Back to school in-services

Discussion in 'General Education' started by sweetlatina23, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. sweetlatina23

    sweetlatina23 Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2012

    My principal asked me to go in a week early to help her plan for our first week back. I did this last year too. However, this year I'm not feeling it. I don't know activities we can do.

    Last year we played some ice breaker/ team building activities with discussion. Then I created stations for all teachers to visit. Since we will only have one new teacher and no new school rules I'm not sure what the benefit will be.

    I'm really lost. Any ideas? What do you all cover?
     
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  3. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Suggest inservice consists of more time to work in the classroom! We hardly get any in classroom time during "work days."
     
  4. time out

    time out Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Agreed. I wouldn't fill time with activities just to fill time. The teachers would definitely appreciate time in their classrooms.
     
  5. TerriInCa

    TerriInCa Companion

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Is there a topic that you feel everyone could benefit from? Dealing with difficult parents? implementation of a new curriculum? (Are you going to Common Core?) It doesn't have to be long and drown out. Just an opportunity for everyone to get together as a staff and learn something new together.
     
  6. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2012

    See what the teachers want! Do they want more help with technology? Guided reading, etc... That way they will be getting something they need vs. just filling time! ALso more time in their classrooms would be helpful!!!
     
  7. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 16, 2012

    We have very specific topics, with time limits, that we must cover based on state regulations. For example, we have to do 1 hour of bullying, 2 hours of parental involvement, 2 hours of state history, 3 hours of technology, etc. every year. Are there any required topics you could cover? Also, don't forget that reviewing the basic expectations of the school (things like dismissals, review of discipline, fire drills, etc.) will be very helpful for the newbie and not a bad review for the veterans.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 16, 2012

    I agree with the "please no ice breaker activities" sentiment. Let teachers have time to work TOGETHER. Let them lesson plan together, or come up with a discipline management strategy or work on some reading comprehension strategy... something that they can use day one in their rooms, and they'll love you for it.
     
  9. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Professional sports teams like football begin every season with basic fundamentals even though members have been reviewing and practicing fundamentals for years. They need to get into "shape" for the game. If they were to "assume" all members were at the top of their skill level after six months of vacation and just show up at the first game a segment for Football Follies could be a likely result.

    When was the last time anyone attended a staff meeting devoted to fundamentals of lesson presentation? How about classroom management? First weeks of school? In terms of saving one's bacon from day one to the end of the school year which would seem a priority - teaching one lesson well in a well-managed classroom or ensuring one's bulletin boards are theme related?

    Like in the classroom, when school rules (handbook) at a staff meeting are reviewed carefully with input and discussion it is not so much new learning as it is agreement and importance in the form of time and commitment. Some schools attach a non priority to school-wide management then spend a good deal of valuable time during the school year mopping up spillage from inconsistent or uninformed actions.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 16, 2012

    I absolutely HATE ice breaker activities! I'd much rather do something productive. We have very little staff turnover, so it's rare that we have a new person, and then it's usually one or two. The ice breaker really doesn't do anything to get the person used to us anyway.

    What new people need is a crash course in the unspoken rules of the building. Every building has them, and the poor new people often have a rude introduction to them when they violate one. Maybe let everyone contribute an unwritten rule?
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 16, 2012

    I'm with Ima...I hate, hate, hate ice breaker or "get up and move" activities.
     
  12. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jul 16, 2012

    I also hate ice breakers -- I cringe when they are even mentioned.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 16, 2012

    I wholeheartedly agree!!!!! :thumb:
     
  14. sweetlatina23

    sweetlatina23 Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2012

    Oh I completely agree with all of you. I don't like them, but my principal wanted to bring in a sense of togetherness. I only have to help her with day one. All the other days are planned for us. She insists in having one day of going over our handbook. One year they made us create a jingle, that I hated. Since we aren't implementing anything new I'm at a loss.

    I would love more time in my classroom. I go in next Monday to start preparing since I know I won't have time.
     
  15. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Jul 18, 2012

    Could you send a memo to everyone to bring at least one new idea, tip, etc. to share with everyone?
    Also, it's so easy to overlook things to pass on to new teachers. When you've been at it for a awhile in the same place, it's like being on auto pilot, you just do certain things certain ways without thinking about it. There's so many rules & regulations to be aware of and it's not fair to new staff to assume they would know. Things like fire codes, what can be put up where, how much, how far from doorways, from ceilings, etc..... Then there's the playground, is everyone on the same page with the rules? Reviewing drills such as fire, tornado, other emergency situations- be sure all know where to go, what to do, behavior expected of students, responsibilities of each staff member... do you have a special code for certain types of emergencies?
    I think a quick overview is good for everyone, then be sure new staff has opportunity to ask questions & that they know who to go to.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 19, 2012

    Even though we don't have any new teachers next year, I am going to ask that we spend some time at our first meeting reviewing expectations of supervision duty--what can and can't the kids do--hall routines and dress code. We need to be more consistent than we are.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I think all schools could probably be more consistent. Those one or two-- or more-- teachers who aren't consistent make it so much harder for those who are!!

    I do have a question for all of you who, like me, don't like ice breakers: Do you use them in your own classes? For me, the answer is a resounding NO!
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 19, 2012

    Ice-breakers, ewww. That's the one thing I am dreading about the 3-day workshop I'm going to next week; I know we'll be doing several of them.

    I never use them with my kids.
     
  19. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I think ice breakers are most useful in making a shy, reticent class more willing to engage in discussion. I used them when I taught at the college level.

    In the classes I teach now, which are typically quite loud and talkative, there's no "ice" to be broken--they come in socializing and I have to calm them down just to get started.
     
  20. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I use ice breakers and energizes regularly during the year. I use them more with my drama and sPeech classes than with film and English, but at least once a week for about five minutes.
     
  21. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I don't use ice breakers, but I do lots of small group activities in class starting on the first day. In an ELA class, I want them to feel comfortable communicating and sharing with each other as soon as possible. Talking about what they read and write is absolutely critical to advancing their skills.
     
  22. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I hate adult ice breakers. My classroom "ice-breaker" is more of a scavenger hunt. I might do a few along the lines of "Find someone who has the same color eyes as you" for the few new kids to meet people, but then I move right into "Find a spot in the room where you could sharpen your pencil, find a spot in the room where you would find work from when you were absent," etc. It takes all of 10 minutes to get them acclimated to the room.

    I take a couple of minutes at the end of the period every day of the first week to have the kids check with each other to make sure they know where their next class is. Schedule changes and all that jazz.

    OK, hijack over!
     
  23. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jul 19, 2012

    I like ice breakers so I do use them.

    I agree about more time in the room though!
     

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