6 messages every student should hear on the first day of school

by Terry Hayek And Jackie Gerstein

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I took an excerpt from a recent post by Jackie, 6 activities I use to connect with students at the beginning of the year Because it seemed too valuable to bury in a post on a different topic.

He was talking about the messages he wants students to hear—’to start the year.’ He didn’t want it to be an end-all/be-all message for all students everywhere, but he delivered the messages to his students in the context of what his students would do and how he would teach.

Because I liked his messages so much, I modified them a bit for a wider audience, which you’ll find below

There are dozens of messages that students ‘need’ to hear, but I showed restraint (maybe 50) and stuck with six. If I do the post tomorrow, I might look at it differently. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.

6 messages every student should hear on the first day of school

Beginning the class with a focus on connections rather than content conveys the following message to students.

1. You are the focus of the class, not me. You are important in this class as a student and as a person.

2. You are capable of anything.

3. You will be expected to engage in learning activities during class. You will be an active learner. I, as the class facilitator, will be just that – a facilitator. I will introduce the learning activities, but you will be responsible for the actual learning.

4. Everything you do—good or ‘bad’—affects everyone else in the house. It means what you do matters because you matter.

5. Struggle is a part of learning. If it’s easy or simply done, you’re probably not learning anything.

6. Your mindset is more important than anything you do or don’t know/what isn’t ‘good’ etc.

6 messages every student should hear on the first day of school