a sense of style and be as firm as you can (How to survive)
  • Set the boundaries now focusing on positive behaviour, what you want and why, using ‘we’, and encouraging responses. Elicit the boundaries from them. List them on the classroom wall. Refer to the list regularly. Take time to do this, keep the boundaries simple, and don’t try to plan too much for this lesson (How to survive)
  • Use the seating plan and use the register to check pupils are sitting where you have asked them to (How to survive)
  • Wait for them: never, ever talk to a class at all until every single student is sitting still, in complete silence, looking directly at you (have backup strategies in case they don’t do this) (How to survive)
  • Start every question with ‘put your hands up if you can tell me…’ (How to survive)
  • Focus on learning pupils’ names (How to survive)
  • Use the register (How to survive)
  • Ask who wants a job whenever you have a task (How to survive)
  • Ask pupils to stand behind their chairs at the end of every lesson (How to survive)
  • Thoughts for a first class
  • Its important to define the first meeting with students on your terms: be confidently secure; pleasantly firm; without overtones of force, threat or anxiety. This will usually happen outside the classroom – its useful to establish a brief expectant tone. (Classroom behaviour)

One thought on “First day

  1. Pingback: How to survive Ch 1 | Weekly Maths

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