Unlike most teenagers, who are dragged back early (in their view) from sun-drenched summer holidays and forced back into formal education, every teacher I have ever met loves the first day of school. It is not in any way a masochisitic appreciation, but, indeed, it is the pleasure of getting to meet your new group of students that you will work with for the upcoming academic year. However, it can be quite daunting for students to stand up and give some personal background to their peers; especially in a foreign language. So, I would like to share some ideas for you to try in your classes, should you not have any of your own, or you just would like to try something new and different.
First of all, I do not think it necessary to have the students introduce themselves at the outset. Instead, we showed our promotional video posted below...
The video lets the students see something of what they are to expect in the following year. Now, that they are all smiling and feeling a little more relaxed we then introduce them to some activities that take almost no effort, but end up being extremely effective.
I particularly like this to start the ball rolling, since as you will notice, there is no language transfer going on. It is all about eye-balling and movement through various signals and visual prompts.
With this activity the students have their first opportunity to communicate verbally, albeit the idea behind the activity is for recognition of an unknown person, and memory of the students names that have gone before them.
We got the feeling that the students enjoyed their introduction to Hisar Hazirlik. It was a smooth one, and nobody seemed to get stressed out, not did they go silent and introverted. Tomorrow, we will do an orientation walkabout the school with 25 points of interest, and necessary places like the Principal's office, infirmary, library and food hall. My colleague and I are both looking forward to our year ahead in Hisar Hazirlik.