13 Tips to Help You Start a Great Semester and Keep on Track

Materials I bought to keep track of my students’ learning and to motivate them

Are you excited about the second semester? I truly hope you are. As you can see from the picture above, I am really excited and I have a great feeling about my classes.

Last year I posted some principles I follow in my very first lesson. I’m copying them below and adding a couple more!

Today is the first day of class at CCBEU. I’m excited and I’d like to share my routine to create an inspiring atmosphere and engage my students:

1. Show them who you are, what you are passionate about, the cool things you can do to let them know they have an awesome teacher;

2. Don’t judge them. Have as little background information on them as possible, at least for the first week before the inevitable labels come. When they come, remember that you can always help your students improve;

3. Learn and memorize their names and show them you care about them;

4. Let them tell you who they are and what makes them tick;

5. Set the bar high and tell them you’ll help them achieve their potential. But keep in mind that they are different. Read my blog post about differentiation here;

6. Rules and restrictions are not needed now, show them later as things happen;

7. Be friendly, smile and laugh together;

8. Have fun! Check out my YL class here and my Mr. Trunk story here;

9. Don’t overload them with homework or too much content. Check out my neuroscience tips here;

10. Remember that the book is just another resource. There’s much more you can use to accomplish the goals of the unit. Read about my MAD principle here;

11. Keep a class journal and let your students be responsible for it. Encourage them to build mind maps, take notes, draw or whatever they feel they should do to help them learn;

12. Showcase your students’ work. Check out what my student Júlia wrote for my blog here;

13. Get inspired and inspire. Read my blog entry about inspiration here;

Don’t forget to check out these amazing tools to help you have an amazing semester:

To help you plan:


To manage your groups and assign homework:


To manage the classroom:


To promote collaboration and work with projects:


To help build vocabulary:


To get involved with online projects around the globe:


Hope everyone else has an awesome first day! If you’ve had yours already, feel free to share how it went or give me more tips on how to start.

1 thought on “13 Tips to Help You Start a Great Semester and Keep on Track”

  1. Pingback: Do fun and meaningful learning experiences walk hand in hand? A student’s perspective – André Hedlund

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