A little worried about planning time...

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by bookteacher, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. bookteacher

    bookteacher Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2006

    I'm moving to Maryland on Friday for a new teaching position as a first year 7th grade English teacher. I'm able to see my classroom next Monday, but I haven't been able to look at the curriculum yet and I'll be able to get it on Monday, but not beforehand. Since I don't have the curriculum and am moving from out of state, I have no idea what kind of lessons to be planning, and I don't want to start planning out things to find out that I'm not supposed to teach it in 7th grade. :confused:

    Am I in a really bad situation right now, not having seen the curriculum yet? School starts August 28th, and I have orientation meetings for the two weeks prior to school, so I'll be spending all my free time planning then. I'm just afraid that most people already have their whole year planned out and I don't even know what I'm doing at the end of the first week. I guess I need reassurance that I'll be able to start off my teaching career successfully without knowing what I'll be teaching yet, or at least that someone is in the same boat as me. Any advice would be helpful! :eek: :thanks:
     
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  3. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    Aug 7, 2006

    Oh man, I NEVER have a whole year PLANNED out.. but I do know which books/topics I will be covering each quarter.. I do have a REALLY good idea as to which materials I have, and which I still need.

    honestly, though, when it comes ot lesson planning, I work 1-2 weeks ahead- and that's it. I never know if my students are going to need more/less time with a subject. So I always have to adjust.

    Did you go to your school district's website? I have found that many districts have a curriculum link... then you could look up 7th grade!
     
  4. Jen

    Jen Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2006

    planning

    I know what you mean!!!! I will be new to teaching,7th-8th reading,
    and I'm scared to death, so you are not alone. I have the curriculm from last year and I can't make heads or tails of it. I guess I can call a fellow teacher and get with her for an hour or two and figure out what to do. Do you know anyone in MD that could help you out like that?? Hope you do well in your new teaching position.

    Good Luck, Jenn
     
  5. SpecEdTeacher

    SpecEdTeacher Companion

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    Aug 7, 2006

    you can also go to the state website and search for the state standards.
     
  6. bookteacher

    bookteacher Rookie

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    hmm...good ideas. thanks for the support...keep it coming! :)
     
  7. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    Aug 7, 2006

    Can you get in touch with the department chair for your subject? He/she may be able to give you an idea of what has been done in the past. (No, I'm not saying to repeat what was done in the past.)
     
  8. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Do you know if you will have a mentor? Part of the job is helping proteges with their planning. When I was hired, I moved from southern Illinois (St. Louis area) to the Chicago suburbs two weeks before school started. I didn't get any materials until a week later when I had my new teacher orientation. I know that I've been teaching for 14 years, and I feel behind the gun from reading this board and hearing how so many people have plans done already. :)
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 8, 2006

    Does the school website list the summer reading? You could always start there?

    And, remember, after that first week, you have a 3 day weekend. You'll have a much better idea then of what you need to accomplish!
     
  10. ktmays06

    ktmays06 Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2006

    I too am a first year teacher, and here, school starts back on the 23rd. I haven't received the curriculum either, but what I found is comforting is using the state standards to help plan "emergency activities". I'm teaching 9th grade English, so I'm planning short exercises in grammar, vocab, writing strategies, and reading strategies. Then, when I do get the curriculum, I can incorporate these when needed, or save them for when I have leftover time I need to fill.

    This may help you feel a little more in control, at least knowing that you're planning something to use later. Good Luck!
     
  11. helpinghand

    helpinghand Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2006

    You could always plan the first week with lessons on classroom procedures, community building, and baseline assessments for reading, literature, and writing. Throw in a good read aloud along with all of the first week paperwork, and you will be squared away for the first week. I would also use these weeks to plan your procedures to the "t" along with your plan for parent contact...very important things in middle school.

    I agree with the other posts that looking on the state site will give you your standards that you will use. Then, plan a few lessons that would achieve those standards.

    That way when you get to someone from the school who has a pacing chart all you have to do is plan the order. I also agree that you need the outline of your lessons, not necessarily each and every plan.

    My first few years teaching I outlined each month, and then on Saturday morning (too zonked out on friday) I sat at the kitchen table and planned the upcoming week. This year you will have to get a feel of 7th graders and how you manage your own classroom. Then, years ahead you can plan ahead.

    Oh and remember to have a ball!
     
  12. lauranne26

    lauranne26 Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2006

    I would see if you could get the name of your department chair, so that you could email her/him for some guidance. Once you meet your colleagues, I would spend time with the other seventh grade language arts teachers. I am sure that they would be more than willing to help you by sharing lessons, etc. You'll survive. Just take it one week at a time.

