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A Piece of Advice

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A Piece of Advice

Post by dah_men on Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:35 am

Meeting students for the 1st time always makes one feel nervous, no matter
you’re experienced or inexperienced. Before the 1st class meeting, you
have to think about what to do in the meeting, how to set the climate
for learning and establish rapport with students.


Following are some suggested activities for the first meeting
Get acquainted


  • Write the course code, title and name of the course instructor on the board;
  • Smile and greet students when they enter the classroom;
  • Look cheerful and move around and start up some friendly small talk with those in their seats;
  • Write your name clearly on board;
  • Introduce yourself, including your experience in learning/exploring the subject and why you are excited about the subject;
  • Know your students by names: for small class, ask students to introduce themselves.
  • Tell them how to contact you.

Set the climate for learning

  • Explain the nature of the meetings. Tell students what you plan to achieve in
    tutorial/lab sessions and how will the sessions fit into the course
    syllabus/learning.

  • Ask for students’ information, e.g. how many have taken a previous related
    course? What do they expect to get from the meetings so that you can
    plan to start from where they are!

  • Set a mutual "learning
    contract"—what you have to do and what your students have to do—to make
    the session an effective learning experience for both.


Carry out administrative duties


  • Roll-calling if needed;

  • Explain policies affecting students’ grades, like examination, assignments, attendance to class, projects, etc.

  • Spell out the attendance requirements;

  • Set rules for behavior like late arrivals, lack of contribution to class activities, etc.

If you are nervous for the first meeting, you can tell yourself:


  • It is just natural and okay to feel that way;

  • You are not the only one being nervous. Your students are nervous too!

  • Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Repeat the action several times as needed.

  • Practice positive thinking! Assure and reassure yourself "I can do it well". Of
    course, good preparation helps you to become confident in your work!



In class, you have to:


  • Speak clearly at an audible level and concentrate on what you are talking about;

  • Write legibly on board;

  • Look calm, natural and act confidently

  • Show your enthusiasm towards the course;

  • Listen and answer carefully to students’ questions, If you don't know the
    answer, tell the student that you will find it out before next meeting.


  • Don't apologize for your inexperience or lack of expertise in teaching!

dah_men
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