This is the second post in my First Days of Spanish class series. As I mentioned in Part 1: Building Relationships, I think it’s best to do a mixture of these activities during the first few days of school. It may be tempting to “lay down the law” right away, but bombarding your students with all of your rules, procedures, expectations, and requirements for the entire class period will be way too much for your students to handle. Get your most important rules established the first day, and then throw in the rest over the next few days.
Spice up Rules and Procedures with Memes
I love memes! The other day I posted a photo on my Instagram of the folder of memes I keep on my phone just in case! I even joked that memes are my love language! Using memes is a fun way to make students aware of your rules and procedures and is a lot more fun than listening to a teacher read their syllabus word for word or go over bullet points on a PowerPoint. You can check out some ideas on my Teacher Memes Pinterest Board. There are several sets of teacher memes for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers too. You can also create your own for free at memegenerator.net. It’s super easy, just find the meme image you’re looking for, type in the text, generate, and save! Then you can insert them into a PowerPoint or even post them around your classroom as reminders for students.
Many schools require teachers to provide a syllabus to their students. Even if they don’t it’s a great idea for students to have a page to reference all of the important information for the class. Then when students ask you a question you could answer:
I created a syllabus that includes my contact information, class description, required materials, class expectations, class rules, grade distribution, etc. You can check out my Spanish Syllabus Template which is completely editable and can be easily adapted for other languages or subjects! I also had students fill out a Student Information Sheet where they signed acknowledging that they received and read the syllabus in addition to filling out their information.
You can also mix up the traditional syllabus template with a syllabus brochure! These are completely editable and will definitely stand out and impress students and parents!
One thing I always did while going over rules and procedures was to tell students a little about me. This can also tie into Part 1: Building Relationships. In addition to building relationships, telling students a bit about your language learning journey, personal life, education, etc. can help students trust you as an authority in your field. So tell them all of the degrees and awards you’ve earned, places you’ve traveled and studied abroad, years and levels you’ve taught, etc. I always did this with a PowerPoint. Here’s an example slide: