Spark Curiosity and Build Community on the First Day

Credit: iStock.com/GCShutter
Credit: iStock.com/GCShutter

The first day of class is a big deal. Just as there is only one chance at love at first sight, teachers like us only have one chance to demonstrate of each class. As Sarah Rose Cavanagh (2016) writes, “On the first few days of class, students will be forming their impressions of you, and this impression may be more important than much of what you do later” (p. 62). Many educators and centers for teaching excellence write about how to teach an excellent first day of class (Lang, 2018; McGlynn, 2001; Weimer, 2018). Usually, they provide a checklist of essential things to do and ways to orchestrate a favorable first and lasting impression about the professor. Since the pandemic, there have been changes in teaching modality, increased challenges in engaging students, and more student struggles with building community. Winston Churchill taught us to never let a good crisis go to waste. Thanks to the ease of recording and sharing videos, which also came with the pandemic, we can significantly change how we construct our first day of teaching.


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