6 Messages Every Student Should Hear On The First Day Of School

by Terry Heick & Jackie Gerstein

For specific training and professional development around technology integration, contact TeachThought Professional Development to bring Jackie Gerstein and other TeachThought professionals to your school today.

I took an excerpt of a recent post by Jackie, 6 Activities I Use To Build Connections With Students At The Beginning Of The Year, because it seemed too valuable to get buried in a post on a different topic.

She was talking about messages she wants students to hear–to ‘start the year with.’ She didn’t intend for it to be an end-all/be-all of messages for all students everywhere, but rather the messages she delivers to her students in the context of what her students will be doing and how she will be teaching.

Because I liked her messages so much, I revised 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 (could’ve been 50) and stuck with six. If I did the post tomorrow, I may see it all differently. Feel free to add yours to the comments below.

6 Messages Every Student Should Hear On The First Day Of School

Beginning class with a focus on connections rather than content gives learners the following messages.

1. You are the focus of the class, not me.

2. You are important as a learner and a human being in this class.

3. You will be expected to engage in the learning activities during class time. 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 room. That means everything you do matters because you matter.

5. Struggling is a part of learning. If it’s simple or simply done, you’re pr0bably not learning anything.

6. You are capable of anything. Your mindset matters more than anything you do or don’t know, are or are not ‘good’ at. 

6 Messages Every Student Should Hear On The First Day Of School