Beginner’s Guide: What to Teach on the First Day of School

first day of school

Introduction: Setting the Tone for a Successful Year

The first day of school is a crucial moment for teachers and students alike. It’s a time filled with excitement, nerves, and the promise of new beginnings. But what should you teach on the first day to ensure a positive start? This guide will help you plan a memorable and productive first day that sets the tone for the rest of the school year.

the first day of school

Welcome and Introductions: Breaking the Ice

Welcome Your Students

Start by greeting each student warmly as they enter the classroom. A friendly smile and a simple “Good morning” can go a long way in making them feel welcome.

Introduce Yourself

Share a bit about who you are. Include your background, interests, and a fun fact to help your students see you as a person, not just a teacher. This helps build rapport and makes you more approachable.

Student Introductions

Encourage students to introduce themselves. You can use icebreaker activities like “Two Truths and a Lie” or a quick “Name Game” to make this process fun and engaging. This not only helps you learn their names but also allows students to start forming connections with their peers.

Classroom Rules and Expectations: Setting Clear Boundaries

Establish Rules Together

Begin by discussing the importance of having classroom rules. Involve your students in creating these rules to give them a sense of ownership and responsibility. Make sure the rules are clear, concise, and displayed prominently in the classroom.

Discuss Consequences

It’s equally important to explain the consequences of not following the rules. Be fair and consistent with your discipline to build a respectful classroom environment.

Positive Reinforcement

Highlight the importance of positive behavior. Discuss how you will recognize and reward good behavior throughout the year, such as through a point system, praise, or special privileges.

Classroom Procedures: Creating a Smooth Workflow

Daily Routines

Introduce your students to the daily routines and procedures. This includes how to start the day, transition between activities, and end the day. Practice these routines together to ensure everyone understands them.

Materials and Supplies

Show your students where classroom materials and supplies are located. Explain how they should use and care for these items. This helps keep the classroom organized and fosters a sense of responsibility.

Emergency Procedures

Review emergency procedures such as fire drills, lockdowns, and evacuation routes. Make sure students know what to do in case of an emergency to ensure their safety.

Icebreaker Activities: Building a Classroom Community

Getting to Know You Activities

Plan engaging icebreaker activities that help students get to know each other. Activities like “Find Someone Who” or “Classmate Bingo” encourage interaction and help students find common interests.

Team-Building Exercises

Incorporate team-building exercises to foster a sense of community. Activities like building a tower with marshmallows and spaghetti or solving puzzles together can be both fun and educational.

Reflection and Sharing

End the day with a reflection activity. Ask students to share one thing they learned about a classmate or something they enjoyed about the first day. This helps solidify new friendships and build a positive classroom atmosphere.

Introducing the Curriculum: Sparking Interest in Learning

Overview of the Year

Give your students a brief overview of what they will be learning throughout the year. Highlight key topics and exciting projects to spark their interest and enthusiasm.

First Day Activity

Plan a fun and engaging activity related to your subject. This could be a simple experiment, a creative writing prompt, or a hands-on project. The goal is to show students that learning can be enjoyable and to pique their curiosity.

Setting Goals

Encourage students to set personal and academic goals for the year. Provide them with a template to write down their goals and revisit these periodically to track their progress.

Conclusion: Wrapping Up the First Day

Review and Reflect

Take a few minutes at the end of the day to review what you covered. Ask students for their feedback on what they enjoyed and what they found challenging. This shows that you value their opinions and are committed to their success.

Prepare for Tomorrow

Briefly discuss what to expect on the second day of school. This helps ease any anxiety and gives students something to look forward to.

Positive Send-Off

End the day on a positive note. Thank your students for their participation and enthusiasm. Remind them that you are looking forward to a fantastic year together.

Bonus Tips: Additional Resources for Teachers

Professional Development

Consider joining professional development workshops or online courses to enhance your teaching skills and stay updated with the latest educational trends.

Support Network

Build a support network with fellow teachers. Share experiences, seek advice, and collaborate on ideas to improve your teaching practices.


Remember to take care of yourself. Teaching can be demanding, and it’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Practice self-care and seek support when needed to ensure you are at your best for your students