Sunday, June 9, 2013

5 Tips for New Teachers

Hi!  It's Ari from The Science Penguin.
If you are a new teacher, welcome!  This is post was written just for you!
I have been teaching for five years, which is long enough to pick up some tips and tricks, but not so long that I forgot what it was like my first year teaching.  Also, I changed schools and grade levels last year, so I got a little reminder of all the things to remember when you are preparing for those kids to show up the first day.
I like to seem pretty "with it" the first day because then the kids know we don't waste time and I know EXACTLY what is going on.
Here are some organization tips for the first day of school.  A little planning goes a long way!

1. Not all students will bring all supplies.  Find out what the norm is at your school and be prepared with extras.  You don't want to be labeling things the first day when half of your class has nothing.  The Back 2 School sales are a great time to stock up and if you're lucky, you may have some money from the school to get basic supplies.

2. Go through the supply list your school/ district/ grade level uses and figure out what exactly your plan is for each item.  If you plan to collect glue bottles, then make sure you have a basket to hold all of it nearby.

3. Have something on the children's desk to do when they arrive.  An easy About Me page, word search, or coloring page (make sure to have crayons available) are a good way to get started.  You can make a packet that you can have the kiddos work on while you take care of housekeeping needs.

4. Make First Day Bags.  I use gallon bags and include EVERYTHING they will need for organizing and labeling that day.
In the bag: sharpened pencil with cap eraser, notebook and folder labels, bookmark, nametag, folders that I'm providing, classroom procedures page, welcome letter for parents, word search/coloring packet, and supply checklist
{I wrote about my Welcome Baggies on my blog last year.}

5. I make about 5 extra First Day Bags for students who come in later in the year.  It is VERY helpful.  While we are labeling and setting up folders and notebooks, I make extras for the bags.  Most of the time, I haven't had students bring supplies when starting school mid-year, so this way it's ready and they can get started with the class.  :)

If you have any advice for new teachers, PLEASE comment below.
If you new teachers have any questions, PLEASE ask!  :)

22 comments:

  1. Plan EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE- and have way more on your schedule than you might actually get to that day. It's better to have too much to do than to find yourself with five minutes of downtime- that's just long enough to stop the flow and the kids can get talkative. Keep it very structured and have your materials ready and at your fingertips!

    -I like to wear a little apron the first few days full of pencils, sticky notes, Sharpie, etc so I don't have to walk back to my desk to find things :)

    Kelly
    Koonce’s Korner

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    1. I completely agree! I was not prepared for how fast Kindergarteners go through stuff last year, and that killed it for me!

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  2. LOVE the apron idea! Definitely don't want to be scrambling for the small things.

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  3. Don't forget it will take a full six weeks for your new students to learn your procedures and routines. I'd heard this all throughout college and student teaching thinking surely it should take a few weeks at the most. Spend the time to go over procedures and routines as much as needed that first six weeks and you'll save yourself TONS of time and potential headaches in the future!

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  4. Thanks for the great tips!I am starting my first year teaching in Kindergarten this year and this is great advice to remember! :)

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  5. this is good stuff. i will be teaching 6th grade this year

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  6. OMG! I love this idea! I'm so glad I found it. I love bloggin but I always wished I could find more Texas related activities...of course we are the only ones in the country who don't do common core, leave it to us to do our own thing! I look forward to contributing to the second grade stuff.

    Dixie
    Teachin' Little Texans

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  7. As each student comes into your room, after you greet them make sure to ask how they are going home. That way, if they aren't sure, you have a whole day to figure it out instead of panicking at the end of the day. Also, make sure that you start the dismissal process at least 45 min to an hr before you need to be out of your door. That way things will be as calm as possible and not rushed and you can go over your end of the day procedures. If there is extra time leftover, make sure to have an end of the day read aloud ready to go.

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  8. I love this blog! I teach 2nd grade in Virginia, and like Dixie mentioned, sometimes it's frustrating browsing through blogs when everything is common core and your state is not! My advice is to talk with other teachers to learn basic school procedures that most everyone seems to know (except you!). Walk through your entire day before the kids come to make sure you've got a plan in place. When I switched schools a few years ago, I had no idea which of 3 doors to use when bringing my kiddos into the cafeteria. It doesn't seem like a big deal, unless you have 24 little anxious ducklings following your every move! If there is a hallway procedure (stay in the 2nd block over, stop at each corner, etc.) it's good to know, so you won't have to reteach things the kids already know.

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  9. Howdy Fellow Texan! I am here to nominate you for the Liebster blogging award!! Here is some info about the Liebster Award!

    JoAn
    Tiny Toes

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  10. I loooove your 5th tip!!! Whenever I get a new student throughout the year I'm scrambling to get everything together and remember everything the student and the family needs :) GREAT idea!!!! I can't believe I didn't think about that before!

    Thanks!
    Sarah

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  11. This is so great. I only wish I had found this 2 years ago. Oh well I'm pinning it for my class this year.

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  12. For your school supplies, it helps to have the bins labeled and where kids can see them. When it's time to put them away the kids themselves can do it and that will give you time to be ready for your next objective. You can also have a check off school supply list ready for parents when they come in and have them it check off!

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    1. I love the check off list for parents when they bring in supplies. This would make life so much easier and will save me time by not having to through everything to see what supplies each students has on hand... Great Idea!

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  13. This is great and I have read some really helpful stuff! I am starting my first year in first grade in a small town in southern Alabama! I have started my teaching blog, and so far just posting pictures of my room! Thanks so much everyone for the tips!! :)

    http://jsquared16.blogspot.com

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  14. What do you think about making a scavenger hunt type game to help students to get oriented with where everything is in the room and learn what to do in different situations (i.e. need to use the restroom during a lesson) ?

    I am a new teacher by the way, and will be teaching 4th grade.

    I was thinking of giving students random partners by pulling names and giving them a clue to start with and have things all over the room. I'd do some type of debriefing after ward to make sure everyone understood everything from the hunt. I'd also like to start with making sure that they understand the purpose of the game.

    Obviously, I don't have too much structure or details to it yet, but please give me any feedback you have! My goal is to try to make learning the room, procedures and rules a little more fun. :)

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  15. Think this is a terrific blog post. Would just like to say, however, that in a state where Common Core is being implemented - the standards don't necessarily dictate that teachers all need to teach the same way - that rests on the teacher's professionalism, depth of knowledge, creativity, and integrity...

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  16. Copy everything. Do not send a note to student/parent unless you copy it first. Documentation is important. Not every parent or student will like you, but make sure they respect you. Take notes and make list of things to do now and things to do later. Make friends with the custodian and bring them a $1 biscuit or tea from McDonald's once and a while. They will go the extra mile to assist. Breathe and remember you have the greatest job in the world. You get to lead young minds down the right path. Good luck and don't forget to pray each morning.

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  17. I just wrote about this today actually in this blog post. I remember what it was like to be so exhausted and overwhelmed! Hang in there.
    http://www.thecandidteacher.com/2013/08/things-i-wish-i-knew-as-a-beginning-teacher.html

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  18. Hello, Great thing to know. Well, I will be teaching after school program in junior high.
    I am not familiar with subjects and what they teach from grade 6 -8. I want to teach math and social study/geography ( something with general knowledge). Do you might know how can I prepare myself on this two subjects? THank You for advice.

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  19. I am just moving from kindergarten to grade 2 ...kinda anxious.... i needed some ideas to handle the first day of school...this is great blog!

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