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Teaching the First Day(s) of Class

The first day of a course is exciting and anxiety-provoking for everyone. How do you take advantage of that excitement, inspire your students, and reduce anxiety? It’s traditional to begin by discussing course requirements and perhaps even to cut the first class short, but is it a good idea? Does such a beginning tell your students why they should become excited about your course, or why you spend most of your waking hours studying this discipline? Does it tell them about how you teach or how you’ll approach the subject matter? Here are some helpful tips the TRC and other centers have compiled to get your course off to a productive and stimulating start:

Engaging Students
Learn ways to create engaging learning environments, where student learning is not only possible but highly probable. 

Creating an Inclusive Classroom
Learn ways to create a comfortable and inclusive environment for students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Building Rapport & Trust
Learn three ways to build rapport between instructor(s) and students on the first day of class.

Learning Names
Learn a variety of techniques for learning students’ names in both small and large class settings.

Troubleshooting Teaching Challenges
Classroom conflicts or heated moments can be one of the most difficult classroom situations to deal with for any instructor. Learn how to prevent and respond to any conflicts that may arise.

Additional UVa-specific Resources and Support