We had a great discussion at our Stake Inservice Training on easing first day of class tension. Since we start Seminary on the same day school starts, there will be many emotions in my Seminary classroom. There were many excellent suggestions to assist in easing the high emotions that naturally come with the first days of school.
I want Seminary to be the "brightest spot" in each students' day. I want them to feel safe and loved by me and their Seminary class peers. Most of all, I want them to know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love them. With this in mind, here are some suggestions from our discussion plus a few of my own.
Don't try to do too much on the first day.
- Hold a **Parent-Student orientation meeting the week before Seminary starts (do not do this the day before Seminary starts-allow at least a week) Invite the Bishop and other Ward Youth Leaders to attend.
- Have room set up and organized.
- Have music playing as students enter.
- Greet students with enthusiasm and a smile
- Introduce self and have students do the same
- Play a mixer game/activity
- Have extra Registration forms on hand for those last minute students
- Present classroom rules for behavior and respect (have students help with these rules) Our Stake Supervisor used "ELBA" in her classroom ("Edified and Loved By All) and when students needed a behavior reminder, she simply said-ELBA
- Present and explain materials
- Give an overview of the year and what to expect
- Discuss classroom routine
- Present class officers
- Explain how to present a devotional and give devotional schedule
- Introduce Scripture Mastery and Reading requirements
- With all the "housekeeping" make sure you send your students off with a spiritual message.
- Share your testimony of the gospel and express love for your students
Many of these items are covered in the Parent-Student orientation. You will know what needs more attention and emphasis for your students.
**Hosting a Parent-Student orientation is key to a smooth start. You will eliminate many questions and bumps in the road when the parents are involved. My next post will cover some of the items on our agenda at our recent Parent-Student orientation. Your agenda may be similar, yet every class has different needs.