It was the first day of school and all went well
My students were spectacularly swell
I introduced me
And now they can see
I take science seriously
A lab on day one
Was twice as fun
When of behavior problems there were none
I am not entirely sure why
Did they have the first-day jitters
With their hearts all appitter?
Or were they just acting their best?
Whatever the reason
I’ll take advantage of this season
Behavioral precedence has been set
My expectations will be met
I’m looking forward to this year
Today was a good start
I’m grinning from ear to ear
Today was the first day of the year. And I started all my science classes with a lab. Now, this lab was quite simple. We simply reviewed the scientific method (They were taught it last year) and made a hypothesis about how a normal coin and an unevenly weighted coin will land. Then we performed the lab.
I taught this lesson three times today, and I have never had a lab that was so little work. It was incredible because every student was focused and working. I’m not sure if it was simply because today was the first day of school and the students were a bit nervous or because the lab was simple, but I will take it.
The secret might be to take advantage of first day nerves and students wanting to make a good impression. Not simply by laying down the law (should be done clearly, firmly, and kindly) but by taking advantage of their behavior. Allowing better than normal behavior to set a precedent and clarify expectations.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your year off with a bang! Do something and run with it.