The start of school is full of preparations, back-to-school shopping, and jitters for both teachers and students. The first day of school is important -- it's when first impressions are made and when teachers have an opportunity to start connecting with students without any preconceived notions about their academics or behavior.
At Johnston High School in Iowa, English teacher Sarah Brown Wessling only gets 10 minutes with her students on the first day. She knows she needs to make them count, so she has three objectives:
1. Connect with them
2. Start putting names to faces
3. Get them to start thinking forward
"When I am being really honest with students about why I love this work, it's really easy to cross this line into relying on too much emotion," Wessling says in a Teaching Channel video. "So I think it's really important to be genuine and to be honest, but not feel like you have to disclose everything in order for it to be effective."
She does want students to have a memorable experience in this first meeting. "My hope is that they leave with a feeling, and that feeling they can then start to connect to our space."