Is it ever too early to start?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by vivalavida, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    Oct 4, 2012

    I'm finishing up my degree and hoping to enter into a teaching credential program next year. I've heard over and over again that the first few years are the HARDEST for a teacher. I don't doubt it one bit. My question is: Is there anything I can start doing now to prepare myself? I understand that, as far as planning goes, a lot cannot be done until you know exactly what level you are teaching, etc. However, can I do any general things just to better prepare myself as a teacher? Any advice is welcomed. Thanks!
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 4, 2012

    My first couple of years were not the most challenging, but I think it was just the timing...a couple years in is when lots of changes trickled down. But, anyhow, back to you! :)

    So what is your current situation exactly? I don't understand what you mean by almost finishing your degree and then starting a credential program. What is your degree in?
     
  4. LunarSea

    LunarSea Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2012

    I'm in the same boat as you. Until I know which grade level I'll be teaching, I've decided to do massive amounts of reading. I'm using my time now as a creative incubation period, wherein I'm developing my ideas about children and teaching. Essentially, building your own philosophy of education.

    Here are some books I've read that have influenced me greatly:

    - How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
    - Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire
    - Never Work Harder than Your Students

    and many more.

    Also, I would recommend that you start perusing websites that deal with education topics. For example, some of my favorites are Edutopia and The Teaching Channel. Great fountains of resources on those two sites alone. Wonderful, inspiring ideas that seasoned teachers give out if you watch the videos and read the comments.

    I've found that I have a lot more opinions on educational topics as a result of using these resources. They've been helpful in developing my persona as a teacher. Another thing you could do is try to get into some classrooms. Ask family friends or anyone who knows teachers and ask them if you can visit. It will probably give you an idea of what some of the challenges and expectations are of a teacher. I hope something I've suggested will help :)
     
  5. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Oct 4, 2012

    Just expect the unexpected. And be ready to adapt. :)
     
  6. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Oct 4, 2012

    Read Harry Wong's "The First Days of School," and Fred Jones' "Tools for Teaching." Get an idea of the procedures and rules you want for your classroom and how you plan to teach and reteach and reinforce them. Start figuring out how you intend to organize your paper tasks.
    And don't worry too much!
     
  7. TheLittlestHobo

    TheLittlestHobo New Member

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    For my first school, I would have done well to volunteer in a juvenile detention center. But, as is said so often, you're either made for it or you're not..
     
  8. vivalavida

    vivalavida Companion

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    I will be finishing my undergrad degree in my content area next Spring and applying for credential programs to begin next year. I am not in a combined undergrad/credential program as I believe some universities offer. Does that make more sense?

    I have read a couple of books and am currently reading Wong's First Days of School. I am also observing in a classroom. I still feel as though I just want to get started on more practical things, but I'm not quite there yet. I keep thinking the more I do now, the more prepared I will feel later. Or, maybe, it's impossible to be prepared for teaching. :)
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 4, 2012

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd still go into teaching, but I'd make sure I was much more prepared. No, it isn't ever too early to "prepare". I would warn you that you will need to make any preparation flexible. The grade you teach, the expectations of the principal, and what resources you have available will be hard to guess.

    They say the road to success is measured by the books you read and the people you meet. Knowing that I would:

    1. Read really good education books. Here are 4.

    #1 The First Days of Teaching by Harry Wong
    #2 Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones
    #3 Teach Like a Champion by Norman Atkins
    #4 The Essential 55 by Ron Clark

    *They can be picked up used for very little at amazon or possibly gotten at a library.

    2. Observe teachers if you can--especially those who are good. Good teachers often will let someone like you observe.

    3. Really, really learn technology that can be used in a K-8 setting.

    4. Talk to teachers on how to get organized for a classroom.

    Good luck to you!
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 4, 2012

    I have read a couple of books and am currently reading Wong's First Days of School. I am also observing in a classroom.

    That is a great start! Keep on reading and observing REALLY good teachers. I'd also check out the Teaching Channel online.
     
  11. 1cubsfan

    1cubsfan Companion

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    Oct 4, 2012

    Ask to observe in classrooms. I've done a bunch of observation outside of what was required. The more you can observe good teachers, the better.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 4, 2012

    Besides reading a lot of the great books that have been mentioned here, you should try to get into classrooms as much as you can. Observing is one thing, but being in full control is another. Try subbing if you can. Even if your schedule only allowed you 1 day / week, it would still be very helpful.
    For the 8 months I had my own classroom, I found that planning was the easiest. Yes, it took a lot of my time (and then I learned how to work smarter and quicker), but it's the classroom management that can be tough. And another: student motivation. You can plan all you want, and you can have the control of a sargeant, you still have to find a way to motivate the students to want to do the work.
     

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