Just hired as Computer teacher

Discussion in 'Library/Media Teachers' started by FLnewbie, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Aug 8, 2014

    Not sure if this is the right subgroup to post my query if not, please point me in the right direction) but I've just been hired to teach computer skills at a K-8 Catholic school, and I hardly know where to start! :dizzy: There will be 14 sections, each meeting once per week in the lab.

    Some background - I have 20 years of professional editing experience and am a veteran user of Word, PowerPoint, Excel with a little html experience. Looking at the curriculum, I'll be able to handle the instruction, although my subject matter certifications are in middle grades English and K-6 general education. Teaching background: preschool, subbing in elementary, and workshops for adults.

    My nebulous plan: visit the teacher to ask which subject matter they would like us to focus on, so we can use the computer training to extend other subject work. I'm drawing up a little question sheet that I will hand out Monday at our in-service training.

    Questions: Each class will only meet with me about 3 dozen times over the course of a year. Is it feasible to do a different "unit" each month, focusing the content for skills on one subject over 4 lessons? How would you teach a weekly computer class: units or self-contained lessons? Any special classroom management must-dos for a computer lab?

    I'd appreciate any wisdom you can share! thanks so much :thumb:
     
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  3. Samus_Aran

    Samus_Aran New Member

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    Aug 21, 2014

    I'm in the same boat so this is far from veteran advice, but I have planned a few general topics based off of the national standards (basic operations / concepts, ethical issues, productivity tools, communication tools, etc.) and then plan to break those down into 1 to X units as needed. But really I'm going to be doing a lot of winging it, figuring out on the fly which grade level needs to focus on what part for how long. Kindergarten might be stuck at "basic operations" for months while 8th grade can fly through it in a session or two. Maybe.

    Of course, in practice I will try not to have things disjointed like that. For instance, basic operations are always needed, ethical issues are ALWAYS an issue, not just a unit you can do and forget. I'll try to synthesize everything as I move forward.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 21, 2014

    Welcome to both of you. FLnewbie, it probably doesn't matter if you post in that forum or in general education, as many users click daily on 'all new posts' to keep up-to-date.

    I'm in south Florida and always taught in private school, though now I just tutor full-time. I don't know your subject area well, but have brought my class to computer lab with a dedicated teacher there. I would have welcomed having the computer teacher extend my lessons, though that never took place. On the other hand, the computer instruction my students did get (a lot of graphics and creating things) was very good.

    In general, I would say to consider having assigned seating that you might have to change as you see how the students work. Find out what kinds of controls the school has on the programs the kids can access. Decide what kind of behavior plan you will use and if you will have time to allow any computer time for free choice by students.

    If you will see students 18 times per semester, I think you will be able to carry out your units. Does the school have any required content? Probably not, I would imagine.

    Also, find out if your schools will want you to produce anything for school-wide performances or graduation ceremonies - maybe videos of special events of the year, etc.

    Good luck and keep checking in with the forums regularly.
     
  5. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2014

    Thanks - these are great tips! We have a pretty good firewall and a great IT person, who's been working closely with me. Assigned seating is a must! this week I allowed free choice, which is a great way to assess who needs separating :)

    I've been refining the procedures for behavior and activities in the lab, too.

    The grade 3 and below are definitely going to have to focus on basic operations, and I'll incorporate Type to Learn and some programs their teachers recommend. 4 and up are pretty competent with the basics so we'll move more quickly
     
  6. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Oct 6, 2014

  7. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Oct 7, 2014

    Thanks so much for those links! I have been following the ISTE standards, too. I will definitely check out the curricula you linked!

    Susie
     
  8. sarahwilla

    sarahwilla Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2014

    Hey congos on your new profession. All the best and you can do your best
     
  9. FLnewbie

    FLnewbie Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2014

    Thanks so much - I am enjoying it!
     
  10. lou84

    lou84 Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2015

    Emma35,
    I know this is an old post, but it's just what I need! I just got hired as the K-8 computers teacher at a Catholic School (just liked the person who started this post) and there is no direction. They have offered to pay for me to purchase the curriculum you mentioned from Teachers Pay Teachers. They also have Keyboarding Without Tears for grades K-5. My question is how you incorporated keyboarding into the lessons from the pre-made lessons your district bought you. Did you find time for it? How much? Did it detract from the main curriculum? Just curious how to meld the two in such a short period of time. ANY advice is helpful. Thanks!

    Lauren
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  11. SouthJerseyguy

    SouthJerseyguy Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2015

    Good luck to all. I started a new tech position last year and pretty much created everything from scratch after perusing the district tech curriculum guide as a guideline. If possible, I would recommend speaking with peers in the area. I would also discuss the direction of your school if you lead up to or take on students from other grades. For instance, I do middle school so I spoke with the elementary teacher and found out where he leaves off so the kids don't repeat too much and spoke to the HS sending district teachers so that I have my kid prepared enough to make the transition.
    Good luck
     
  12. fjaravata

    fjaravata Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2015

    Here is a great place to get a lot of edtech info.

    http://www.theatlis.org/

    also, if you are interested in transforming from a computer lab into flexible learning maker/design thinking spaces, you may want to check out our blog.

    if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let me know.

    Fred
     

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