Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2015 May

Make the First Day of Class Count

How do you start your course? Do you make introductions, go over the syllabus, set expectations, and create a classroom agreement? This is the average protocol that most teachers use. But if you teach an ancillary course (like business, ethics, communication, even science or research), you need to show students right off the bat that this course is worth their while. If you struggle with student engagement, try the following

Jump right into the curriculum the first day by introducing a typical problem or a core idea, or doing a group exercise that illustrates a core objective of the course. When I teach Anatomy and Physiology, I show them some really cool stuff about the nervous system on the first day, even though that won’t come up until halfway through their program. It’s fun, engaging, and keeps them on the edge of their seats.

I make sure to carefully plan the day so we also have time to go over the typical first-day business (e.g., syllabus). This demonstrates to your students that your course is well organized, well paced, and worthwhile. Hook ’em that first day!