Your First SI Session

Directly after the first class lecture, you should have your first SI session. By having your session immediately following the first lecture, you will set the tone for the semester and begin building the learning community that will enhance the success of future sessions.

It is important to remember that your first session is different from “normal” sessions. There will be little (if any) class content to cover with the students; because of this, your first session needs special consideration. It is a great opportunity to let the students know your expectations as well as clear up any unrealistic expectations they may have.

Students should leave the first SI session feeling confident and motivated. They should know that they can come to you with content related problems and you will steer them in the right direction. Most of all, they should know that you will be helping them become better students over the course of the whole semester.

Below are some suggestions for objectives and topics you can use to plan your first session.

Figure 4: First Session Sample Objectives
Objective Topic/Content
Icebreaker Syllabus
Get Acquainted Textbook
Set Tone / Expectations Organizational Tools
Release Tension Time Management
Plan for the Semester Class Expectations
Accountability Professor / Course Requirements

Session Conduct

For many students, becoming an SI leader is the first experience at a professional job. SI leaders are expected to maintain professional conduct, both inside and outside of session. You represent the SI program wherever you go on campus, even if you are not “on duty.”

Professional conduct is most easily achieved by simply being considerate of others. Even if you think your professor or students are “in the wrong,” do not take matters in your own hands. The SI supervisors and coordinator should be notified if you find yourself in any situation you think may escalate, be confrontational, or become a conflict of interests.