English Teachers-What am I going to need?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by dgpiaffeteach, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jul 7, 2011

    Hi, everyone, I just got my first teaching job! I'll be teaching 8th, 10th, and 12th grade English. I'm really excited and am starting to prepare as much as I can! I'm wondering what sort of supplies I will need? I am generally a very organized person but am worried that I'll forget something important! So any advice on what I'll need?
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jul 7, 2011

    I teach 11th and 12th grade English.

    Congrats on your new job!

    Supplies will depend on your classroom set up. Have you seen your room, do you know what is available?

    Things to consider:
    -Submitting assignments - digital dropbox? locked hardcopy dropbox? Submission trays? One for each class? Just one for everything?
    -How do you expect your students to stay organized - is it all on them? will you provide a file box with folder for each student? Do textbooks/binders/folders stay in the classroom or leave with students?
    -What is your school's policy on student supplies like construction paper, markers, glue, scissors, etc - do you have a need for these?
    -What is your school's policy on teacher supplies like chalk/board markers, paperclips, staplers, etc - are they already in your classroom or part of your spending budget, or is it all out of pocket for you?
    -Do you have/need locked storage for things like a handbag?
    -Do you have/need lockable file cabinets for files and confidential papers?
    -Do you have a plan for lesson planning? Online, traditional paper plan book, your own system
    -Do you have a substitute teacher notebook that includes, at a minimum: rosters, seating charts, bell schedule, emergency lesson plans, class schedule, procedures, emergency procedures for storms/fire/bomb, etc?
    -How will you organize your desk?
    -How will you organize a teaching area (if you have one)?
    -Will you provide paper/pencils/pens for students that don't have it? If so, look for discount sales.
    -Posters? Classroom expectations, Inspirational, etc
    -Bulletin board space, what will you use it for? Sharing info with students, displaying student work, supporting instruction
    -What type of technology is available? If all of your students have laptops you need a plan for charging laptops (e.g. extension cords, powerstrips, charging station in classroom)

    There is so much more, but supplies are situational based on the school and your philosophies. Hopefully my list was helpful.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2011

    That's definitely helpful! I'm sort of going blind right now because I haven't been able to get in the room and everyone is on vacation right now! I don't think I'll be able to see the room until August 12th at the earliest and we start August 18th! :eek:
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 8, 2011

    Well, for starters, you'll need a teacher wardrobe. Exactly what that means depends on where you teach, but start to think about it. Right now you can find things on clearance that will get you through those first few weeks, and will do again in the spring. But don't wait; those woolens will be out any day now. Don't forget some comfortable, professional shoes. Oh, and if you're a stockings person (I realize there aren't as many of us nationally as there are in NY) take a look at the Hanes/ L'eggs outlet:http://www.onehanesplace.com/

    Do you know that you'll have a homeroom? If so, you'll need basic bulletin board supplies. In the past few years I've used a $5 bed sheet from Walmart. It's indestructible and doesn't fade all year. (I chose red or green, so I could do Christmas stuff-- I teach in a Catholic school.) You can also pick up border and posters as you see them over the summer. In my homeroom I like to keep a box of bandaids (fewer kids leaving for the nurse for paper cuts), basic office supplies, safety pins and a few other things you can pick up at the dollar store. You'll probably also want to invest in a dictionary and thesaurus. (Oh, and on the off chance that you're also in a Catholic school, I always put up a creche at Christmas time; I think I got it at Oriental Trading.)

    Stock up on stickers, yes, even for your Seniors. I make a lot of them at vistaprint... everything from "Mrs. A thinks your math grade is a real TREAT" with a jack O'lantern for Halloween to "Mrs. A thinks this grade puts you on my NICE list" with a picture of Santa for December. The kids ADORE them.

    Do you have a copy of your syllabus? Time to start thinking out your lessons and your timing.

    ETA: This got me started. I just started another thread on what to do once you've gotten hired. (Not specifically English, but high school in particular)
    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=146459
     
  6. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Jul 8, 2011

    In addition to the stuff mentioned, I suggest...

    -a box of manila folders (will help you stay organized, or you can give them to kids).
    -basic art supplies ( scissors, rulers, crayons, markers). Ok yes they are older, but say you want to a decorate poem or writing portfolio? Comes in handy
    -Any old books you have in your house that you're comfortable with kids taking. Or, hit up a thrift store and find some good novels. If a kid finishes early, grab a book. Can't make it to the library for your reading assignment? Grab a book.

    Personally, I also keep a small coffee pot, a box of granola bars, a small lotion, tea, etc. Like an emergency kit for those random long days.
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2011

    Thanks, everyone! I've definitely got the wardrobe covered since I've been in the classroom for a full year doing field experience and student teaching. I am going to stock up on cooler clothes though as I don't really have any skirts or dresses! I wore pants all year :eek:

    I've been collecting books over the years as I plan on doing an indpendent reading program.

    I've got most of the syllabus down, I just can't do any planning yet since I don't have my books! That's the really frustrating part! I've planned out the first day, which is really two days since it's an A/B block schedule. I'm going to go over the syllabus/expectations/procedures, do an ice breaker, have them do some writing, and then if time permits go over some basic writing and grammar things like commonly misused words. It's hard to plan without the books but I do have the standards at least so I can plan some writing and grammar stuff!