    When I first moved to MD, I asked for a copy of the curriculum and any available novels. The principal was unable to locate a curriculum guide, so I was given two seventh grade novels, but that was it. However, I worked with a fabulous teacher who let me use whatever resources she had to offer. She was the reason I made it through my first year!

    If I can be of any help, being that I also teach 7th English in MD, just let me know and I"ll be glad to share whatever resources I have with you!
     
  13. E Bunni 99

    E Bunni 99 Rookie

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    If I were you, I would go through and try to plan out my first week. I teach 7th grade Language Arts and never get to a lot of the curriculum on the 1st day or even week. I would plan on some icebreakers to do on the 1st day, make a copy of a generic syllabus you might hand out you can fix if needed, self inventories, a multiple intelligence survery, etc.

    I normally plan by the quarter, so don't stress too much, and for this it is only by topic of study for each week! You won't be too far behind everyone else.

    Do you know what types of teacher training you will be getting through your new county? I know in mine we spent a full day going over the 1st quarter curriculum which made me feel much better!

    Don't stress too much- you will be fine! I will warn that during your 1st year you will work a lot of long hours and be up late at night, so make sure you fit in some time just for you and relax! It is very important to have some self time too!

    Good luck- and if you need help make sure you just ask! We are all here to help out! :)
     
  14. bookteacher

    bookteacher Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2006

    Thank you all so much for your encouraging posts! I'm definitely going to take a lot of this advice and start working on planning whatever I can as soon as I get there...right now I'm just trying to get through my last few days of my summer job and saying goodbye to friends and family, so I'm putting off planning until I leave home. This moving thing is a lot harder (emotionally) than I originally thought!!!
     
  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 8, 2006

    They changed our entire curriculum for this year. "Revised" is the word they used, but it CHANGED. I made out the entire curriculum map for the 7th grade over the summer, and then they came out with the FINAL draft of the curriculum Friday . . . and we started TODAY. Geez. Not lots of changes, but enough to be aggravating.

    I always get my information from the state website. They always have the most current version. Ours even had a document that shows changes since the last version. (That's what I need to print tonight.)

    I'm sure the department head could help you out. I've fielded lots of questions in the past couple of days. The 8th grade curriculum changed most, and some of the teachers are a bit freaked out.

    I actually won't know some of the curriculum information about mine until NOVEMBER! The people who make the laws apparently don't know when school starts.
     
  16. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    I'm wary of calling department heads or principals over the summer. They are NOT on the clock.. I have found they REALLY don't appreciate it. (some kind of unwritten rule)
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 9, 2006

    The principals don't work during the summer? Our principal is there pretty much all summer. There's some time off, but not much.

    I'm a department head, and I don't mind phone calls. I actually would prefer to get calls in the summer when I have time to help them. I thought it was a little late for someof them to be asking me things YESTERDAY MORNING while I was trying to get things ready for the kids!

    Guess everybody's different.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I never minded when I was chairman either. Although it was more often a call asking me to come look at resumes!
     
  19. TexasAggie2323

    TexasAggie2323 Comrade

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    Yea, Principals are there all the time. They get 3 weeks vacation time at our school. Chairman for the most part are working all summer as well getting paid stipends to enrich the curriculm.

    I would call them up and try to get the ball going. You may be lucky and go into a situation where they do their lesson plans in a team and they are already done (That is good and bad since you can't put your own style on things).
     
  20. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Aug 10, 2006

    Do have your rules and procedures planned and written out in handout form? Your classroom management plan is actually far more important than your curriculum right now. You first day will pretty much be devoted to rules, procedures and your syllabus. Day two and three will be REMINDING them and practicing your rules and procedures.

    I would give them a test on your rules procedures and syllabus on day 2. This will be VERY important - especially if you have your segment of the population not paying attention. Record this grade but allow them to correct the test for a better grade. After all, your goal is that they know the information. For the first week:

    Have a good read aloud.

    Assess their mechanics and usage by writing a paragraph about yourself with numerous errors and havem correct it.

    Get to know them and assess their writing by having them write you a five paragraph letter about their favorite things.

    Paragraph 1 is a paragraph introcucing themselves and giving you background information.

    Paragraphs 2/3/4 are one paragraph each three favorite things and details/ecamples about it.

    Paragraph 5 is what they hope to learn, whether it be working on some weaknesses, developing strengths, etc.

    Are you also teaching lit? Have them each tell the class about a book they read this summer.

    Avove all, be consistent when you start teaching. Granted, it is a pain not knowing your curriculum but the state bench marks will help you get started.

    The above should pretty much fill your first week up and you have the weekend to get started on your next weeks lesson plans. Ask for a curriculum map when you get there. Many school districts have one and that will REALLY help you. You can expect your first year to have loooong hours, but it gets better.

    You have a lot of good advise here - even a fellow 7th grade english teacher from Maryland willing to help you out.
     

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