Hired in so very late!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Cme10, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. Cme10

    Cme10 Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2013

    Okay so I was hired for a high school position. I will (MOST LIKELY) be teaching Language Arts 1 & 2 and a reading class. The thing is I have never had any experience teaching reading. The district is going to pay for me to get my reading endorsement but that will happen parallel to my teaching this class. I was fingerprinted on Friday and still have a drug test/nicotine screen/get a badge/sign my contract hopefully all next week, so I can start asap.

    I am nervous.

    I LOVE English and Language Arts. I love it. I'm excited but the thing is...Its October. The reason so many schools in my area are hiring is because enrollment numbers increased and they have to hire more teachers to distribute the student numbers to where they are supposed to be. So I will essentially get students from several different teachers.

    How do I handle the first day?! I was thinking of going over some ice breakers, introducing myself, getting to know them a little bit, going over behavior expectations and my syllabus. (Which I hope to have done BEFORE I go into the classroom. )

    I would like any feedback any other teachers have about starting this late in the year as a full time teacher in high school. How to decorate a classroom, what classroom rules to implement, first day procedures, anything!

    I will have a mentor teacher as part of the district's program which I am eternally thankful for and intend to use but I would also like to have a good base of my own to come in with.
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 6, 2013

    This year was the first time I started on the 1st day of school. Last year I was hired in April, and my LTS 2 years ago started in October.

    My advice is this: treat your day as the first day of school (obviously with some exceptions)
    - go over your expectations, syllabus, routines, procedures, etc, just like you would on the first day of school
    - ice breakers: you probably don't need that, these students have been in school for over a month, so they know each other.

    Depending on the length of the classes, you might or might not jump into your first lesson. The first day is also a great time to find out what they've been doing until now (if you haven't found out)

    Decorating the classroom: you can do it as you go along. You don't have to stress and spend all your free time creating, buying and putting up posters, do a little every day. Have the kids help you. Have them make a classroom rules poster on the first day.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 6, 2013

    From their point of view, you are "the new guy" and they know infinitely more than you do.

    So, no surprise to those who know me, I would go in prepared to TEACH. A quick 5 minute intro, then down to wrok. No getting to know you stuff, but TEACH. Work on the assumption that they've pretty much lost the last month of school and that you have a lot of catching up to do.

    Find something fairly early on in the syllabus that's concrete, not subjective--- say, vocab or subject-predicate agreement. Teach it, assign homework, let them know when the quiz will be. All on that first day. Let them know in no uncertain terms that the uncertainty of who will be their teacher is over, and that you're in it for the long haul.
     
  5. Cme10

    Cme10 Rookie

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    Oct 8, 2013

    Thank you!

    Thank you for the suggestions. My first day is tomorrow and I have un-finished class rolls, a computer that for the life of me won't turn on. No curriculum guide and a school schedule. >/ Its going to be difficult but I've decided I am going to go over rules, procedures, (I am going to use COR as well as a few other things) and introduce myself. Then I will gather information from them about what they have been working on (This might change if I can catch my department head before school). I have a journal entry topic posted on the board which they will have fifteen minutes to write a well thought out response. I am also researching a few activities that I can incorporate during this first day. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow I can have a more established syllabus and curriculum guide.

    As for some of the rules like the bathroom I have decided to simply take it on a need basis. As Alice said if a child has to go, he has to go. However if I notice a pattern the "privilege" will be taken away. I cannot keep them after school. The school is in a poverty area and most of the students ride the bus and cannot miss it. So I'm not going to mention it to avoid the "let's play the who can go the last minute" game. But I will simply say it is a privilege. Don't abuse it. ^_^

    I went today and decorated the classroom with everything I had and even ordered some new posters. Hopefully for now it will do until I come up with something else.

    Tomorrow is going to be interesting to say the least...>.>
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 9, 2013

    Good luck today!!
     
  7. Cme10

    Cme10 Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2013

    First Day....UGH!!

    Well...the first day. Dear Lord.

    I got to school early, because my room is in the back of the school, walked to the front of the school. Dropped off my lunch in the lounge, signed in. Checked box, turned in paperwork to administration. Tried to track down my Dept head from the time I finished that until school bell rang at 8:15. No luck. Spoke at length with another English teacher ( I received her entire first period as my first period class, she received a Compass learning class in place of it). Also spoke at length with the literacy teacher. (Both extremely helpful.)