    Aliceacc, I actually am going to be teaching at a Catholic school!
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 8, 2011

    Check the dress code. Mine is VERY conservative, but we can only wear pants if they're accompanied by a jacket. The other Catholic school in which I taught (from 1980 - 1987) didn't allow pants at all, though I think their dress code is now similar to ours.

    I can't imagine teaching anywhere in the world other than the school I'm in.

    Oh, and I didn't check carefully, but take a look here;
    http://www.catholicsupply.com/christmas/nativities-home1.html

    Also, check your school's website-- is there a summer reading list? Our school gives a test on the books about 2 weeks into the school year; you may want to hit the bookstore and get started reading those books.
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2011

    No summer reading, I've already asked about that. I was a bit surprised to be honest but the principal did say it's something she'd be interested in starting next year.

    I haven't gotten any info on their dress code yet and there's no faculty handbook online. The student one allows the girls to wear pants with polos. I know when I interviewed it was very relaxed but they were already done for the year. Most of the things I own are button downs or sweaters in terms of tops. I have a couple just dressy shirts. I'll put that at the top of my list of things to ask when they get back from vaycay though! Thanks!
     
  10. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Jul 8, 2011

    You need to decide how you want your students to keep their work in order and take notes. Do you want to use interactive notebooks or binders or both? I used a combination of both last year. This year, I'd like to eliminate worksheets and handouts, so I'm going to have them use interactive notebooks with an index in the front. Whichever you decide, you may want to buy a few extras that you can sell to the students whose parents won't or can't get to the store.

    Oh - you may want to check with the English department to see if they have a preference. For instance, next year at my school, the math department has agreed upon using binders with tabs.
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Thanks, Special-T! There's only one other English teacher but I am going to be e-mailing him to ask him what he does in his classroom.

    I'm not familiar with interactive notebooks. I'll have to look into it!

    This site is great :D
     
  12. Drama Teach

    Drama Teach Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2011

    See if you can find out if you get to choose the novels or plays that you will be studying this year. If you can start thinking now about what the students will enjoy. I read Death of a Salesman and I thought they would really enjoy the play, however I was wrong and not really prepared for their attitudes.
     
  13. eddygirl

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    Jul 9, 2011

    Do you have any required novels at your school? If so, it would be a good idea to read those and find resources as soon as you can. Once school starts, I find it difficult to put aside time to look for good activities to go along with the novels we teach. I use the summer to create study guides, Smartboard lessons, etc. If you have 3 or 4 preps, you could be looking at least 10-20 novels to cover over the year. Perhaps your English colleague can at least give you a list of the novels so you can start reading and searching for resources now.

    Also, if your colleague offers you anything as far as tests or handouts, take it! I have three colleagues who teach freshman English with me, and we pass stuff to each other all the time. I'm more into computers, so I'm the one usually creating the Powerpoint or Smartboard activities. You might not particularly like an activity you're given, but it makes a good starting point to create your own. You'll also get an idea of what he/she is presenting in class.

    I teach at a Catholic high school, and up until this past year, we each did our own thing in our English classes. Since creating a common assessment last year, we have been doing a lot more sharing of ideas. It has certainly cut down on prep time for all of us.
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Thanks, eddygirl! I did e-mail the other English teacher so hopefully he e-mails me back soon! I'm teaching 8th, 10th, and 12th and he teaches 8th, 9th, and 11th so I'm not sure how much sharing we'll be doing. The other English teacher retired so I'm hoping maybe she left some things behind in her classroom!

    I just can't wait to get into the classroom and see what I have! It's so hard to plan without knowing! I figured with seniors in Brit Lit that we would start with Beowulf so I can at least do that. I'd be shocked if they didn't have it in their text. Same with Canterbury Tales. But 8th and 10th I have no idea. I'm hoping since he teaches one section of 8th as well that he'll be willing to share some things with me!
     
  15. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    Jul 16, 2011

    wow - that is going to be alot of preps!!! at the beginning of school when all the kids are gunho and want to be the teacher's pet - make a wish list of items for the classroom - maybe give extra credit points for bringing stuff in - things like pens, pencils, markers, hand sanitizer, kleenex, windex, notebook paper, glitter, glue, scissors - and stash it for projects and such - i didn't run out of anything till end of year!~
     
  16. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2011

    Things I can't live without:
    - Date stamp for papers. All papers get stamped the day they get turned in. No stamp, it was late or they were absent (easy to check).
    - Baskets for turning in papers.
    - Plastic envelopes to put work in until I can grade it and for when it gets done. My system goes basket, stamp, ungraded envelope, grade, graded envelope. Cuts down a lot on "missing" papers.
    - Binder clips to clip piles of assignments together.
    - Kraft paper. Comes in rolls in the mailing supplies aisle, in white or brown. Great for making posters and a ton cheaper than the big easel pads.
    - Markers and glue.
    - Pretty grading pens.


    Those are my basics. I don't buy a lot of bulletin board stuff because my boards are usually covered with student work and I use fade-free paper that will last several years, but that might depend on what your school wants. I also don't buy too many art supplies other than markers because I ask the kids to bring stuff from home, and my drama class does one big set design project every year and I have tons of leftovers from 5 years of that.
     
  17. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jul 18, 2011

    Not sure how expensive this is, but I buy endrolls of newsprint for about $5 for a huge roll. The paper is not super quality, but it's great for quick group projects. Most printing companies sell this.
     

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