It is tempting to “ease” into the semester, particularly because of the extended add/drop period, but delaying the key work of the class reinforces the kinds of behaviors that keep students from succeeding.
That means setting high expectations from the very beginning of the semester.
In their classic work, “Seven Principles for Good Teaching in Undergraduate Education,” Chickering and Gamson point to the importance of establishing high expectations for all students—whether they are poorly prepared or highly motivated.
Throughout my teaching career, the start of the fall semester has always excited me, particularly the enthusiasm of new students entering my classes.
Their energy and enthusiasm indicate great potential, and I have always worked hard to harness these characteristics as a way to promote learning.