First Day of School

June 10, 2022

As a teacher, you want your students to be happy and comfortable while they learn. On the first day of preschool, you may teach students routines that give them an understanding of how a school functions rather than focusing on specific lesson plans. Here are some tips you can use to prepare for the first day of preschool:

1. Prepare a schedule ahead of time

Teachers prepare lessons, teaching many subjects. For the first day of preschool , consider focusing your attention on planning the order of activities for the day. Children have a lot to learn about how preschool works, and it’ important they learn the different routines you plan to institute before they’re ready to learn the subject matter. That’s why it’s important for your plan for the day to include activities that get the children used to how preschool works.

2. Arrive early

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at school in the morning to write your name on the chalkboard, to layout any nametags or other materials for the children and to ensure you have all the materials you need for the day ahead. Then take a breath and enjoy the moment before a brand-new school year begins.

3. Meet the parents

It may not be possible to meet every parent or guardian who drops their child off, but it’s a good idea to meet each child’s family if you can . The parents might be as nervous as the children , so you can put their minds at ease by introducing yourself. If the children see your friendly interactions with their parents or guardians, it can help them trust you.

4. Introduce yourself

Once all the children are in the classroom, it’s time to introduce yourself. Point to your name on the board and tell the children how to pronounce it. Welcome them all to preschool and ask if they’re excited. Different students experience different emotions on the first day, ranging from energetic enthusiasm to nervous dread, so a friendly introduction can help put any nervous children at ease.

5. Begin with an engaging activity

Many preschool-aged children like to be active. Because young children often have lots of energy, they may prefer more active instruction methods. Try to elicit participation from them by planning activities that are engaging and fun. You can have the children introduce themselves with an activity, such as pairing them up, asking them to talk about themselves to their partner and then having each child introduce their partner to the class.

6. Encourage the children to become familiar with their surroundings

Another activity to consider is one that gets the children involved with their surroundings. Preschool classrooms are typically colorful and stimulating places with new furniture, windows and toys. Children often want to explore their new surroundings right away, so rather than try to hold their attention, lead them through an exploration of the classroom so they can satisfy their curiosity.

7. Establish some classroom rules

Once the children settle back into their seats, it’s time to establish some rules. You may find it’s helpful to have them participate and help you create a code of conduct. Many preschoolers know how to treat others with kindness and respect, so having them suggest rules that encourage this kind of behavior keeps their attention and creates a more collaborative relationship between you and your students.

8. Address any behavioral issues promptly

Simply having a set of rules doesn’t mean that children can always follow them. Behavioral issues may occasionally happen, including on the first day. While it may be tempting to disregard outbursts on the first day to keep your momentum, you want your new students to understand what acceptable behavior in the classroom is. The key is to provide positive reinforcement. This is typically an effective way to elicit the behavior you desire, and by praising a child when they model exemplary behavior, you can inspire others to do the same.

9. Post a daily schedule

Establishing routines is what the first day of preschool is all about, so you may want to teach students about the daily schedule. Use the first day to show your students what preschool is like and get them comfortable with the daily routine. This can help them know what to expect on the second day and beyond. Helping your students adjust to these routines is key to establishing an orderly classroom environment that’s conducive to learning.

10. Discuss classroom materials

It’s important that each child knows how to use their materials, so they can use them confidently during different assignments. On the first day, it’s good to teach them how to use and where to put their papers, scissors, crayons and pencils. For preschoolers, some of these materials may represent brand new concepts, so it’s helpful to explain how they work and how they’re used. It’s also important to teach them how to care for these materials, especially if they can take them home. If they understand their books are important, it’s easier to teach them to treat the books with proper care.

11. Build anticipation of what’s coming later in the week

Give the students an idea of what you’ve planned for later in the week. This way, the children look forward to coming back and are excited to see you and each other again. You can do this simply by describing what fun activities you have planned or you can leave certain tasks unfinished. For example, you can agree to finish a story or activity the next day to build anticipation.

12. Create an end-of-day routine

When it’s time to leave, students may not know what to do. To bring a sense of order and closure to the day, establish a goodbye ritual. Having all the children put away their things and then say goodbye to each other is a good routine because it models respectful and friendly behavior and it institutes good organizational practices.

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