In my myriad of roles at work, I get to work with new teachers often. When I saw this topic I thought what a great opportunity! Here’s my best new teacher ideas.
- Plan. As I work with more and more teachers I am absolutely astounded at the number of teachers who don’t have a thoughtful lesson plan. It’s not ok. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” It’s amazing how a little thought will have effects on any number of classroom issues.
- Use your textbook. Throwing out that textbook is quite sexy right now. Sure it might seem like all the cool kids are ditching their textbook, but right now, as a new teacher- hold onto that book. Get your bearings first. When I was at the CLTA Summer Seminar I saw someone had a sticky on their computer that something like, “Use the textbook and supplement the f%^k out of it.” Try that.
- Two Hour Limit. When I did my student teaching my master teacher told me that she tried never to work more than two hours extra per day. This has always stuck in my head as a personal check. It is easy to spend hours after school getting ready and planning, but balance is key to being healthy.
- Find a role model. On any campus there’s a variety of characters. Look at who they are and why. Who has the respect of the leaders? How are the leaders moving the campus and students forward? Are there bullies who push everyone into accepting their ideas? Who are the grumpy grouchy grumblers? Who do you want to be?
- Remember our impact. Every day we have the ability to impact a child positively or negatively. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the things we have to do. It’s worth remembering that we are in the business of people and students are people. Kindness and fairness go a long way towards creating a lasting impact.