First Day

General Resources for the First Days of Class
  1. “The First Day of Class”
    Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Washington.
  2. “Some Specific Approaches for the First Day of Class”
    Peter Frederick, Wabash College.
  3. “101 Things You Can Do in the First Three Weeks of Class”
    Office of Graduate Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  4. “Getting Started”
    Richard Felder and Rebecca Brent, North Carolina State University.
  5. “The First Day and Week of Class: Instructional Strategies”
    Joe Cuseo, Marymount College.
  6. “Make the Most of the First Day of Class”
    Eberly Center, Carnegie Mellon University
  7. “First Day of Class Activities that Create a Climate for Learning”
    MaryEllen Weimer onThe Teaching Professor Blog
  8. “First Day of Class”
    Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University
  9. “How to Teach a Good First Day of Class: Advice Guide”
    James Lang in The Chronicle of Higher Education
Resources on Inclusive Practices for the First Day of Class

St. Olaf Gender and Sexuality Pronouns Page
– Features things to keep in mind when identifying or asking other people to identify their pronouns, including that some people may only want to be referred to by their name
– Includes instructions for faculty and staff on how to add their pronouns to the directory

Trans* Inclusion in the Classroom: Tips for the First Day of Class
Duke Learning Innovation
– Encourages sending a pre-class questionnaire that includes asking students to clarify the name they would like to be called and their pronouns

Asking Others Their Pronouns
– Includes advice on inviting people to share their pronouns in a large group introduction. It is recommended to never force someone to share their pronouns. 

How to add name pronunciation in the directory for faculty and staff:
– Log into stoFaces at
– Click Name Pronunciation from the navigation menu
– Follow the directions on the screen

Other Resources in the CILA Library

“The First Days of Class” in Barbara Gross Davis, Tools for Teaching (pp. 37-47). Jossey-Bass, 2nd edition, 2009.

“Meeting a Class for the First Time” in Svinicki and McKeachie, McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategy, Research and Theory for College and University Teachers (pp. 19-25). Wadsworth, 14th edition, 2011.

Angela Provitera McGlynn, Successful Beginnings for College Teaching: Engaging Your Students from the First Day. Atwood Publishing, 2001.

“First Days of Class” in James M. Lang, On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching, Harvard University Press, 2008.