If I had only known... [New Teacher Tips]

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by BioAngel, May 7, 2009.

  1. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2014

    I have read all 12 pages - great info.

    I am interviewing for my 1st classroom teaching position.....I did teach a vocational class for 2 years but it was more hands on working in a kitchen/restaurant setting and not instructional base.

    Any tips for high school students? organization? etc etc
     
  2. chitown

    chitown Companion

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    Jul 19, 2014

    I was offered my first full time teaching job today, and I will definitely be using some of these suggestions. Thanks to all who have posted, and I hope to add some information when I'm done with my first year!
     
  3. mrs.whatsit

    mrs.whatsit Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2014

    The best advice I ever got in my first year was, Fake It Till You Make It! Confidence is key in your first year.

    Make sure you teach procedures that matter, like how to enter the room, passing in papers, raising your hand, going to the restroom, and group work.

    Be explicit in your directions. Make things simple, repeat yourself and time everything! "You have five minutes to complete the Do Now, Go!"

    Behavior narrate! Everything!

    Incentivize positive behavior with point systems. Make it easy on yourself and track those points with Free apps like LiveSchool.

    Read Teach like a Champion.
     
  4. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jul 31, 2014

    About setting up filing...When I was starting a new position last year, I didn't really have files set up beforehand. Every time I got a new piece of paper to save (IEPs, emergency information, schedules, etc) I would either create a file for it in my file cabinet, or add it to an existing file if it was already created. I added to and refined my system all year, and I will do the same next year in (another) new school.

    Now for student work, I am going to try a new system this year since I'm going to be on two campuses. I plan to keep a filing tote bag with in / out folders for each class. When I get papers turned in, I will collect them and put them directly in the bag. When they are graded, I will either pass them back directly or file them in crates in the classroom. Last year I was pretty good about not getting too backed up on grading (I would clear my inboxes at least once a week), but I was never getting papers back to the students fast enough because they would languish in the out box (I never remembered to pass them back). Having crates for graded work will hopefully cut back on this, and students who want to check their graded work will be able to do so when they finish their classwork.

    Hope that helps somewhat!
     
  5. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Dec 25, 2014

    I teach high school.
    Some great advice has been posted here, but here are some things that I do that have helped my teaching, but might not work for everyone's personality or age group…

    Get to know your students personally. I allow my kids to eat lunch in my room most days, but I don't necessarily interact with them much when they do--usually they just come because its quieter than the lunch room. But, I often do get to converse with kids during these times on a much more personal level, and I found that this has helped me a lot when these kids are in my classes.

    Eye contact. Use it. When you are giving a lesson, look at each kid for a second right in the eyes. If they are listening and are with you, smile, genuinely. If they are being naughty, don't smile and stare at them in the eyes until they stop doing what they were doing and look away. Works wonders for me, lol.

    Encourage kids when they help each other or do something nice (like helping to explain what is happening in the class). Call out students who do something selfish (like the kid that makes another kid get him his folder or notebook).

    Theres usually one kid who has a ton of energy and can get annoying but isn't necessarily a bad kid. Give that kid helpful jobs--I phrase it like, "Michael, would you please do me a favor and hand out these packets?" The kid will usually appreciate being able to move around without it always being a problem. I find that these kids are often seen as a nuisance in many classes and I think they appreciate the positive attention!

    If a kid sasses you, pull them aside after class and ask directly why they are sassing you. Sometimes you would be surprised at the answers (sometime the kid is justified, but don't tell them that, lol)--and most of the time you'll get a sincere apology.

    Again, these work for my personality. Maybe they will help you too!
     
  6. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    Jun 28, 2015

    Unless someone passes as a true co-worker, keep to yourself because a) you'll be taken advantage of, b) they can collect "dirt" from you, and/or c) you can get pulled into drama. I've learned the hard way my first year and I had a not-so-great last day of school. Starting over in September with a new mission.
     
  7. smile3

    smile3 Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2015

    Just read entire thread, this is gold !
     
  8. musicnote210

    musicnote210 New Member

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    Aug 16, 2015

    Wow this is great. I've already copied down some ideas! Keep 'em coming!
     
