Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday!

I'm joining the Linky party over at Blog Hoppin'. As a teacher entering my third year teaching first grade, I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask for advice; on the other hand, it's amazing what you can learn in a relatively short time! And I'm so happy to help new teachers because I was just there. Here are my words of wisdom to a new teacher:

1. It is easier to start the year off with a stricter face, and then back down later in the year then it is to start off too nice and have to tighten the reigns later in the year. I'm not saying you need to be mean, but I have found it useful to be direct, clear, and business like from Day 1. 

2. It is important to build trust with your students. Take the extra time to do a Morning Meeting each day and don't cut out the team bonding activities. I find it useful to do a few of these games throughout the week, especially in the beginning of the year. It is crucial that your students trust you as well as each other. I tell my students I trust them (until they give me a reason not to) and love them all the time. The First Six Weeks of School is a great resource for new teachers because it gives example lesson plans for the first 6 weeks of school. These 6 weeks are the crucial window where you need to spend a lot of time teaching routines and procedures. I highly recommend this book for all new teachers!

3. Sit down and right out your policies and procedures for each part of the day before school starts. Over at Clutter Free Classroom you can find a great resource to help teachers think about all of the different elements in a day that require specific procedures and expectations. After you write your own procedures manual, take the time to plan out direct lessons where you model and reinforce each of them. It takes some front loading, but I promise it will make your life easier!

4. Laugh with you students! I have found kids love to see their teacher's true personality. I'm big on sharing feelings so students see that their actions affect those around them, even their teacher! It's amazing how good a child feels when their teacher smiles at them!

I have loved writing this entry because it is nice to reflect on the things you have learned. It's easy to get bogged down in all the aspects of teaching you have yet to perfect. But I suppose "perfect" may never happen! 

To see the other linky entries hop on over to Blog Hoppin!

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