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Tips for the New Teacher

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Tips for New Teachers

 

  • If at all possible, make arrangements to set up your room before the first week teachers are scheduled to return. The first week back is filled with meetings, training, and procedures that will keep you from setting up the room.
  • I highly recommend that you read Spaces and Places by Debbie Diller before you set up your room.
  • Keep it simple! You can always add decorations as you go.
  • Keep it safe! Make sure that movement is not restricted, and that there is nothing that can fall and hurt a student. Clutter and stacking are not only unsightly, they are also unsafe.
  • An effective teacher does not have time to sit at the desk except when the students are out of the classroom.
    Place your desk in an area that does not take up valuable space. You might consider not even having a teacher desk.
  • Most teachers are willing to share and help you get started, so take them up on whatever they offer.
  • The focus in your room decorations and set up should be to display the work of your students.

Mission  and Vision Statements

  • All schools have a mission statement that helps guide the purpose and aim of the school. Create your own mission statement, added with a vision statement. Your mission statement will define your purpose and aim for teaching the children in your classroom.  Your vision statement will set the values and actions on your part that will help you attain your purpose. Combine the two statements.
  • Example: My purpose is to guide each student on the road of success and develop lifelong learning skills by providing a nurturing, respectful, high quality learning environment.

Professional Relationships

  • Find the positive people on your grade level team. (Hopefully that will be the entire team!)
  • If a mentor is not provided to you, ask someone if they would be your mentor
  • Listen and be open to any positive advice that is shared by veteran teachers.
  • Ask questions! Ask for help! Be proactive and do not let things pile up on you.
  • Let your team members or mentor know if you are feeling overwhelmed. You will realize that you are not alone in feeling overwhelmed at times.
  • Have confidence in your own ideas and offer to integrate your ideas with that of the team. Successful teachers are always searching for new ideas.
  • When you are presented ideas in workshops or inservices, choose one idea that you think you can implement. Choose one that would be good for the children in your class.
  • Keep these words out of your mind set: “The kids can’t…,
  • Keep this thought instead: “What else can I do or what can I change in order to help this student…?”

Communication with Parents

  • Take the time to set up contact at the onset of the school year, before the date for scheduled conferences, progress reports, or report cards.
  • This can be done by:
    mailing postcards after the first week of school
    writing positive notes in the communication folders that go home each day
    calling a few parents each day of the first week
  • During orientation, ask parents to let you know the best manner in which to communicate
  • Never write anything negative or detailed in an email or letter. Request a face to face conference to discuss any problems.
  • Do not respond in writing to any angry communication from a parent. Request a face to face conference to address any problems.
  • Always listen to the parents and let them talk without interruption.
  • At orientation, I usually ask parents to answer these four questions:

How do you define success for your child this year?
What are your educational expectations for your child this year?
How do you define the role of the teacher for your child’s school experience?
How do you define your role as the parent in your child’s school experience?

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