First Year High School English Teacher - School Starts in 2 Weeks..

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by MrsGray, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. MrsGray

    MrsGray New Member

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    Aug 7, 2011

    I was hired back in June at a high school in Florida to teach Language Arts. That is all that I know so far! I still do not know what grade level I will be teaching or where my classroom is. I went to an orientation where they told us about our benefits, did fingerprinting, drug testing and had us sign a bunch of paperwork back on July 5th, but I haven't heard anything since (just confirmation from my school's secretary that everything checked out!)

    I have another orientation for new teachers on August 11th, but that is a district wide meeting for all new hires. Then I have to start reporting to the school on August 15th for the teacher planning week and the students' first day is August 22nd. Is this normal? I'm trying to prepare my lesson plans and get some ideas for what I'm going to be teaching in two weeks, but I don't know what grade level or skill level I will be teaching whatsoever. I keep seeing people post pictures of their decorated classrooms and I don't even know where mine is or what it looks like! I am freaking out and worried that this is totally abnormal for a district. Could any one tell me if this happened to them when they were hired? :help:
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2011

  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    OH, and as a Language Arts teacher, you're going to have to juggle your scheduling: Spelling, Grammar, writing and Literature. Why not hunt-- or ask-- for other teacher's way of approaching all that??
     
  5. Drama Teach

    Drama Teach Rookie

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    Aug 7, 2011

    What I would do is email the principal and ask them if they know why my teaching assignment is, and if I can come in this week and take a look at my room and picking up any teaching manuels that go with the textbooks.

    Besides not knowing what you are teaching that was the same schedule that I had last year and it was my first.
     
  6. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Yep, e-mail or call your new P and say something like, " I was just wondering if you knew what I would be teaching when school starts. Would it be possible to pick up a textbook and take a look at my room so I can start planning?" The answer will probably be yes. If not...

    Start with a basic activity like "I Am" poems, or an autobiography. Something that will take a day or two, and can be tweaked for a variety of grade levels. That will give you time to go through your books and figure out what you're doing. :)
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Welcome! :)
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Nice to have another English teacher on board. Have you joined the English Companion Ning as well? If not, do so--you'll find an extremely helpful online community of over 26,000 English teachers!
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Welcome! I'm a new English teacher as well. I would call the school and see about coming in to get books and see your classroom. I did this and the secretary had no problems with it. She actually contacted the other English teacher and gave him my number so we could set up a time together so that he is there when I come in and can chat a bit about how he normally runs his classes! I'm going in Tuesday :D I get kids the 18th so I've already started planning some things to do the first week but it will be so much easier once I get the books!
     
  10. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Aug 8, 2011

    It sounds par-for-course in Florida. Contact the P or the P's secretary and ask what you're teaching. Make sure to phrase it right - you're ready to start your plans, but just need to know what courses you have.

    And keep in mind - masterboards are notoriously difficult to complete in FL because the numbers change quite often.
     
  11. MsR

    MsR Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2011

    Welcome to the craziness of teaching high school. Last year was my first year teaching high school English in Florida as well. To be honest, depending on your county will depend on which text you use and the instructional focus calendar. Your district probably has the focus calendar published somewhere and you definitely want to get your hands on it. You also want to start finding a lot of interesting non-fiction pieces that you can share and analyze since the FCAT is part of your curriculum.
     
  12. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    Aug 10, 2011

    If your school is anything like mine, your high schoolers have already received their schedule of classes, so administration has already slotted you into a grade level. Call the school and ask if you can come up to pick up your textbooks. If they don't have books available for you (sometimes dept. chairs might not have put them aside yet), you should hopefully be able to find out what series they use so you could check out the content online; if your school uses Prentice Hall or McDougal Littell, you can sometimes access stuff online, even if you have to log on as a student.

    Also, ask if the students had any summer reading to complete before they come back; if so, someone in the office should have a summer reading list, so you can at least build a couple of beginner lessons based on the reading.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 10, 2011

    Our kids won't get their schedules until the day after Labor Day-- the first day of school.

    That said, teacher schedules are done unless something happens to change them.

    And you may be able to find the summer reading on the school's website. I know ours is posted.
     
  14. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Aug 10, 2011

    When you find out what you will be teaching and what your first unit will be, post back here and we will give you tons of ideas! Don't worry!
     

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