Published 29th December 2015
Meeting a new class and conducting your first lesson is always an unnerving experience. Once you have been through the process a few times you will inevitably find it becomes much easier. But if you’re new to teaching and looking for some advice, then follow these simple steps and make your first and subsequent lessons go without a hitch!
Set Some Ground Rules
While a first lesson should be fun so you can get to know the students, it’s also important to establish a protocol of behaviour which you expect from your new class. The type of ground rules you need will totally depend on who you are teaching, small children may need to be told not to be late and not to have phones in the classroom, but telling that to a business man coming from the office to learn corporate English is a different story. Use your common sense in establishing the do’s and don’ts.
Have Some Fun
So you’ve established some rules, but you should also have some fun. With young learners games are always a great way to do this, with a special emphasis on name games so you can get to know them by heart. For older learners this might simply consist of a small presentation where they can tell you and the class a little about themselves. This can also be a great opportunity to hear your students speak for the first time and assess their English capabilities.
Learn Their Names
It might seem like an obvious point, but learning the names of the students as quickly as possible is really important step in creating a respectful and pleasant learning environment. Name badges might be a good start for the first day. There should be also more focus on name learning activities if the class didn’t know each other before.
Ask What They Would Like to Lea
This isn’t always possible if you teach at a school with a set curriculum, and of course certain topics will have to be covered. But asking the students, if they’re old enough, what they would like to get from the lessons might help you plan enjoyable and productive lessons.
Most importantly remember that it can be uncomfortable for the students meeting their peers and a new teacher, so work on creating the type of atmosphere that you would like to continue teaching in for the duration of your time with the class on the first day.