First impressions are important, and for teachers this is never truer than on the first day of class when introducing yourself. Your first-day introduction plays an important role in setting the tone for the whole semester, from encouraging students to speak up to getting them learn in your classroom. If you’re wondering how to introduce yourself to a new class, we’ve got you covered with these tips!
Importance of an introduction in teaching
In the education world, extensive research has shown that academic success depends on positive relationships between teachers and student. This is true when it comes to learning in any environment, including online tutoring. One study published in education journal Exceptional Children explains that good relationships with your students ultimately mean less disruption, better behavior and more focus on classwork in your classroom.
A teacher’s introduction speech to students is a crucial opportunity to build good classroom relationships. Naturally, students want to know a bit about you – where you’re from, what your skills are – but this introduction isn’t just about answering questions. It’s about building trust and respect with your students and making your classroom a safe space to learn.
If you’re an online tutor, your video introduction plays this crucial role. Find out how to create the perfect tutor introduction video.
How to introduce yourself as a teacher
Start with a warm-up
Students on the first day are often brimming with nervous energy. Many teachers begin lessons with a warm-up activity to break the ice and get the students’ attention. The first class is the perfect time to introduce your favorite warm-up activity or game, or to involve the students in choosing how your lessons will begin.
Keep your activity simple. Whether you’re teaching an ESL or foreign language class or not, the aim is not to teach something – it’s to engage the students and make them comfortable around you and their peers.
Example classroom warm-up activity
One popular warm-up activity is categories. You pick a category and have students name something that fits in that category until they can’t anymore. You can add challenges like ‘starting with the letter M’ or asking students to name all the words said before theirs in order.
Now to the question on everyone’s lips: how to introduce myself in the classroom? Here are the most important things to say when introducing yourself.
Your name and what the students should call you. Students need to feel comfortable addressing you and asking for help, so modeling pronunciation of your name and title is a great place to start. Is your title Miss, Ms or Mrs? Mr Buchowski or Mr B? Help to make it stick by putting your name on display on a poster, white board or sign on your desk.
Your hobbies and interests. Building a rapport with your students helps to make you more relatable and approachable to them. Give them something to identify with or talk to you about – tell them a little about your life outside of class.
Explain classroom rules. Should they put a hand up to ask a question? Do you have a signal or sound for silence in the classroom? Set the tone for the entire year by making the rules for students in your class, and involve them in making the rules to encourage sticking to them and heighten engagement.
Some teachers follow their introduction with a memory exercise to ensure students stay attentive and understand the information given.
The first day of class
The first day of class can be daunting for new teachers: everything from what you do to what you wear has an impact on classroom experience. Here are our tips for a successful first day.
What to do on the first day of class
Students are full of energy and nerves on the first day of class, so the very first lesson is often not the most productive. Many teachers focus instead on laying the foundations for good classroom relationships: setting rules, getting-to-know-you exercises and breaking the ice with activities or games.
What to wear on the first day of class
Be sure to check dress code requirements if they apply and choose an outfit that looks professional. Inappropriate clothing can be distracting for students and disruptive in class, so play it safe on day one especially.
We’ve covered how to introduce yourself to a new class, activities to break the ice and what to do on the first day. Now all you need to do is make it your own and enjoy running your classroom!
Chandra, Ritu. (2015). Classroom Management for Effective Teaching. International Journal of Education and Psychological Research (IJEPR). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313889949_Classroom_Management_for_Effective_Teaching
Broden, M. et al. (1970) ‘Effects of Teacher Attention and a Token Reinforcement System in a Junior High School Special Education Class’, Exceptional Children, 36(5), pp. 341–349. doi: 10.1177/001440297003600505. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/001440297003600505