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Current Issue Table of Contents | Back Issues

Volume 4 Number 3

Happy 7th Anniversary Teachers.Net...
A First Day of School Script Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Using A Discipline Approach to Promote Learning Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
My Poor Teacher Can't Spell! 4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Testing, 1-2-3! Postcard from Planet Esme - News from the world of children's books by Esmé Codell
March ~ The Perfect Time for a Fresh Start! Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Need Something? Ask! Teachers As Learners by Hal Portner
There's a Book Inside of You Waiting To Come Out! eBook Authoring by Glenn F. Dietzel
Stop Underage Drinking Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Debates in the Classroom---A List of Ten! The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
Saving Drowning Babies is Not Always the Best Policy! Ed-Tech Talk by Dr. Rob Reilly
Art Sites The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
March Articles
March Regular Features
March Informational Items
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Effective Teaching...
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A First Day of School Script

(continued from page 1)

Script for the First Day of School
John Schmidt

Homewood-Flossmoor High School

Before Class

  • Have a clearly marked sign on the door and on the front chalkboard that indicates the name of the class, the teacher, the hour, and the room number.
  • Place a copy of the Student Information Survey on every student desk to be completed as bellwork.
  • Setup individual trays for every handout the students will need to pickup. Place a sign that reads "Please Take One" near the trays.
  • Setup a copy of the textbook, a sample binder, and a sample notebook on the chalkboard sill.
  • Use the overhead projector to display the seating chart.

Greet at the Door

  • Welcome each student with a handshake and hello.
  • Look directly at each student, not the busy hallway or the growing line of people at the door, when they introduce themselves.
  • Make sure every student is in the right place at the right time.
  • Tell each student the following:
  1. They can find their seat by referencing the seating chart on the projection screen.
  2. They should grab the 3 handouts on the table at the front of the room.
  3. They have a bellwork activity waiting for them at their desks.

Welcome and Introduction

  • Welcome everyone to the first day of school and ask the students to take a few more minutes to finish the bellwork.
  • Take attendance by referencing the seating chart.
  • Welcome everyone again and introduce yourself.
  • Provide a few tidbits of appropriate personal information (educational background, family, etc.).
  • Explain your personal educational philosophy.
  • Stress that you are very excited to be back at school and that you look forward to a successful year ahead.

Syllabus Explanation (Handout 1)

  • Ask the students to reference the Course Syllabus handout.
  • Explain the basic course information.
  • Provide instructor contact information.
  • Discuss the course objectives.
  • Identify the required class materials and reference the items setup on the chalkboard sill as a visual reminder of what each student will need.
  • Explain the grading scale.
  • Discuss specific academic requirements.

Class Policies Explanation (Handout 2)

  • Ask the students to reference the Class Policies handout.
  • Discuss your overall discipline philosophy.
  • Stress that a student chooses to break a rule.
  • Explain the short list of simple class rules and ask the students to explain why they are in place.
  • Stress that the class rules will be consistently enforced.
  • Explain the detention policy.
  • Explain the tardy and late arrival policy.
  • Discuss the importance of academic honesty.
  • Discuss the attendance requirements.
  • Explain the late work policy.
  • Explain the make-up test policy.
  • Ask each student to sign the back of the Student Information Survey in the space that indicates that they understand and agree to all of the class policies.

Class Procedures (Handout 3)

  • Ask the students to reference the Class Procedures handout.
  • Explain the purpose of class procedures by using an appropriate analogy.
  • Promise the students an organized and efficient classroom.
  • Explain the importance of following procedures.
  • Explain the difference between procedures and rules.
  • Explain and rehearse the following procedures: entering the room, bellwork, picking up materials, coming to attention, arriving late, and leaving the classroom.
  • Explain that other procedures will be explained and rehearsed as they become necessary (getting absent work, make-up tests, using the bathroom, getting a detention, getting extra handouts, handing in homework).

Dismissing the Class

  • With a few minutes remaining, reiterate your excitement for the upcoming year.
  • Tell the students that it was nice to meet all of them.
  • Rehearse the procedure for leaving the classroom and require the students to wait for teacher dismissal before leaving the classroom.
  • Collect student information sheets as the students leave the class.

