New Teacher: Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Teachings4Me, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Jul 10, 2010

    Well, I've made the big move from Michigan to North Carolina for my first teaching position and I'm gearing up for the upcoming school year. Now... where to begin? I've been reading many teacher resources including Harry Wong's The First Days of Schools and checking these boards frequently, but what else should/could I be doing? Before I moved, I had been collecting children's books (from garage sales, used book sales, etc.) and have a decent collection, although a bit on the small side, for my classroom library. I've begun picking up a few organizational items here and there (like red, white, and blue baskets that Walmart had on sale, $2 for a set of 3.) but I don't know what to do next. It's a brand new charter school and we're not meeting until the first of August to discuss curriculum so I can't even begin planning if I wanted to... and did I mention, I may or may not be teaching third grade. The school director isn't 100% sure where she wants to place me. Although I'm totally flexible, it'd be nice to know. ;) So I guess my questions are:

    *How should I be using my time? What should I focus on? (I've begun designing my classroom rules and procedures....) Besides unpacking and setting up my new place, I have zero obligations.

    *What classroom items are necessities? What should I keep my eye out for?

    *How much should I spend? What should be my target budget? From what I understand, there will be a "supply closet" for basics, but what should I be spending my own money on?

    *Any tips for new teachers?

    Thank you all in advance. You've all been so helpful in the past and I'm so appreciative! :thanks:
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 10, 2010

    Well, for starters, there's the question of a wardrobe. Most college kids don't have a real professional wardrobe, so you may want to start getting that stuff together. Know that the definiton of "professional" varies widely. But you probably can't go wrong with some long flowy skirts (I'm assuming you're female:) ) and some colored T's.
     
  4. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Oh great idea.... I had some foresight with that and asked for "teacher clothes" for the past couple of Christmases... just need a few staple items for the hotter weather. Thanks!

    (and yes, I'm female ;) )
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 10, 2010

    I bet your family back home is seeing some great sales on summer clothes right now-- stuff they could ship down and that you could get some use out of long after it's too cold in Michigan.
     
  6. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Jul 10, 2010

    Another great idea! You certainly are a wealth of knowledge :)
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nope-- just a mom who SOON has to get her kids something to wear to school for those first few warm days, when all that's out in the store at that point is sweaters :)

    Besides, I'm going back and forth between work and here. This is my reward for accomplishing something.
     
  8. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Jul 10, 2010

  9. teacherlissa

    teacherlissa Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2010

    If you haven't looked at Beth Newingham's site, I would definitely go there to get ideas on how you may want to teach the different subjects (even though you don't have a grade level just yet) and to also see how she sets up her classrooom library. The classroom library is a must and it takes a long time to organize. She has printable things to assist. You can just google "Beth Newingham". And you will probably be overwhelmed...everytime I view her site, I am in awe.
     
  10. Mrs.Schwartz

    Mrs.Schwartz Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2010

    I also just landed my first teaching position, so I'm in a similar boat as you are. I have spent my time this summer, so far, (re)reading The Cornerstone book by Angela Powell. I cannot rave about this book enough, it's wonderful for organization/procedures and she brings up things that I never would have thought about until it was too late. I would suggest reading it and writing down your plans for every single procedure in your classroom. Find a list online and try to think about everything - sharpening pencils, passing out papers, what to do about lost papers, snacks, going to get water... EVERYTHING. It's def keeping me busy! And enjoy! Congrats!!
     
  11. TeachinHicks

    TeachinHicks Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2010

    Congrats on your new position! Welcome to the lovely state of NC! I've been here for 3 years, going on my 4th. Read up on the standard course of study. learnnc has tons of cool resources. There are new math standards that go into practice this year, it is a transition year so we'll be teaching the old and new, but the EOG will be only on the old. As far as supplies, I always stock up on pencils, folders, and that kind of stuff. I'm always looking for organizational things like crates and stuff that walmart is putting out now.
    Best of Luck to you!
     
  12. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Jul 10, 2010

    Congrats on your move to NC! I am born and raised here and also a first year teacher as well! I would suggest checking out thrift stores in your area. Very budget friendly and you find neat things that can give your room a little culture or homey feel thats a little different as well as find supplies.

    -I have begin to type up my Bio/welcome letter that I will give to parents on open house night,
    -school supplies list,
    -questionnaire about getting to know their child,
    -its a prek/kindergarten class so something on fears and preparing for school.
    -i printed out the standard course of study and look over that often

    main thing i have started a notebook and write down all of my questions, thoughts, and ideas... as well as lessons and activities and organize it all into a binder. This has helped a lot so I can just add to it as I see necessary. I have just upgraded from a 1.5in notebook to a 3in notebook!
     
  13. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Jul 10, 2010

    Thank you everyone! I've started a notebook for all my ideas and notes..

    Please keep the tidbits coming!
     
  14. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Jul 12, 2010

    Bump :)
     
  15. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Jul 12, 2010

    I bet you're going to find LOTS of transplants at your school :) In my hall, out of 8 teachers 6 of us were from up North: RI (me), Ohio, and Michigan.

    If you're teaching in grades 3 and up your kids will be taking either the EOG (3-5) or the EOC (6+) and they're a BIG deal here. I'd recommend making a spreadsheet to keep track of things. I used it all year. I had room for:
    • 9 week assessment scores (I hear most counties have them)
    • Last year's EOG score
    • What grade they were retained
    • Check boxes for IEP's or if the student is GT
    • Etc.
    I used it all year, and it was very handy. I second LearnNC, that website is great. I wish I'd known about it my 1st year!

    I'd also start planning for your first few days, stuff like rules/expectations, icebreakers, etc.

    I made up some forms last year for parents to fill out about their child. It was very handy. PM me if you want it.
     
  16. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jul 12, 2010

    Look at the Whole Brain Teaching forum on this site. There are some videos of teachers using the program at all different levels.

    How about making a rules poster? That wouldn't matter what grade level you have. (Respect yourself, respect others, respect the school, ...)

    I have a file on Word called "Brainstorming". I cut and paste a lot of ideas onto it, and constantly go back and look at it.
     
  17. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 12, 2010

    Congrats on your position and the move. I moved from Boston to Florida for my first job so I know how you must be feeling.

    I had put together a site for teachers a couple summers ago. There may be some ideas to help you: Here's the link as well as my blog.

    I know you are anxious to get working on school. However, speaking from someone who was in your position and knowing what I know now I would suggest spending the time getting to know your area and networking to meet people. Once school starts it will be easy to be consumed by that and it's hard to find the time to make your new location feel like a home. It's important to be sure you are happy and well-adjusted so that you can be successful in the classroom

    Best of luck and congrats!
     
  18. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Jul 14, 2010

    Thanks Iheartrecess. I definitely need to start meeting people. I've been here since the first and I'm really starting to crave human contact.... :/ Also, thanks for the links, I will definitely check them out!
     
  19. MoreToLearn

    MoreToLearn Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I would recommend reading Debbie Miller's Reading with Meaning. It's a great book that outlines how she uses readers workshop throughout the year. It was recommended to me by my cooperating teacher for student teaching because she used it as her guide. I absolutely loved it!
     

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