Tips for a smooth start

Teacher Leonie Verweij taught in the upper classes for ten years and is now a substitute for the Robijn foundation for primary education in Nieuwegein. Together with Elise Luiten, she runs an educational consultancy firm Docenttalent and wrote the book Talent for the classroom. Nine tips to start the school year off right.



  1. Rules

    “Predictability is important. Make it clear what you expect. I often did that by setting rules together with the class in the beginning. Not too much, for example draw up five rules that everyone must adhere to. I wrote those lines down and the children signed it or put a fingerprint. Then live them together. ”

  2. routines

    “I thought about how I would walk the class to the gym. Then I want everyone to line up. In the beginning it takes a lot of time, but later it saves time if there is a fixed rhythm for it. You can also come up with something like this by removing materials from cupboards. What is true and you can, for example, appoint a material manager. ”

  3. Walking routes

    “When you know which classroom you have, you can come up with good walking routes. That has to do with the design. Decide whether you want to put the class in groups or two-by-two. "

  4. Materials

    "On the first day of school, make sure you have the notebooks with their names ready and make sure that all other materials, such as folders, pens and erasers, are in order."

  5. Namur

    “You have to know the names as soon as possible. You can do this by looking at the passport photos of the students. To remember names it is nice to come up with a personal characteristic in the children. ”

  6. Ambiance

    “Invest in safety and atmosphere from day one. Everyone has been out of the class composition for six weeks. If you let us know what you expect from the start, it will be clear for the rest of the school year. Tell about yourself, but also ask the children what they are unique or good at. ”

  7. Learning goals

    “Especially if you are teaching a new group, it is important to view the overview of the subject matter with learning objectives of the year. During the holidays you can brainstorm about how you will achieve your goals. "

  8. Class folder

    “Create a class folder with information about your class. You can think of the map, contact details of parents, the weekly schedule, the annual schedule, etc. ”

  9. Reflect

    “During your holiday you can think about what you would like to do differently. If you teach the same class for a long time, you have a lot of routine. It is good to always keep innovating and to ask yourself what you can improve or how, for example, you want to achieve a learning objective in a different way. ”