High school license, but teaching elementary! Help

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by SashaBear, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. SashaBear

    SashaBear Companion

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    Jul 25, 2008

    I've been hired at a private school with no license requirements. This school had a very bad last year and is trying to recover. However a lot of students and teachers left and there are no more high school students. I will definitely be teaching elementary but I won't find out what grades until Monday. So far it looks like either Grades 1-2 or Grades 3-4. I taught sixth grade during student teaching but I only taught English.
    I'll be teaching with the aBeka curriculum.

    Any tips?
     
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  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 25, 2008

    Yikes As a high school teacher, this would scare me to death :eek: I am sure you will get lots of great advice from the wonderful elementary teachers on this site.

    Good Luck
     
  4. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    ABeka is a wonderful curriculum! It is very advanced. I know this will be a huge jump for you, but you might discover that you like it even better!
     
  5. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2008

    Unless you like phonics a lot....I hope you get 3-4th.

    I have taught ABEKA more than half my teaching career and it is a great solid program. That said you need to add a lot to jazz it up and make it interesting. I feel they are weak in the area of writing, so that would have to be "beefed up." Use the writing traits, MsJas recommended the book "Writing with Pizazz" it was great.

    I don't favor Abeka math but again it is solid if you add teaching some different strategies and use some centers. (to be fair I have not seen the Abeka math curr in about 7 years.) That should say something that every school I have taught at uses Abeka for Phonics/Lang/Reading but not Math?!?!?

    As far as teaching elem. we are all here to help so you have quite a big safety net. :)
     
  6. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jul 25, 2008

    I'd focus right now on setting up your classroom management plan. There are some great grade level resources on AtoZ. Let us know how we can be of specific help once you find out which grade level....
     
  7. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Not to worry! Abeka has great guidelines. Esp. for math! Being stronger in LA, I appreciated that the math guide told you exactly what to say as you taught the lesson! In my opinion it would have been very helpful to me as a first time elementary teacher.

    Teaching younger students, it will help immensely to remember:

    1) they are small human beings deserving of total respect

    2)they will learn things in tiny steps - you will have to break things down into smaller and smaller steps as you teach younger children - this was where I had a learning curve going from high school to first grade! If the lesson was messed up, I would analyze it and it was always that I had gone from A to Q instead of A to B, then C and D.

    3) they function best with very clear parameters, rules, and consequences. If you are consistent, they will be happy and if you can get the younger kids to really love you, they will do anything for you. I had one little guy who had me at my wit's end, and I tried the Jim Faye line "Would you do such and such, just for me?" worked like a charm! If I told him his behavior scared me or made me sad, he was really deeply touched and I never saw that behavior again. He knew I loved him and responded with loving me back, and he wanted to please!

    4) remember to look for the humor in each day - they are a crack up!

    You will do great. Just remember keep things simple, tiny steps in teaching.
     
  8. Annie227

    Annie227 Companion

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I started with a Secondary Social Studies credential and quickly ended up in Elementary (which I swore I never would/could do).
    I LOVE it and will never go back to secondary!
    The lady in charge of the new teacher induction program in my district likes to say "Good Teaching is Good Teaching no matter what the subject or age". The classroom management skills and curriculum development you've learned and used for high school still apply at the elementary level.
    It does feel like a lot more work when you start planning and preparing for multiple subjects rather than teaching the same lesson several times in the same day, but you get used to it. The most difficult part of the transition was getting used to having the same kids ALL day long.
    Don't be afraid to ask your co-workers for help. (I found myself having to run across the hall during science and ask questions about the content because I'd realize halfway through the lesson that I had no clue what I was trying to teach.) The kids didn't mind when I'd admit that I wasn't sure how to answer their questions, I think sometimes they enjoyed the fact that we were learning it together.
     
  9. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I started with middle school credentials and found myself in elementary school. I know its scary. Its intimidating because suddenly you are responsible for all the subjects to be taught in a day. At least that is what scared me the most. Know that your knowledge of all the topics is already there in your brain, you just have to revisit it. You probably know more than you think you do. The abeka curriculum is very straight forward and easy to follow. I have not taught using it myself, but I have seen it. But from what I have seen it does not allow for the kind of autonomy/creative lessons that you may used to in high school. There is no need to invent lessons. As far as a management system the stop light is very popular and easy to use. You could also take a look at mspowell.com and beth newingham's websites for some ideas and information.
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 26, 2008

    In private schools, especially, you have to be a jack of all trades! Our art teacher this year will be teaching social studies. She collaborated for several years with the social studies teacher in making props for all sorts of projects, and I know she'll be fine.

    Elementary kids need you to be completely up front with them (not even a slight bit of sarcasm - not that I think you would use it). They are very concerned with fairness, and will show their neediness readily. You will love their hugs and I love yous.
     
  11. Lysander

    Lysander Companion

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    Jul 27, 2008

    Firm and fair, friendly but not their friend, all the stuff you knew from teaching high school. Don't talk down to them, but do talk on their level. Don't be afraid to use words beyond their vocabulary, but be prepared to explain them. Let them know that you respect them. Most importantly, make sure they can connect with what you're teaching. I'm sure you did this in high school, but now you'll have to know about things like SpongeBob and Hannah Montana, and *choke* High School Musical. And, as Matt633 said, you have a huge safety net here. We're all in this together.
     

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