How to Survive Your First Day Of Teaching

Published by alvinauh on

So you have just started your career as a teacher, congratulations and good luck! It is truly a fun time ahead. However, teaching is a profession wrought with perils. One wrong step, and the parents/students/your boss will eat you alive. I’m joking, you’ll do great!

However, just in case, here are a list of dos and don’ts that you may want to consider.

1) Establish Clear Boundaries

Repeat after me:

“I am the students’ teachers. I am not their friend.”

On the first day of school, you will need to establish very clear boundaries with the students. Never be too nice to them that they assume that you are their friend and not their teacher.

However, you can always be nice to them individually. Listen to them and speak to them outside of the classroom. In the classroom, bear in mind that you will have to command the students.

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2) Set Your Rules/Desired Behavior

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the kind of behavior you want your students to show in class. Do you want your students to raise their hands before asking a question? Perhaps you want them to say please and thank you in class?

Once you have an idea of what type of behavior you desire, you will need to set clear rules and rewards to encourage or discourage those behavior. However, any reward or punishment needs to be enforced consistently.

As such, you may hate punishing your students, but remember you are doing so to make them better individuals in the future.

3) Never Get Into Any Verbal Exchange In Class

While this may not happen, you may get one or two rather interesting students who may decide to test how far they can push you. To that end, never ever get into a verbal exchange with any student who decides to challenge you in the classroom.

If you do, remember that having a long verbal exchange with that student in the classroom may slowly evolve into a long heated argument. Furthermore, you don’t want to argue with children, would you?

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My suggestion would be to end the argument there with these words, “I’ll see you after class.” You can ignore everything else the student may see after that.

4) No One Gets It Right On The First Day

Finally, remember that very few of us manage to crush it on the first day of class. Most of the time, you will not manage well on the first day of teaching.

However, after you have found your groove after the the second or third week, you will find that teaching gets a bit easier. As such, stand strong and take on your class. While you are at it, remember to have lots of fun.


I hope you have found these tips useful. Many of these tips come from my experience supervising teacher trainees. Hopefully, you will not make the same mistakes that they have through these tips.