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Your first PAL session is important for making an impact on your students in order to encourage them to come back and regularly attend your session. As they say, first impressions count! Your first session is also important for setting expectations with your group. Below you can find a list of things that you need to do within your first PAL session.
- Create a platform that you can use for engaging with your students outside of PAL sessions such as a closed Facebook group, Whatsapp group or email group. Make sure this is inclusive and follow up with an email from your university account with what you have posted. Share this with your students and encourage them to contribute ideas and comments weekly
- Be clear about your students expectations of PAL and what they can expect from you as a PAL Leader. Explain what PAL is and its purpose - that it is there to support your students' learning. Emphasize you are there to facilitate and not teach!
- Collectively agree ground rules with your students such as no phones and being respectful of each other – revisit these in later sessions if disruption occurs
- Get to know your students – use icebreakers and name labels in your first few sessions to familiarise yourself with your students and learn their names to give a more personal experience