My First Day Memories + Tips for a Smooth First Day Back at School

We were all kids once. And most of the time, we did some embarrassing things an adult would never do, like crying because the ice cream fell on the floor or being messy with our food or crying during the first day of school, and other stuff that only kids would do. 

Throwback to 1996. I was that kid who would cry on the first day or week of school because I was scared that my mom would leave me.

And alas, she did. 

It's pretty ironic because now that I'm an adult, I have already lived in different countries and won't cry anymore, even if I'm not with my mom.

But the point of this blog post is we all have our first-day memories in the classroom, whether you are a teacher or a student.

The first time I taught was when I became an online Korean teacher in 2009. It was my first job right after I got my associate's degree. I had to learn how to use the company's system, make sure I look presentable in front of the camera, and know what exactly I am doing. 

After two years, I went back to university to get a bachelor's degree, and as part of my internship, I had to teach English to first-year college students. I was very nervous. My hands were cold and shaking. But guess what, my professor gave me the highest score in our class! The students also complimented me, saying that I'm very articulate and know what I'm doing (which made my heart melt!) Which made me think teaching is my destiny.

Two or three months after I got my bachelor's degree, I flew to Vietnam to travel and look for a teaching career. I landed a job in an international school as a Literature teacher. I also found a part-time job in a language school, working from Monday to Sunday (Yes, Sunday. You read that right.).

I will never forget my first day of teaching in Vietnam. The students were surprised because I looked so young! They thought I was a student! No one threw a tantrum (thank God!), but since everyone was so excited to get to know me and to see their friends and classmates, the students did not behave as I expected them to.

Working in a language school during the student's first day wasn't as smooth either because kids would cry their eyes out just like me when I was their age. They even wanted to go home as soon as they sat down on the chair, which was more challenging for me because as much as I tried to communicate with them properly, I couldn't do it because of the language barrier.

If you are a (new) teacher, here are some of the tips for your first day at school:

  1. Be prepared. Establish classroom rules on day 1. How you spend your first day will determine the classroom tone for the rest of the school year.
  2. Have a job chart. The kids can practice the jobs assigned in the first week of school. That way, they can get used to the routine.
  3. Organize your classroom. Label everything that has to be labeled. Where should the pencils and erasers go? Where should the crayons and folders be? It's also vital that students know where to find these things.
  4. Have them share things about themselves during school's first day or week. Plan an icebreaker activity for the students. 

Your students will feel so many different feelings during the first few days of school. Make them feel relaxed and learn a lot about them as time passes. Also, don't forget to be strict with your rules and have fun simultaneously.  

We all have fun, annoying and embarrassing first-day school memories as students and teachers. Tell me yours in the comment section below.

Talk to you soon!

The Viral Teacher

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