Your first class, tips to start the year successfully

There you are with your diploma in your pocket and in good spirits; for the first time independently in front of the classroom. But a completed training and a dose of enthusiasm are unfortunately no guarantee for a good start. What can help you in those first few weeks?

  1. Be fair and clear

    Of course you want to be a nice teacher or master. You do your best for that. But you better do your best to be consistent. If you are fair and clear, students will naturally like you. Act, be clear. And don't want to be too sweet.

  2. Connect with your students

    As a starting teacher you sometimes do not know what to do in the first minutes of the lesson. How do you start? How do you get the students quiet? No matter how desperate you are, don't yell! A better approach is to make very personal contact. Go around the tables, say something personal. Make you feel there. And if you are still screaming in despair, get on straight away. Otherwise, you will immediately lose your attention.

  3. Pay attention to all students

    You always have three groups of students in a class: the good ones, the large middle group and the group that cannot be inspired. If things go against you, as a teacher you will be dragged to that last group, as it were. A classic beginner's mistake is to pay particular attention to the glands in the classroom. Remember that negative attention is also attention. So you actually reward the glands. So don't do this; all students want attention. And deserve attention.

  4. Make agreements that you can maintain

    It is better to make agreements with the class than to set a whole bunch of rules unilaterally at the beginning. Provide support. Even more important is that rules and agreements can be observed. If students notice that you don't act when an agreement is broken, you lose credibility.

  5. Build up punishment

    There is a great temptation to resort to punishment when chattering. You can, but build it up. You can't do nothing for very long and then suddenly send someone out. It is better to use a whole range of measures.

  6. Give a compliment

    You can get into such a spiral with a class in which only grumbling and negative comments are exchanged. Don't get carried away in that. Get out of that spiral and give a compliment. Reward desired behavior.

  7. Be flexible with your lesson plan

    You should be able to deviate from your lesson plan or schedule without forcing yourself to catch up later. That only makes you insecure. Too tight lesson planning blocks your creativity and freedom to respond well to what is happening in the classroom. So let it come to you a little bit. Be flexible.

  8. Choose a school where you feel at home

    You may be happy if you can work at a school nearby. But don't underestimate the importance of feeling at home in a school. Do you look back on the job interview with pleasure? Do you like the design of the school? How was the atmosphere? And does the identity of the school suit you? Choose a school that suits you!

  9. Take a critical look at your own performance

    Many beginners tend to take too many hours and are just really busy. What then falls into it is to analyze, to look back on your own performance. But you really have to, preferably together with others. And don't get stuck in 'it went well'. Find someone who can help you zoom in on events that say something about how you are doing in the classroom.

  10. Talk about tips

    If tips always worked, no one would get overstrained or burn out. If only it were that simple. You become a good teacher mainly by gaining experience, by learning to sense situations, by getting to know your own strengths. Tips are helpful, but not truths. Rather talk about it. Because in conversation with someone else you find out what these tips mean for you.

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