What should I tell the new teachers?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Lindsay.Lou, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    I've been asked to talk to my school's crop of incoming new teachers next week. The goal of the meeting is just to give them some advice/tips on the school. They've already had their orientation, so they've got the "big picture." In other words, they've had the tour, they know where the teacher's room is, they know who the important faces are, etc...

    I want to give them the helpful tips that people might not think to tell them. The little stuff, you know? The "hints" that us veterans know (e.g. which copier ALWAYS jams? Where do teachers usually park?)

    Anything you guys can think of? Even the littlest things....

    THANKS!
     
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  3. iluvteachin

    iluvteachin Rookie

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    silly things I can think of... food storage? is there a fridge? microwave? etc.

    how to get supplies?

    I'll keep thinking.
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I had to make transparencies one at a time or the machine would jam so I think a newbie at my campus would want to know that. I worked at a campus for five years before finding out how teachers ordered lunch (I only asked for my st since I always brought my lunch).

    Do you have any tips for managing your school's discipline system? A template for lesson plans?
     
  5. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Where are the faculty bathrooms? Ours aren't in the teacher's room, so they needed to be pointed out to us.

    Is it safe to keep food in your faculty fridge? I always suggest that people bring lunch boxes because the fridge is gross.

    Do you order lunch out on Fridays as a group?


    I'm thinking of things that pertain to my school, but maybe that will get the ball rolling!
     
  6. iluvteachin

    iluvteachin Rookie

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    relationship with the custodian? is it worth developing one with them...?
     
  7. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Do you have an unwritten open door policy? We don't officially have an open door policy, but it is common knowledge that our principal prefers our doors to be open. It's not required, and not really spoken about, but most of the time doors are open....except mine...sorry, pre-k gets noisy LoL.

    Any other "unwritten rules" in your school culture? Make sure the lights are off when you leave your room, because we're very energy conscious? We always lock our doors at the end of the day? We NEVER lock our doors at the end of the day?

    Anything about specific teachers that would make the newbies have less hairy experiences in the first few weeks? Does your librarian hate it when teachers check out books during the day? Is your custodian mean? (Ours is, and everyone told me the first week of school to avoid her at all costs and ask our night custodians if at all possible when I needed things- they saved me from getting on her awful side!) Do you all chip in at the holidays for support staff gifts? Do you have faculty breakfasts that they should be aware of? Will they be expected to fork over money at unexpected times?

    I'm babbling now!
     
  8. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    One thing that I struggle with every time I start at a new school is how to book common resources....how to book the library for class use, how to book mulitmedia (tvs, projectors), how to book the computer labs, etc.
     
  9. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    How do the office staff prefer to communicate...would they rather you make requests/relay information by note or in conversation? (Our director likes us to write notes as reminders and leave them on her desk; the secretary remembers everything we say to her, so a note is unnecessary.) What about communicating with the custodian?
     
  10. missk83

    missk83 Companion

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    I second that! I made it through almost my whole first year w/o using any of those resources. Sounds silly now, but I was scared to ask, didn't want to take the chance of ruffling feathers.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Details about grading - when grades are due, who keeps printouts, who to submit to, etc.

    Copier protocol.

    What to do in emergencies - fire drill and tornado drill is probably in the handbook, but what about other emergencies? What is teacher gets suddenly sick? Who cleans up vomit?

    Bathroom procedures for students.

    Policies for dealing with parents - when they are allowed to be in building, how much time to give them when they don't have appointments, how much access to give (cell #? email address? home #?).

    Kids who bully or are sneaky/sly. Who to separate.
     
  12. missk83

    missk83 Companion

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    I also think you should include some sort of "pep talk" that I bet they didnt get at new member orientation.
    Something along the lines of...know that it will be challenging at times, but there is always someone to talk to, don't be afraid to ask questions, that it takes flexibilty to be a teacher, how rewarding the job is, how fun the job can be (use specific examples).
    My first year was a rollercoaster of emotions. I know now that it's normal to feel that way, but I wish someone would have told me that at the beginning.

    And last (for now at least!)

