Advice for going in to second year of teaching?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by riverdance85, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2013

    I am now completing my first year of teaching HS Spanish in a rural Virginia school. What a year it has been! Looking back, I think classroom management was the biggest thing.

    I've had a few things done to me by naughty students- one put germ-x in my drinking water (there was a whole investigation about that- but that situation is now resolved). Kids have tried to pull tricks on me. One time, they put my bag of potato chips that I was munching on on my chair while I wasn't looking and yes- I sat on it. The class laughed at me but I paid no mind to it. Other things have happened too...

    I look at the positive things and see that my strengths are the following (as I believe them to be so): I am good at building rapport with some difficult students. I also have 'fans' that want to take me again next year in Spanish 3. I have been good so far at not taking things personally. And lastly, even after the bad things that happened, I find that I still have the passion to keep going. I never want to stop getting better at my job. It's just that, my classroom management skills do need some work.

    Here is what I ask- I guess I am now getting to know how teenagers operate among other things, but what are some things that I should be aware of entering my sophomore year? How long can I expect to get better at classroom management? That really is the only thing that is bothering me right now.

    Thanks beforehand!
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 13, 2013

    Hi Riverdance! Welcome to the forums! I am going into my second year as well. I have 8th graders and there is no better age group for me to test my mettle with. You have a very honest assessment of your past year, and I'm glad that you've stood up well under pressure. I don't know if I would have been able to maintain my cool over that germ-x thing. That sounds like an article we've read in the news recently.

    As for your concerns about classroom management, that I feel is one of the most important aspects of teaching. If you don't have it down, teaching becomes almost impossible, but once you have it down, almost everyday will become a joy to be in the classroom. I myself am only about 25% to 40% up the spectrum I think. However it's been a long journey to just get that far. My recommendation is to seriously undertake self-study. Get your hands on some classroom management books, assess the value of each one and take important skills and principles from each. I'll make a list of recommendations:

    First Days of School - Harry Wong
    Tools for Teaching - Fred Jones
    Teaching with Love and Logic
    smartclassroommanagement.com

    There are bunch of others as well, and I read different books for different purposes. First Days of Teaching is great for getting set up before the beginning of the year. Tools for Teaching is good for getting skills to use during the year and dealing with behavior in the moment. Love and Logic is great for tempering your classroom management with respect for the students. The website SmartClassroomManagement is just a great compendium of tips and articles of all topics.

    I also read a few books outside of management. Right now I've been reading about using rubrics effectively, and a book called "Fires in the Middle School Bathroom" which is all about school from the perspective of Middle School students. They have a version for High School as well and its great for getting their point of view on things. For Middle Schoolers its a bit tricky though because even they don't really know what they want most of the time from school, or they want ridiculous things.

    I'd read Mindset by Carol Dweck as well which talks about the danger of using overpraise, false praise, and poorly directed praise. I also want to find a book to help me develop the way I ask questions.

    The best teachers I think are the best students, and are professionals who never want to stop learning. =] I wish you luck next year! I'm very excited about the things I will be changing for next year to improve. I think I have good foundation of curriculum I've created to work from.
     
  4. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2013

    Thanks!

    Thanks so much for your feedback! I will definitely take a look at your recommendations. I believe in self-reflection to help learn from mistakes and analyze the possibilities to better oneself.

    Thanks very much.

    Rvierdance
     

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