New Teacher....where do i begin?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Sherry Downen, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Sherry Downen

    Sherry Downen New Member

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    Jul 1, 2019

    I just accepted my first teaching position. New teacher orientation is 3 weeks away and the first day of school is 4. I need advice on what are important things to have in my classroom. For example, what are some classroom items, decor that you have felt were important and some that were not. Any help is appreciated.
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 1, 2019

    What will you be teaching?
     
  4. Sherry Downen

    Sherry Downen New Member

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    Jul 1, 2019

    7th grade math
     
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  5. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Jul 1, 2019

    Become familiar with your state standards and district curriculum before you buy too many things.
     
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  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Jul 1, 2019

    Congratulations! I taught 6th grade math last year (my first year) so here are a few things you may want to think about:

    -Organizational Systems: You want to think about organizational systems for yourself and your students. For the students, they definitely need a spot to turn in late work, work if they were absent, etc. I bought stackable trays from walmart and they held up nicely and the kids knew to turn in late work to the tray. This is important because you do not want kids to hand work to you directly. I also had a vertical wall file where I put extra handouts for absent students. I know some teachers have kids pick up handouts on their way into class, etc. You also want to think about how you want your kids to organize (ex. binders, folders, notebooks, or the kids can choose). I am probably going to try using notebooks next year.

    -Decor: I did not use a ton of decor and it wasn't a big deal. The room will fill up and look nice quickly. I printed the standards for mathematical practice posters in color and got them laminated to put up. I also have a number line that I put on top of the board. I think you should definitely get or print a number line for 7th grade. I received mine for free but you can find one online to print on colored cardstock and get it laminated at Lakeshore. Other than that, my school provided chart paper so the only thing I put on the bulletin boards was anchor charts about topics we are learning. I bought letters from Lakeshore to spell "What are we learning?" and put two anchor charts underneath. I covered bulletin boards with black paper. It was provided by my school, but next year I am going to buy black plastic tablecloths for bulletin boards. I would wait to buy this or border until you see your classroom. Colored bins, colored trays will add color to your classroom. When you get to your room, you may want to figure out where you will post your objectives, agenda, homework assignments etc. I liked using painter's tape to create this space. Student work is also great decor and the kids love it.

    - Things that you will have to purchase for your classroom will depend on your school and what they provide so I would wait. Last year, I was basically told that a ton of my kids would not come with supplies so I went to freecycle for used binders. My school provided the basics but they were low quality so sometimes I bought my own. I did have to purchase markers, colored pencils, and pencils which were my main expenses. I also like expos so I bought a pack of those instead of the cheap markers the school provided. I do not like spending too much on consumables.

    -Do you know if your school provides a curriculum? For middle school math, I often supplemented using open up resources and match fishtank. Both websites are free. I also highly recommend betterlesson.com. You can find a 7th grade math teacher and they post their entire curriculum for free. Once you find a teacher you like, you can modify their lessons to use.

    I recommend getting some grading pens, mechanical pencils, a lunch box and a teacher bag. I also like using a paper planner so I got one too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    The things I’ve used the most were the things I bought after I saw the need for them. When I have tried to anticipate what I needed, I didn’t buy as many useful things.
     
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  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 2, 2019

    Choose two colors that you will like forever and that work well together. If you have bulletin boards in your room, buy fabric for your boards so you won’t have to buy any other background for about ten years. The fabric will probably still look good, but you’ll get tired of it after a decade. If you see that you need to buy any storage or other things, get them in one of your colors or clear.

    Get a calendar. I got a Happy Planner teacher edition. I use the weekly pages to document attendance, behavior issues, and parent contacts. I do my actual lesson plans digitally. I use the month spread to put deadlines, meetings, and other things I cannot forget. There are some on TPT as well if you want to make your own.

    Get a teacher bag, a lunch box, and a set of your favorite pens.

    Then stop buying stuff for a while.

    Spend more time than money the next three weeks. Decide how you are going to keep your documentation, extra copies, late work, sub folder, graded papers that need to be passed back, turned in work, the myriad of forms each campus loves to have, papers that need to be graded, computer files, and data organized. Learn your standards forwards and backwards. If you have access to curriculum, decide how you want to structure your class periods. Look into parent communication apps and decide which one you want to use unless your site already has made the decision for you.
     
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  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I agree with getting a good teacher bag and a lunch box. Beyond that, I’d wait. Some schools have weird rules about classroom decor, and/or they micromanage how you do your lesson plans. I would just wait until your orientation before you buy anything other than your personal items that you plan to carry back and forth between school and home.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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  10. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Jul 2, 2019

    When I first started I got: a good planner, a set of good pens, a simple organizational system for my desk,and a good stapler/3-hole punch/tape dispenser for my own use. I still have and use all of it today 7 years later with the exception of the planner/pens (I get new ones every year) and the stapler (I dropped it last year and broke it!) Get what you need for yourself to keep yourself organized and everything else can wait.

    ETA: I second the teacher bag and lunch box. I didn't have to purchase it though because my cooperating teacher during student teaching gifted me a set. I've switched mine up over the years, but I always have something.
     
  11. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Jul 9, 2019

    I agree. It will be easier to know if you need to purchase anything after you become more familiar with the school's procedures, equipment, and expectations. As TeacherinTexas suggested, I've also used fabric background for my bulletin boards. I chose a neutral light blue color that matched just about anything. Personally, I prefer flannel material, so that I can temporarily use flannelgraph images during lessons (not often, but nice to have when appropriate); I also like the soft visual texture of the flannel. I'd highly recommend Wet Ones hand wipes. They come in handy for almost any emergencies and provide a quick sanitizing hand wipe for the teacher when needed. I got mine for "half price" by snipping off only half a wipe as needed. For math, hula hoops come in handy as a visual aid or manipulative, such as in Venn diagrams. I always kept a radio in my room for my own use during my personal planning time; of course, now I've joined the space age--I have my Tune In app playing while I'm typing.
     

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