  9. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2015

    I will be starting my first in classroom teaching job this upcoming year and plan on re-reading this thread from beginning to end and taking notes. :)
     
  10. Sassy98

    Sassy98 Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2016

    Great advice. Its true. The kids can see the confidence you see in yourself. Kids respect a teacher who disciplines with a happy tune.
     
  11. Sassy98

    Sassy98 Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2016

    GREAT ADVICE. You never know what will be sprung on you next. Be flexible and just go with it!
     
  12. Alonzo

    Alonzo Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2016

    This was an awesome thread. So much of what was said is definitely true; the good and the bad. My advice would be to find what works for you. Get to know you student but make sure to set clear boundaries. You want you student to see as a role model not a classmate. Try to get parents involved. Not every parent will but you will learn to appreciate those that are. Find something that gets you out of bed everyday. Some days it will be a student, some days it will be an activity. Whatever "it" is will help you get through those tough days that will surely come.
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jul 6, 2016

    Sorry if I repeat something... I haven't read all 7 pages...

    The best advice I received as a new teacher was to 'get to parents before they come to you'. Basically, NO SURPRISES! Be honest and proactive with your communication. The only time I have had tricky situations with parents were the times where they didn't get the information directly from me - they found out from their child or another parent. Or they were surprised by the report card. SURPRISES ARE NOT FUN! This goes for admin as well - it's always best they hear about things from you - not from an upset parent or through the grapevine. We all mistakes, just own up and keep your admin in the loop.

    My second principal instituted a practice where we were all required to make positive phone calls home for every student by the end of the first month at school. This did wonders for getting parents on my team. Every parent wants to hear how wonderful their child is. Some years I made all those phone calls in the first 3 days because there were some tricky behaviours popping up quickly. But when I called with concerns after 3 weeks of school, I'd already had positive interactions with parents.

    Finally, every day after school I ask myself, "What do I need to do so I can sleep tonight?" I tend to lie awake worrying, so I take care of what I can - sometimes it is calling a parent, other times it's staying a little later to make sure I'm comfortable with my preparedness for the next day and some days it's simply walking away so I can go do something I enjoy to relax.
     
    MrsC likes this.
  14. teacherquestions

    teacherquestions Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2016

    Honestly I think too much trust in the students! Not watching them and holding them as accountable as I should have. Never fully trust teenagers haha.
     
  15. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Jul 20, 2016

    I'm going to read every post of this thread tomorrow... I just found out officially what I'm teaching (with 2 weeks left before in-service starts) and I want to plan the heck out of every procedure I can think of, everything I can do without access to my room and curriculum so I can do actual content plans the two weeks before students come back.
     
  16. Run262

    Run262 Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2017

    SHOES!! Find comfortable shoes that you can stand in ALL DAY!!
    I'm half way through my first year and learned quickly that YOU STAND ALL DAY - almost. The first week my feet hurt so much - I ran to find the most cushioned shoes I could find - didn't matter how ugly they were. Having comfortable shoes made all the difference. Now I rotate between sketchers - they are life savers.

    As a first year teacher, coming from a 20 year corp. job, I didn't realize how much I was going to be on my feet - NO ONE TOLD ME!!!
     
  17. Feb 28, 2017

    There are so many good points remember by new teacher like me.
    Thanks for this nice thread.
     
  18. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 3, 2017

    I was thinking, for many new teachers this is their first employment outside of college, the beginning of a new life. The following are some practical tips for any new employees fresh out of college that I’ve learned mostly the hard way, from experience.

    1. Set two alarms. Cell phones provide an assortment of wake up alarms. I'd recommend choosing a tone that is actually not too alarming, causing you to jump to the ceiling with such exertion that you feel the need to go back to sleep, but enough to wake you up. For me, it's the vibrating noise on top of my wooden dresser. The secondary alarm, set further ahead, is in case the primary alarm malfunctions.

    2. For people like me, who like to get up s-l-o-w-l-y, set the primary alarm at an early time so if you choose to snooze, you still don't lose. I set my snooze at 15 minute intervals, which gives me a window of choice when to get up. Although it helps to know the least amount of time you need to arrive at school, it's helpful not to depend upon that. Rushing to get ready raises your blood pressure and anxiety level--you'll have enough anxiety to deal with throughout your school day, so no since starting when you get up.

    3. Nutrition, sleep, and exercise are vital! At least take a walk around the mall at the end of the day. Your body is doing this job, and the better condition it is in the better it can perform.

