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Seeking Advice For A New Teacher

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Megan Watson Megan Watson 475 Points

Good morning everyone, I am finishing my last year of my schooling for Elementary Certification and I am constantly thinking about my first job as a teacher. I become excited, curious, but mainly overwhelmed. I have heard the first year is the toughest. I know there are so many things to think about such as classroom management, creating lessons, covering all the standards, and most importantly reaching each one of your students in an effective way. With that said, I have a few questions for all the experienced teachers. 1. Depending on when I am hired, it is appropriate to ask for the textbooks in advance so that I can prepare? 2. What is the most important thing when it comes to classroom management? 3. Should I being doing anything right now to begin preparing? 4. What are the three most important things I should definitely do before the first day of class? 5. Anything else I should be doing/thinking as I embark on this incredible journey? Thank you!

Samuel Osborne Samuel Osborne 700 Points

Hey, my name is Sam Osborne I am also an up and coming teacher, so to start off I think asking for text books early is not a bad thing at all because your trying to prep your classroom for the best learning environment that you can make. Also I feel that being overly familiar with the information you are going to be teaching is so important to your "teacher" status to the students. When it comes to classroom management I highly recommend looking up a program that they began teaching us at our college this year call PAX the good behavior game, this turns your whole classroom into a positive reward system in which your students work towards a prize. But unlike most classrooms this prize is free and gives the students the feeling of success in the classroom. Hopefully this will help you out some, but definitely recommend PAX. Good Luck

Megan Watson Megan Watson 475 Points

Hi Sam, Thank you for the response. I researched the PAX program and it looks a little pricey. Have you spoke with any teachers that have implemented the program? Is it worth the money?

Nilda Laurel-Landicho Nilda Laurel-Landicho 1050 Points

You can also ask for your grade level curriculum map or framework to help you prepare.

Tina Harris Tina Harris 65915 Points

Definitely ask for textbooks and, as Nilda suggested, ask for curriculum maps for what you are supposed to be teaching. As for management, there are many many different classroom management "programs" and all of them will give you advice on what to do. Positive reinforcement does work for most students. You can learn the general outline of how to use it [url=http://www.pbis.org/]here [/url]for free - but they also have workshops that cost money. You might try asking your school district if they have a preferred strategy they wish you to use (while you are asking about those books) and summer PD - many do, especially for new teachers. You should definitely have a plan for your classroom policies and procedures before you start at any school. These include rules that are non-negotiable for you and rules you are willing to work with students to create. Many schools require you to have these typed out to send home to parents at the start of the year. You might also think about how you are going to be organized - incoming work, outgoing work, work for absent students. You might collect supplies for your room - rummage sales have remarkably good things for organization and decoration - and the inevitable pencils, pens, paper, etc. I found that using bolts of scrap fabrics in interesting patterns made great bulletin board backgrounds that are reusable year to year and wear well when staples are pulled and redone to move projects/papers. The first year you teach will be very tiring and busy - after you go through it once (even if you change grades) you will know how you time presentations, manage transitions, and find time to interact with students, as well as how long it takes to prepare a lesson, find and get the copy machine to work, grade various papers (and which ones not to grade), etc. You want to be thinking about how to find time for yourself and your personal needs - do not neglect the experience of first year teaching for spoiling yourself - but maybe start making time now to meditate or do stretches or walk or whatever in the mornings before you would get up for school so it becomes a habit. That quiet time will make your days go better (and calmer!). When I am walking I sometimes come up with answers to questions I had about lessons or new lesson ideas! The first year will be busy and sometimes it may seem too much, but that is true at any professional job but it gets better the second time around so document the high points, take notes on how to fix any problems the next time, enjoy the kids, and enjoy the experience!!

Dana Dunnan Dana Dunnan 280 Points

Hi Megan- Yes, ask for books. In classroom management, convey clear expectations. I did an eight minute interview last Friday with Neal Charnoff on Vermont Public Radio about new teachers, unions, testing, and the Common Core: http://digital.vpr.net/post/retired-educator-offers-advice-new-teachers My best advice to you comes at the end of the interview. You'll make the world a better place. Dana Dunnan www.chalkdustmemories.com

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Sarah Kim Sarah Kim 1415 Points

1. Absolutely! Get access to all of the resources that you can. You will look preemptive and on it to your superiors and it'll help you be better prepared for the year to come. 2. Consistency. I suggest reading up on different branches of thought on classroom management. There's lots of good research out there that'll help you learn strategies for managing even the most menial things. 3. Reading up on different classroom management literature is going to be the most helpful. You will start considering situations that you have not before! 4. Establish routines! 5. Take care of yourself! good luck :)

Sharonda Hagan Sharonda Hagan 530 Points

Thank you for asking this question, I have been wondering this and many other things for so long now. It is good to know these things before w begin teaching because preparation is key. I have read articles upon articles of advice for new teachers, and I have found that one of them are as good as the advice one gets from directly asking a experienced teacher questions

Erica Preston Erica Preston 2010 Points

Thank you for asking this question. It can help many collage student, like myself, to think about what we can do in the classroom and how to find information out.

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