Class Policies
Mr. Schmidt

A. Note from the Instructor

I will lead a respectful and disciplined classroom. To achieve this I have established a few simple policies. As a student, it is your responsibility to comply with these policies. If you decide not to comply, there will be logical consequences. By enforcing these policies, I promise to you fairness and order in our classroom.

B. Class Rules

Watch Your Mouth- Students will exhibit courtesy and respect toward all other students at all times. Hateful comments concerning race, gender, sexuality, political views, appearance, or of any other type will not be tolerated; this applies to serious as well as "joking" comments.

Keep Your Hands to Yourself- Physical contact of any kind is not permitted. Violation of this simple rule will be punished by the most severe consequences possible.

Stay in Your Seat- Do not walk around during class unless directed to do so. Have everything you need ready before class begins.

Leave the Food at Home- Students may not eat or drink in the classroom. This includes gum and candy. Closable containers of water are permitted.

I Need to See Your Eyes- Students may not sleep in class. To prevent this, students' eyes must be open and visible to the instructor at all times.

Nothing Goes Airborne- Nothing will go airborne in class at any time. This includes pens, paper, and other students.

Do Not Say "Shut Up"- This phrase has no place in school. Do not use it.

C. If YOU CHOOSE to Break a Rule:
Punishments will always fit the crime. Of course there are behaviors that will warrant a Dean's Referral immediately. Examples of this include gross insubordination or violent behavior. Behaviors that are less severe, but in violation of the basic rules of the class will be dealt with in the manner described below. This format is in no way all inclusive and is subject to change:

1st Incident -- Warning and name on board
2nd Incident -- 30-minute detention and check next to name
3rd Incident- 60-minute detention, phone call home, and second check
4th Incident -- Dean's referral and phone call home
    Warnings carry over for the entire week. Name and checks will be erased on Fridays. However, continued violations will be noted and dealt with appropriately.

D. Detentions
All detentions will be served on Friday. Detentions can be served before or after school. One day notice will always be given. Students receiving a detention on a Friday may serve it the following Friday if necessary.

E. Tardies and Late Arrivals
A Student who is not in the classroom when the bell sounds, is considered either late or tardy. A student is tardy if he is without a pass after the bell. A student is late if he arrives with a pass after the bell. Tardy and Late students need to sign-in at the clipboard by the door, and are not to disrupt the class. Late students need to pin their pass to the wall above the clipboard. There is no penalty for arriving late with a pass. The tardy penalty is explained below:

Definition: A student is tardy if he is not inside the classroom when the bell stops ringing and does not have a pass.

  • First Tardy -- Student receives a warning.
  • Second Tardy -- Student is referred to the Dean.

    Further tardies will be handled by the Dean's office as indicated in the student handbook

F. Academic Honesty
It is expected that students will use genuine, sincere, and fair means for the accomplishment of the tests, tasks, or projects from which evaluations of progress shall be determined. Students found plagiarizing, copying or cheating in any way will receive automatic zeros and have phone calls made to their parents. In addition, a write-up of the incident will be given to the student's counselor. Flagrant or repeated offenses will result in a failing grade for the quarter or semester depending on the nature of the incident.

G. Attendance
If a student has an excused absence from class he or she is responsible for the assignments/ homework that missed. The student has as many days as he or she was absent to make up the assignments. It is up to the student to inquire about missed work and tests. Zeros will be given if a student fails to make up work within an acceptable time frame. Unexcused absences void all make-up privileges.

H. Late Work
Homework assignments may not be turned in late. Papers and projects may be turned in late with a penalty of one letter grade for each day late.

I. Make-Up Tests
If a student has an excused absence for a test day, he may make up the test in the morning or afternoon on Fridays. Arranging a make-up requires signing in with the instructor. A missed make-up appointment without notice will result in a zero. Quizzes are not to be made-up. Instead, the previous night's homework will be handed in and graded in place of the quiz.

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