First job - what do I ask?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by mamaotter, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. mamaotter

    mamaotter Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2018

    I'm a recent graduate about to start my second career teaching math. I was offered a position last week to teach 9th grade, pending board approval this week. The principal felt that was just a formality, so I'm eagerly awaiting his phone call to arrange a meeting to get things started. He told me a lot about how things work at his school during the interview (and I'm really excited to work there!), but I know there's probably much more that I need to know.

    So, what questions should I ask when I meet with him? I know many questions can wait until I meet my fellow teachers, but what do I need to know right away?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jul 8, 2018

    I’d ask about when you can get to your room, who you will be working with, and what curriculum is already in place.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2018

    I agree with Ima. In addition, you might also find out if there are any relevant PD or training dates this summer, and you should also ask when your new teacher orientation begins. You can ask if there is anything you should be doing to prepare this summer, but, if they don't give you much, then just enjoy your summer and wait until you begin the job.
     
  5. mamaotter

    mamaotter Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2018

    This brings to mind another question. Who pays for PD? Is it typically your school/district, or yourself? Because having just finished school, I am broke and desperately waiting for my first paycheck, which I just realized I may not get until the end of September. LOL
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2018

    It depends. Many districts sponsor their own in-district PD, meaning that they cover all of the costs and facilitate it. If the district requires out-of-district PD, they typically pay the costs to send the staff. If the PD is something that a teacher wants to do on his/her own, outside of the district, then the teacher can often request PD funds from the school. Sometimes the school will cover it, and sometimes they won't.

    As a new teacher, I probably wouldn't request that they send you to any out-of-district PD right now. I would inquire as to whether or not there is any in-district PD that they'd like you to be at this summer. For example, my grade-level team is meeting later this month to look over our beginning of the year math units and get PD on the content from our math instructional coach. We invited our new hire to join us for that. If your school has something like that, you may want to be present for it, but they may not have thought to extend the invitation just yet.
     
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  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 31, 2019

    I would be wanting to know if this class has been through a series of substitutes, or is it a clean switch - the old teacher was there one day, you are there the next. If there have been some subs involved, you may have to pay a little more attention to the expectations and classroom procedures from the get go than if it was a clean switch. Either way, you are going to have to have a strategy that includes things like assigned seating, the grading system that has been in use, etc. In some high schools, this timing should mesh with change of semester, meaning you and the students start together, which is nice.

    If you are new, make sure you find out about mandatory new teacher classes, typically after school, but no money involved for you. If those are in place, you will get a wealth of information about PD, using the school computers for the myriad of things they expect, including grades. Many districts show the grades in real time on the school web site to parents and students when logged on. You might want to ask about the ratio of students to computers/technology, and whether or not students are allowed to use their smart phones in class. If so, you may want to ask about procedures should students be using those same phones for purposes that are definitely not academic. I would also clarify the chain of command, since you will have more questions and you don't want to step on anyone's toes.

    Good luck.
     

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