Starting a new teaching job two weeks into school year
If I get a job, I will be starting two weeks into the school year. The students have had a sub since the first day of school. Can anyone with experience give me some advice or insight? What are the most difficult issues with this?
Just start as if it is the first week. Your new grade level colleagues will presumably be helping out the sub with beginning the year off, but you will be able to quickly assume the role. If there are procedures in place that you can live with, leave them. There is no reason to change things just for the sake of change...
I started my first contract position a week into the school year; the class had been covered by a sub before I started. I just pretended that my first day was the first day of school and went from there. The students spent the first couple of weeks deciding whether or not I was going to stay permanently, once they realized that I wasn't going anywhere, things were great.
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop
Last year, my pink-slip was rescinded two weeks after the school year had begun, and I had a Friday afternoon to move my things in to begin teaching the following Monday. In addition, I was hired into a 2nd grade after having taught 5th for the previous three years.
The sub had done the best she could to get the class going, but she told me it felt as though every day was a new day because she didn't know how long she would be there and what she should put into place. She warned me that it was an "active" group- LOL!
On Monday, I started as though it was the first day of school doing all of the usual things I would normally do to get to know the students and give them a chance to get to know me. By Friday, things were running very well, and the year ended up being a good one.
The greatest challenge was getting my room organized in such a short time. The children were excited that I was their "real" teacher, so I didn't really face any challenges establishing my relationship with them.
One other thing- as Back to School Night had already happened before I was rehired, I did have a parent meeting, which my principal attended. The parents were very appreciative and relieved all at the same time.
With my 1st position I started as if it were the first day. Rules, procedures, all that. However, it was 2nd quarter, my room was empty, I had no supplies, I was automatically so behind on paperwork and curriculum mandates & meetings (missed all the trainings actually), had no mentor, didn't have all the books the school was supposed to supply me with, had to continue to gather all the extra paper work and appointments for board approval, and though I always asked a million questions, I was still left hanging and not told about crucial district issues.
It was a very disorganized school, but I'm skeptical of ever starting in a new school, new district, as a brand new teacher after school has already started. I'd still do it if I had no other job lined up though and if I knew the school was a better one.
My students came from 3 different teachers as well, so that also made it all even harder because they weren't consistent with giving me important info/paperwork on the students.
I didn't survive that year.
I know that starting late works well for many people, but your school and staff has to be very organized and very supportive of you.
I've been in this situation. Since it's only 2 weeks into the year, I ditto the advice that says to start as if it's the first day. And, immediately get the district/state testing schedule so you can plan around it.
I did this twice. I also started two weeks into the school year and another time, my first year I started in October.
Definitely start off the first day as if it's the first day of school. Go over YOUR rules and procedures, your expectations, etc.
Really learn your grades standards, what they SHOULD know going into the grade, what they should know when they leave, etc. Get to know your reading, math, science, etc programs. Speak with your team members and find out what they are doing in their classrooms. Hopefully, you will have an awesome team who is willing to help you out and share their plans and activities.