Tips for Great First Impression on Your Students
There are different students with different characteristics. As a new teacher in a new school, you may meet responsible, diligent, punctual, courteous, and friendly students. Or come across the lazy, impatient, blameful, defensive, and irresponsible students.
With all that, getting to know your students can sometimes prove a challenging task. You have to balance between the worlds; evil and good students. Of course, some of the students’ behaviors would be annoying. Still, you have the power to make things right from the start by creating an impactful first impression.
Your first interaction with your students would determine how well you’ll be getting along and impact how you fit into the school system. It can either make or break your profession. Because of that, you must strive to make the best and impactful first impression that would go a long way into a successful future.
But how do you make a significant first impression on your students? Don't worry; this article saves you from the hassle of information. It elaborates some of the most remarkable first impression techniques for any teacher who wants to start on the right side of their students.
Understanding First Impression
One funny thing about human beings is how they judge or size up each other. And it can take a mere five-ten second for a person to make an impactful impression that would determine their future relationship.
By definition, therefore, the first impression is the emotions or feelings people form about you on your first encounter. In this case, how your students see you. Do they see you as a capable teacher or that shy person who is afraid to address them?
As a teacher, your first impression would be influenced by several factors, including;
Your students would tend to get attached to the initial impressions you create. And sometimes, they may find it hard to change their perception or opinions, especially when you try to change them in the future.
What’s the importance of making a great first impression?
It’s quite impossible for every student to like or love you. But on the general ground, a great first impression is important in various ways like:
It adds to your reputation
You might have just been given a transfer from another institution. Some of your new students know or have interacted with. And with the modern students who are very social, your characteristics, bad or good, would have reached them.
So, your first impression helps determine two things; it adds to your reputation and provides a base or bias through which your future observations would be made. For instance, if a teacher who has been impressive from day one has a bad day, students may see that as an exception. However, a bad day for a teacher with a poor first impression would only confirm the reputation the students had.
So, how can you make an impactful first impression on your students?
Significant First Impression Techniques Every Teacher Should Know
Ensure Appropriate Dressing
When it comes to the first impression, presentation is everything. In fact, psychology studies suggest that most people evaluate individuals from what they wear. To start your first day on a good foot, select an appropriate outfit that would best suit the day and the culture of the school.
Simple advice, consider comfort more than style. So, if you decide to buy new clothes, you should first wear them once or twice around your home to ensure you're comfortable in them. Therefore, consider formal attires for your first as they give out the impression of confidence and power. Also, you should not wear overly formal outfits; they may sometimes bring out an unapproachable feeling.
Create a Welcoming Environment
Probably, your students are also nervous as you and they are eager to meet their new teacher. So, it’s your responsibility to ease their fears and tension by creating a positive and welcoming environment.
But how can you do that?
Great Your Students with a Smile
Of course, there are high chances that you may be feeling anxious, but if you want students to feel free and welcomed, then you should smile with them. Smiling would not only make you comfortable but also encourage students' engagement. So, create a positive, smiling environment even if you are anxious inside.
Be Open While Introducing Yourself
With a smiling face, now you should introduce yourself to your students. While doing that, open up and tell your students a little bit of yourself—your name, or instead how they should call you. If possible, please write your name on the board to get the correct pronunciation and spelling. Let them know the subject you’ll be taking them through and a few exciting plans you have for them.
Be Confident and Control Your Body Language
Your students can know your confidence level from your body language, even before introducing yourself. It may seem simple, but maintaining eye contact, standing upright, and not touching or playing with objects in your hands would show some level of confidence in you.
So, avoid any negative body language like; defensive gestures -crossed arms and legs, and using defensive physical barriers, among others negative body language. Instead, factors like active nodding, thumbing and using open arms while addressing your students would help enliven your presentations or teaching and keep your class more engaged. That said, keep your posture open, lively, and inviting.
Ensure You’re Audible
As a teacher, your voice is one of the essential tools in imparting knowledge. You should ensure you adequately project points to meet the size of your students.
Even better, record yourself before the lessons to help you pick and eliminate some overuse words such as "like.” This would also help you understand your speaking tendencies better. For instance, talking too fast may make you seem underprepared or nervous. So, try slowing down a bit. You can also try practicing in front of a mirror or a friend to help hone your presentations for a better first impression.
Make a Personal Connection with Your Students
Most teachers would fail to make an impactful first impression because of an inadequate connection with the students. To get compassion from the students, you must connect with them and let them know you understand and relate with your learners emotions and feelings.
Tell your students some of your best experiences and what you like for effective connection. Giving them a little information about yourself can help bridge the contact gap and make students more likely to open up to you.
Also, personalize your interaction with the students by addressing their names. That implies that you need to learn every student's name.
Have a Descriptive Plan of Your Course
Another way to make a great impression on your first day is to adequately give out the layout or a clear map of your course as much as the students are curious about knowing you. In other words, you have to reduce their urge to know where their course is headed.
Therefore, provide a brief description or outline you’ll be using, introduce the course and ensure you build anticipation. You can also hit on an experience that you believe would help keep the class moving and engaged. This is also the best time to let your students know the roles they will be playing during the course. Also, invite ideas or opinions from students to help you build your course goals.
You must remember to set the tone for everyone, yourself, and students. Sure, your first day isn’t just a day for impressing your students but also a perfect opportunity to set background rules. That said, engage your students in the making DO's and DONT's on the class so that you don't seem to be imposing rules. Let everything that happens on your first day also reflect what is to come.
Some students are very keen and sometimes can tell when you're nervous or uncomfortable during your presentations. Plus, it would be hard to hide or pretend to be someone you’re not. So, be present both mentally, interpersonally, and intellectually. Also, be honest, authentic, and transparent with your teaching styles from the word go.
Furthermore, let go of any of your uncertainties and build trust with your students. You can do that by sharing why you have chosen their class and how glad you are to teach them.
Generally, students like it when teachers talk good of them. So, to win their trust, treat your students as adults or discipline grownups capable of good performance with creative and imaginative thinking.
It's always suitable for teachers to physically, psychologically, and emotionally prepare themselves when meeting new students for the first time. The above-mentioned first impression techniques would help you create a long-lasting impression on your students.