    Tell them to take lots of pictures,and save especially cute or funny notes/drawings (instead of all of them) :)
     
  13. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Also, I would suggest telling them about your staff. The staff I was with at my last school was a typical elementary school staff. At my new school, they are really like an extended family. Our school is small and the people are fun and genuinely enjoy each other. The way they spoke with each other at our first faculty meeting managed to both put me at ease because they seemed so nice, and alienate me because they were so darn friendly with each other! Make sure you emphasize what your faculty climate is like, and why you guys are so awesome and can't wait for the newbies to join you!
     
  14. teaching4God

    teaching4God Cohort

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    Tell them who to look for and single out on the first day and how to deal with it. Tell them don't be afraid to nip problems in the bud from the get go. If they are new to the grade level give them an idea of how firm they need to be and how much is too much.
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    If you have any holiday traditions (or lack of) that the newbies should know, let them in on them. Does staff usually celebrate holidays with their teams? Do you give gifts to admin and support personnel? Do you have any pot lucks or monthly breakfasts or anything?
     
  16. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    let them know what the school is like with referrals...do they prefer for teachers to handle things on their own, or write them? Are there things they should know to do first? (we have one AP that if you don't write on every single referral - even if it's the 10th for a particular student - that you called home and gave a teacher detention for the issue before, will simply send the referral back with instructions to do so.)

    I second the supplies, library, and A/V information!

    Might I suggest (if you are willing): my school does a monthly after school meeting for new teachers. It's a chance to go over any questions/issues that came up, as well as to look at the upcoming month's calendar, so we know what's going on and the little things we should be forewarned about - like what happens during Spirit Week, the insanity of end-of the year, what we should do before Winter Break, etc. I really thought it was a great idea, and pretty helpful.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Policies about field trips--who books, how often, what is or isn't allowed.
    Dismissal and bus procedures.
    Concerts and assemblies--who is responsible for planning.
    Clubs and sports teams--what is offered and what needs a staff person to step up and take charge.
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Who to go to if you have a problem with....(different issues)
     
  19. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    How to log into your email. People forgot to tell our newbies this and I had two out of three of them ask me this week.
     
  20. janney

    janney Cohort

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    Let them know what to expect the first week to look like. Should they expect a lot of changes to their rosters the first few days of school. Is it a waste of time to label things with the students' names because there will be so many kids who won't come or who will come randomly throughout the week?
     
  21. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    GREAT suggestions! Thanks so much everyone!

    (I should add: these "new" teachers are just new to the school, none of them are first year teachers.)
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Where can the find the forms they need? Where is supply closet? What are your ordering procedures? What kinds of things can you typically order? Who is responsible for what assessments? Do you have blue jean Fridays? When is payday?
     
  23. taryn_liz

    taryn_liz Rookie

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    Remind them to go home...as a new teacher, I have a fellow teacher that tells me to go home if I stay to late and she notices. Also, what does the nurse like (our nurse won't see a kid unless they have a note with them). Also, how buses and all that works...at my school it's so crazy, if you weren't prepped, you'd be lost. Don't grade every paper. I started to, but fell so far behind in even 2 weeks, that now I just look, stamp, and send back. Also things like office supplies...our secretaries provide us with them. And don't stress out if it's the 2nd week and your class still isn't "perfect." I started to, but then realized that everyone else's classes were just as rowdy still. Maybe those are just one's that I thought were helpful as a first year teacher.
    Oh, and how the copier works!
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I groaned because just as I was figuring out our old copier, we just got a new one. I'm so helpless with copiers.
     
  25. Mr.MiddleSchool

    Mr.MiddleSchool Comrade

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    I am a new teacher myself at my school. Some things that I would like to know are...

    Phone systems (if your school has phones in each classroom/how to set codes, voicemails, etc.)
    Electronic grade books (do certain teams set up their gradebook the same? is there specific 'weights' for items/subjects)
    Teacher only bathrooms
    The "go to" people-- the teachers and adminstration members that actually WILL get things done/taken care of
    Incident/Referal Reporting (is there a place on the school server where they can fill out a form, etc.)
    Lunch duty (you or a teacher on their team might want to have lunch duty with them to show them what is expected, how it is traditionally done)

    those are just some ideas.

     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    common acronyms your school uses
     

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