    4. A clean apartment or house is a happy house. I'd recommend not waiting until you have time to do a thorough spring cleaning. As a new teacher, that won't happen until July. "The Fly Lady", a house cleaning expert, recommends a quick daily cleaning of something, even if it's only 5-15 minutes. In addition, I’ve learned that tables and chairs are not for storage. Rather than placing stuff on them when you’re in a hurry, or the “set it and forget it philosophy, make a rule that you will always take the extra half a minute or minute to put stuff in its proper place.

    5. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you have two choices. Relax or Rolaids. (I’d recommend the first choice). Just as with a computer, when it gets clogged up it needs rebooted, so do you. A great book that addresses how to do this and contains many other ideas for managing a busy lifestyle, (and believe me, teaching is a busy lifestyle), is Pillay, Srini. Tinker Dabble Doodle Try. N.Y.: Ballantine Books, 2017.

    One quick note: in reading the earlier posts, I also thought the bee suggestion to be quite practical. I've discovered some additional pest tips that are helpful. A large plastic jar is helpful in safely catching a bee and setting it free outside; this works best if the teacher is able to remain calm as bees are alert to movement and nervousness. Sometimes bees, especially if crawling instead of flying, and all flies can be temporarily paralyzed by spraying with unscented Ivory soap (I use over 1/4 cup) mixed with water; avoid the lemon or orange scented kind--although the scent is an insecticide, it also attracts bees from out of nowhere like crazy! Lysol also paralyzes bees but I'd be afraid of using that in a room with students in case it still was able to sting a student with Lysol on the stinger. Entomologists disagree with this next tip, but the bees don't know it doesn't work. I spray outdoor areas that attract bees' nests with Ivory soap. I have yet to get another bees' nest. Bats can be caught with a plastic coffee can; shooing a bat only makes the problem worse. A bat in the room was probably there by mistake and is scared already. Most bats prefer not to bite, except in self defense, but rabies is a problem because the disease doesn't effect the bat itself.
     
  19. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Aug 3, 2017

    Bats can be caught with a plastic coffee can; shooing a bat only makes the problem worse. A bat in the room was probably there by mistake and is scared already. Most bats prefer not to bite, except in self defense, but rabies is a problem because the disease doesn't effect the bat itself.

    where do you teach? this is an actual problem? I have heard of birds, and even lizards...but bats?
     
  20. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 3, 2017

    Yes, several times. (I'd rather not give away the location, but it was rural). Once we had a snake, too, and of course mice would sometimes show up, but I don't have any good tips for them.
     
  21. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Aug 3, 2017

    Im thinking I would not fair well at this location...I had a lizard skitter across the floor during Back to School night....to all my strength not to pee my pants during my presentation to parents and Admin. Oy
     
  22. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 4, 2017

    The two animals that I'm very fearful of are snakes and mice. Snakes I can understand; when I was 7, we had one crawling up our screen door and my Mom screamed. Since then, I've had an actual phobia of snakes. I know the snake is perfectly harmless, but if I get close enough to it, I become paralyzed, no control over myself. It's a weird sensation, as I actually like and appreciate snakes. Mice--now that's a different story. Again, it's an irrational fear, I'm much bigger than they are, and it's not even a phobic reaction, but that's another animal I don't mess with! However, perhaps this can be turned into another bit of advice for new teachers. Be authentic. It's OK to tell kids that you have certain fears--they have fears, too. Pretending to be what you're not is poor decorum; it's important for kids to see our example that it's OK to be afraid of snakes, bats, mice, whatever. By the way, while I'm thinking about it, I wonder what's happened to the black bear that's been roaming around our yard; no sign of it this summer.
     
  23. txbelle

    txbelle Rookie

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    May 31, 2018

    Wow! So much great advice! I start my student teaching in the Fall 2018 and I just found this forum. I feel that there's so much to learn but this thread has given me a lot of insight! Thanks ya'll! :)
     
  24. Curriculum Chef

    Curriculum Chef Rookie

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    Jun 1, 2018

    Everyone has given you the good, basic stuff about the profession. Great!

    On a personal note, don't take your teaching job too seriously. Your inbox will never be empty. Take time to take care of you first. If not, teaching will burn you out.

    Enjoy your summer! Toodles!
     

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