How to begin a class?

“The ladder of success must be set upon something solid before you can start to climb.”

Getting a class off to a good start is important; this sets the stage for the day’s learning activities. Establish the tone of the class within the first few moments just before beginning the lesson. Once this tone is established, it will be relatively easy to maintain and will positively influence the rest of the learning experience.

Brain research has concluded that the most effective time for student learning is during the first minutes of class when student attention is at its greatest. Learning is most effective when students are made aware of their learning goals at the beginning of the lesson. If students are inattentive and distracted they will not catch this crucial summary and they will often be lost throughout the lesson.

Various methods can be used to establish the learning goals for the day.

  • The key goals could be listed on the white board so that students can keep tabs on their learning throughout the session.
  • In a class of inattentive students, one useful strategy is to pick on a couple of students at different ends of the classroom to repeat your explanation of the lesson objective. This not only reinforces the learning point, but also allows you to get the most distracted student to acknowledge the plan for the session.
  • Laughter and other such friendly interchanges are beneficial within a learning environment. When students feel comfortable within their classroom, they learn better. But the teacher must always be in control of the situation and be able to diffuse the situation when it begins to interfere with the learning environment.

However, when it comes to classroom time, a teacher is also responsible for a number of administrative tasks. Like it, or not, attendance, announcements, and other such tasks are necessary to the operation of the school, and must be dealt with faithfully. Hence, the all-important start of class must be handled well so as to engage students, and to accomplish administrative responsibilities at the same time.

The article has been contributed by Butterfly Fields, a company working in the domain of innovative teaching-learning techniques. To know more about the work the company does, visit or call 040 2771 1020.

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