    First period kids come in, I wait a little extra time (I know the kids are scrambling with all the schedule changes and finding my new room in the back of the school) I begin to take roll as best I can. Then I begin going over introducing myself and telling them how things are going to work in my class. There are lots of groans but I endure and even got a few suggestions of things they want more/less of, to make them feel as though they have more of a voice. I then tell them I have spoken with their previous teacher and I know they are supposed to have a finished outline and a finished rough draft of comparing and contrasting the main characters in the story, "The Most Dangerous Game". Two to three students are just talking over me and doing their own thing. I finally get them quiet and tell them they WILL finish and turn in their outline and rough draft tomorrow morning and that they may pick a partner and work on editing during class today. One student..(I later found out he is and has been a HUGE problem) says, "When I found out I was getting a new teacher I threw everything away"...(This apparently included his rough draft and outline.) I told him he should have never done that, no one told him to throw anything away and now he would need to spend the night re-writing the rough draft and outline and he should not come to class empty handed tomorrow, since we will be moving into the final draft tomorrow. He proceeds to tell me he doesn't remember the story...(They have worked on this since LAST WED) so I send a student with the roll and another student to borrow four Lit books from their previous teacher (While I wait on my own..>.>) He then asks to get a tissue. I let him..(my mistake) he was gone thirteen minutes. I had the rest of the class working and stood at the door waiting on him. When he returned I told him there was a book on his desk (for all the good it would do him) and he needed to try to re-read or skim the story and see if it would jog his memory for the assignment. He ignored it, but I can assure you, he will not be leaving my class again. Ever. I mean abusing the privilege on the first day?!!!! The rest of the class seemed to get my point that they were going to work in the class but I would try to make it as fun as possible. Tomorrow they will come in, work on a journal prompt, and then work on finishing their final drafts.

    Second period is planning, I spent it once again running all over the school trying to track people down, get grades, get reliable information from teachers, STILL see Dept head. By third period I was exhausted.

    Third period...small....lazy but manageable. They only have five grades from their previous class and a lot of them....were lazy and now want extra credit to bump their final grade ten points from a C to a B. Now I will give extra credit...but I am not a miracle worker, and I cannot bump a grade ten points. Not possible. They also know what they will be doing tomorrow. We will begin activities for improving pre-writing, outlining, editing, and revising for the state test they have next week. This will happen in addition to their journal entry. It is during THIS period my Dept head shows up and decides to talk to me about EVERYTHING under the sun rapid fire. So the kids pretty much got a free day to play catch up anywhere else they needed.

    4-5th period is block and where I teach Read 180 BUT, I have no computer, no books, no nothing. So I was told if any student did report to me to send them back to their reading instructor. One student came...and sure enough it was not a simple situation. She was a new student and did not have a previous teacher. So off we head to guidance...(more walking....more heat...more sweat...ERG!) her guidance counselor is NO help, won't give me another class to have her observe until I get set up but I KNOW she cannot stay in the classroom with me and do nothing, it's a waste of her time and I can't cart her through the school on my errands. So I thank the counselor for her help (Yeah right.) and decide to bypass her completely and head over to my AP of curriculum. I explain the situation and she happily tells me of course there is somewhere we can go. She proceeds to take us both to a Read 180 room, the student to maintain the process and participate as she can and myself to observe while I wait for the necessary materials to begin teaching. (take that guidance!)

    I get along GREAT with the Read 180 teacher and her paraprofessional.

    So here I am in 6th period...one student out of 26....the rest have stayed with their current teacher because he has yet to receive a new class. (Once his does the other older class becomes mine) Another English teacher comes to talk to me, and I tell her I have to try to go pick up a laptop amongst other things, so we send the student back to her original teacher who tells me in front of them that he is just killing time with them. I tell him to carry on and there were six groans..(Trust me when they get to my class they will wish they were back there...I'm starting off strict because I have to)

    Here we come to last class.....hell on earth. The class will not be quiet, they are making rude and sassy comments, trying to sleep, trying to leave and do anything but what they are supposed to do. As I am going through the rules one student is trying to cuddle his back pack and sleep. When I tell him to get up he snaps at me and says I am JUST going over rules. To which I reply, "Yes and following the rules is part of being in this class. If you don't know the rules then you won't be able to do much of anything." After they found out I will not be taking late work and other strict policies half the class wanted to run to guidance to switch out. I told them if they chose to go to guidance they can go on their own time but the likelihood of them getting switched out is slim especially if only because they don't like me being strict. The last ten minutes I let them know exactly what to do/bring tomorrow and I gave them a few moments to just try to decompress. BIG mistake. They got too loud, I could not hear the announcements and no one else could. They stood by the door (BIG no no for me) then they opened the door and were piling out of it before the bell rang!

    Now granted it was partially my failure. I should have blocked the door, had them sit and dismissed them myself. Tomorrow they will work the entire period, when the announcements come on they will be silent and they will remain seated until I dismiss them. I am going to tell them, "Yesterday you showed me that you cannot be trusted to act like young adults. You acted more like young children and because of that I am going to monitor your behavior even closer, you will be dismissed when I dismiss you, and you will remain quiet when I am speaking or the announcements are on. If this is going to be a problem referrals will be given to any student non-compliant with these rules."

    Tomorrow is a new day and I have prepared for it a little better. The rolls I hope will be updated further and I will get more one on one time with my Dept head to go over things but.....first day has been very hard. I refuse to budge though. I have set up rules according to what I believe is best and I intend to be thorough and consistent if it kills me or them!
     

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