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Breaking the Ice

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Breaking the Ice

Post by dah_men on Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:36 am

Breaking the Ice


<blockquote>
You're not the only one that is stressed out by the first day of
school. It's a big event for the students too. They are starting a new
year with a school full of new teachers and classes. Things might be a
little slow to get started as both you the teacher, and the students
feel each other out. Elementary aged kids really want to like you, so
you just have to give them that catalyst to get the process started.
Something happens to students in middle school where it becomes common
practice and just plain cooler to not like you right from the start.


When dealing with Elementary students it's all about reassuring them
about that things aren't much different than they were last year. You
can have them identify certain things in your class that were the same
as their previous class. Items like the clock, the blackboard, or your
teacher's desk are things that are typically in all classrooms. This
will help them get a little more comfortable with their new
environment. You can also point out the similarities and differences
between your rules and those of the teacher before you.


Simply reading a story to your class can help to form a bond. More than
likely, the teacher before you read to them, and they will start to
identify and transfer the positive feelings that they had with their
prior teacher over to you. Hopefully their parents also read to them
and have been reading to them for some time. You will add yourself to
the list of people that can be trusted. There are some great books to
read on your first day to break the ice like Oh The Places You'll Go by
Dr. Seuss or Don't Eat the Teacher by James Howe. If these books seem
too childish for your class then you probably shouldn't be reading to
them, as they are probably too old to be read to, and this tactic will
backfire on you.


When dealing with older aged kids you have to break the ice a little
differently. You can play a game to get the conversation flowing and to
show students that while you are tough as nails, you also like to have
an open atmosphere in your classroom. On the first day you should also
go with being a little wacky and at times unpredictable. It beats out
being boring or stuffy on the first day. Just don't pick a juvenile
game when you loosen things up a bit. Your students are trying to
maintain an image and will reject it if they think that it will ruin
their reputation. Make it a sophisticated enough game to earn their
respect and participation, but fun enough to get them to have a good
time.
</blockquote>
By Dominic Bartalino

dah_men
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