The First Day
The first meeting of a class is much too important to be treated as something to be gotten over with as quickly as possible. Teachers who simply put in an appearance, see if all the students are there, make an assignment for the next time, and dismiss class early are missing an important opportunity. Not only does this approach send students away frustrated because they do not get their basic questions answered, the instructor misses an important opportunity to demonstrate his or her commitment to the course, to the students, and to the communication discipline. This chapter, therefore, describes strategies that can help teachers use the first session of a class productively.