New Elementary Teacher-HELP

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Nebula501713, Jun 15, 2021.


Should i decline the offer? Or should i go for it?

  1. Go for it

    0 vote(s)
  2. Decline it.

    0 vote(s)
  1. Nebula501713

    Nebula501713 New Member

    Jun 15, 2021
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    Jun 15, 2021

    Hello, everyone!

    I have been a long time reader of this forum but I finally made an account. I am in need of some advice and guidance. I have a bachelor degree totally not related to education but something waaaaay different. But I decided to try teaching. I went through an alternative certificate program and also I got a job as a teacher assistant for one school year.

    My staff liked me enough to offer me a position at their school, second grade. I accepted but now I am incredibly nervous. I have no teaching degree.....My alternative certificate program is bleh. I dont even know how to really create a lesson plan. (Do you guys have any resources that show how to create a lesson plan, that could help me? I would love to take a look at them) And basically I didnt really learn much in my alternative certificate program. However, I always liked school and while working as a T.A. I loved working with students and staff. I just dont know how to go from here. Maybe i made a mistake in accepting this or should i still continue with this offer?

    What should i prepare for over this summer? I dont really have anyone to turn to at this time.
  3. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Oct 25, 2016
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    Jun 15, 2021

    If you take this, it'll be a LOT of work to start, but probably very rewarding, but also overwhelming. If you already know you can work at that school, with those kids and that staff, that's a huge leg up.

    The first thing I would do is find out if there's an established curriculum for the grade. If there is, that's a chunk of work already done for you. You might even have pacing guides. If there's not, then you start by looking at the state standards for each subject. As I read, I lump together standards that naturally fit together. Once you know what the standards are and which are sequential, then you start planning.

    Lesson plans can take many forms. Some schools require a certain format (ask about that) others don't care which model you use. I was taught the Madeline Hunter method in college, but I've not once used it voluntarily. The last school I was at used a more generic form. For the most part, they all boil down to a handful of questions. What standards are you covering? What are you actually doing to teach? How are the kids practicing/demonstrating knowledge? How is learning being assessed? How are you differentiating instruction/meeting kids' IEPs?
    You may also find that your school favors certain practices, like my last school forced us to do bell work.

    There are different models of learning to choose from for different standards. Math, for example, tends to have a lot of "I do, we do, you do". At that age, there's a lot of repetition and reinforcement of skills. You can google instructional methods to find all kinds of approaches, like inquiry or project-based. . .

    The other part of prep is figuring out your classroom management. You'll find it's very different when you're the only adult in the room. The school may have a prescribed method, be it PBIS or whichever, but there's a lot more that goes into it. There are fantastic books out there to give you ideas, but ultimately it's a bit of trial and error until you find what works for you. I loved the book we used in my management class because it presented the pros/cons of different approaches very well. If I find it, I'll share the title.
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  4. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Dec 24, 2007
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    Jun 15, 2021

    Lesson Plan - consider Madeline Hunter’s Lesson Design model:

    1) Anticipatory Set (How will you focus student’s attention at the beginning of the lesson?)
    2) Objective/Purpose (Why is this important? What will the students be able to do at the end of the lesson?)
    3) Input (How will you delivery the skill/concept so students understand?)
    4) Modeling (Demonstrate - Watch me. Now you do it.)
    5) Checking For Understanding (How will you check students to find out if they understand?)
    6) Guided Practice (How will you help students while they are working on their own?)
    7) Closure(How will students show they understand the lesson?)
    8) Independent Practice* (How will students work on their own without help? * often confused with #6)

    As Viola_x_ stated Lesson Design is not something one has to do all the time. Hunter has admitted it’s not practical to include every element in every lesson. What some consider important about a grasp of LD is when a lesson bombs or excels having something to self-critique; to backtrack and pick out those elements that worked or went south. Without this knowledge it’s often throw your hands up … “I know something went wrong. I’m just not sure what?”
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  5. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

    Feb 21, 2012
    Likes Received:

    Jun 16, 2021

    Your comments should be a lesson for anyone thinking about teaching without going through a rigorous teacher training course at an accredited college or university. It brings into question the efficacy of the administrator who hired a teacher with alternative certification.

    That said, you should contact the other second grade teacher and ask if you can mirror his or her plans for this next year. Pretty much do what that teacher does with some modifications.
    Some teachers are sensitive about other teachers "copying" them. They won't want to share so much. If that's the case, you might want to bail and enroll in a teacher education course of study.

    If the teacher is willing to share, you can "make it worth their while" by taking their playground duties or offering to do the prep work for both classes.

    If you are lucky, a confident, generous teacher will be happy to share and mentor a rookie without any expectations of rewards.
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Apr 29, 2008
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    Jun 16, 2021

    I have had the same thoughts and wonder why anyone would put themselves through the stress of teaching for the first time without the necessary preparation. Some alternate programs might be thorough but I doubt most of them are.

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