New teacher! Where do I begin?? Please help!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Birdie86, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2015

    Some of you'll know I was just for hired as a kinder teacher in a district where I live in texas! I'm so excited! I got hired last Monday, signed my contract today, and I have a new teacher orientation next week and a 3 day teacher training in early aug. I'm SO happy I got hired early so I can prepare, however, I'm so overwhelmed because I don't even know where to begin! I want to start buying/planning but I (as a new hire) can't even see my room/go into my school until Aug 6. We don't start school until the 24 of aug and my first day is the 17. So I have no idea what my room looks like, what they already provide, etc. I need some help on how to get started. What do y'all recommend doing first?? I feel like I have all this time but don't know what to do with it or where to begin. I basically have nothing to start me off either. I've been teaching prek outside the district but the center provided everything and I didn't have to buy a single thing. I'm thinking of so many things like my room, supplies, materials, furniture, COST!!, meet the teacher preparation, etc etc. does it have to be this overwhelming?? What is your advice?
     
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  3. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    Jul 13, 2015

    Start getting books for your library for sure.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 13, 2015

    Look up your standards. Get contact information for your teammates, and contact them. Start figuring out your procedures and routines.
     
  5. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 13, 2015

    You probably won't have to buy any furniture unless your room doesn't have any storage.

    For now, focus on learning your TEKS and building your class library. Decide how you want to sort your library and how you want to store it. You might ask the principal for the contact information for your team leader or your mentor. This is typically the P's vacation time do you may not hear back soon.

    Your team/school may have set rules and discipline plan, but you can start thinking about your procedures that will be needed to run your room.

    For decorating, pick some colors that you think will work for many years. I use blue and green. When you spend money on bins and storage materials, you don't want to have to keep buying or painting them every year.
     
  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 13, 2015

    I was typing when you posted this but it's almost identical advice. Great minds think alike!
     
  7. Stlteach89

    Stlteach89 Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2015

    I have tons of books a retiring reading specialists gave so I've been organizing my library and making sure I have what I need for my expectations, routines, and management. If you don't have a lot of books yet you can get some through Scholastic or yard sales. I also went into the Google drive in my school gmail and printed report cards for each subject and all the standards I must teach each term so I have an idea of what I will be teaching. We also use Build Your Own Curriculum but I don't know much about it yet. It's a topic covered at orientation. My secretaries go back to work Monday, so on Monday I'm going to pop in and see if I can get a room key and start sizing up my room and getting ideas for the layout. I'm in your position and my advice is remember that as nervous or lost you might feel, you aren't alone. I am new and many others on here are. Also you (hopefully) will have a really supportive team in your new school. My new teacher orientation is August 3-7 and kids come August 13th and I still havent been able to get into the building yet. Hopefully Monday. Even now I still feel somewhat lost and nervous too. Since I start before you, I'll let you know if I survive! Congrats on your new position!
     
  8. Stlteach89

    Stlteach89 Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2015

    Oh and also I learned looking at the teacher blogs gives good ideas, but don't feel like your room has to be beautiful and perfect like those classrooms this year. Just have the basics you'll need for your classroom (expectations, procedures, management, library, etc.) and I am planning on the rest falling in place as far as classroom decor goes.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 16, 2015

    I agree to start getting your classroom library put together. I would also check with your grade-level leader or teachers at your grade-level on any pacing/curriculum guides you might have. Getting a head start on understanding the expectations and curriculum will help prepare you. :)
     
  10. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2015

    Oh my goodness, congrats as well! Have you been in contact with your principal yet? Last time I spoke to mine was during my interview. HR offered me the position, so I haven't gotten to speak with her. I hope you're able to get in to see your room. You're lucky you have your library! I have now been buying books here and there but gosh it's getting expensive just for books and I don't even have my supplies/materials/decor yet! I love reading teacher blogs! They're going to be a great resource during the year but as I've read through several recently, I see how MUCH they have and how BEAUTIFUL their rooms are, and it overwhelms me! Makes me feel like mine has to be just like that from the start. I see what all they have and all I don't have and it makes me so nervous. I want to see my room asap too so I can start brainstorming ideas and then I think it'll be a lot easier for me. Wow your orientation is so close to the start of school for you! I was told by hr I get to see mine on the 6th but...maybe I can try to go in sooner since office staff in my district comes back the 28th of July. Let me know if you're able to get in early and how everything goes when you start school!!
     
  11. Birdie86

    Birdie86 Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2015

    I have a library in progress now! I have a ways to go, but I'm trying to balance because it's getting quite expensive and I don't even have materials or decor yet! How did you guys do it your first year? I'm so worried it'll be bland at the start :/. I don't know how to contact my team yet. The schools in my district are closed until the 28th. I haven't been in contact with anyone but HR since my interview. My new teacher academy starts in early aug where they cover curriculum and all that. It'll give me a few weeks until school starts after that to get familiar and an early start with that.

    Now that my library is in progress, and I just have to wait until my orientation/academy to find out more and go to my school. I'm a bit lost at what to do now. I'm thinking up how I want to do my centers and math block, but it's hard because I can't get or make any material for it until I see the curriculum :(

    Also...I am just curious about what ways you collaborate as a team where you're at. Do you have a team theme or are you able to come up with your own classroom theme, and does your team do the same activities/lessons or is that individualized as well?
     
  12. CMcFL

    CMcFL Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2015

    I have all the same questions and worries that you do! I will be teaching kindergarten in the fall as a first time teacher....having been a stay at home mom for 13 years! I am very excited about teaching, but have so many questions!

    I wish I could start planning my behavioral management system, but I am unsure if the teachers all adopt the same plan...or if we are free to come up with our own system. Same with the first day routine.....as I would like to plan in advance and get an idea of what I will be doing. I have a new teacher orientation for 3 days next week, but I believe that is mostly about county policy, incident reporting, human resources...ect. I was told we can begin setting up our classrooms the first week of August, but our first day back is the 17th.....with orientation on the 18th.....and school beginning the following Monday. I have not seen my classroom or met any of the teachers yet.

    As for a library, I need to go up in the attic and find all of my children's books that I stored away for teaching......plus start searching for yard sales! I also want to start planning a classroom theme....so I can make decor for the classroom, but I am unsure if this is up to the teacher or planned among the grade.....so we all match.

    So many questions!! Best of luck to you!! One thing is for sure....we will have an exciting year!
     

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