I am a huge believer in helping others! As a veteran teacher I try to be as helpful to new or newer teachers as I know what it is like to be in their shoes not too many moons ago. Although I already linked up last week, I find that imparting loving words of advice is important because I know I wanted to know ALL I could know before I started teaching! I wanted to know what to expect, all the good and bad, everything!
So this weekend I am linking up with Latoya Reed from Flying Into First Grade
Here is my advice for you, my sweet new teachers!!
1. A good pencil sharpener will save you loads of time! I swear to you that there were times I wanted to pull my hair out. What pencil sharpener do I have in my class, you ask? Well, I have the Classroom Friendly's Supply's Quietest Pencil Sharpener:
It gives a great pencil point! I mean, yes, it is a crank pencil sharpener but it you cannot beat the pencil point. I also have an electric sharpener for quick sharpens but this is my go-to one a really long lasting point!
2. I am sure you heard this a MILLION times, but being prepared is a must! Now if you know me and have been reading my posts, you by now, know my sense of humour! There is nothing worse than being caught with the proverbial "pants down" when it comes to lesson planning and materials! To have those little faces looking at you when you have 10 minutes left in a lesson and nothing to do! Or you miscounted and needed 16 necklaces and you have 10! They get squirrelly (the primary kids do-- heck! The big kids do, too! LOL) really fast! I always had a crate (with the days of the week in hanging folders) or paper tray and as the copies I ordered came in, I would file them in. I also would take out my files for the week with the lessons and activity samples and place them in there for the next 2 weeks so I would know what I was working on.
3. This is important! Never gossip about your kiddos because EARS are EVERYWHERE! You never know who's listening! Enough said on that one!
4. You will find your groove! In the beginning it will seem like you are lost and you want to do what this person is doing and you want your classroom like that person's... As any teacher, you will beg, borrow, and steal! It's our way because we share in everything we do. Your first year will be a year where you will try this. Yay! It worked! Maybe it didn't. Reflect on it and try it again another way!
Of course, I hope that you will ASK for help, find a friend/mentor, share in your triumphs and struggles (sometimes at the end of the day, you will find me and my team in one of our rooms just having a "Girl, I had that KIND of Day! sharing session!! Sometimes we can't wait til the end of the day. Our lunchtime is spend talking about our morning and what worked or didn't work in our lessons!!!) You will find your way and your groove of how you want your classroom to run!
5. Make learning Core driven but fun! With the almost all of the states teaching Common Core, the standards are more rigorous! This video makes me laugh because of the excessive use of "RIGOROUS".. . But in all seriousness.....
Be familiar with the Core Standards and how they drive your curriculum and instruction. Also look at your students. I always try to incorporate lessons that meet their interest level and meet the core standards. I also look at them and think, they are 5 and 6, for goodness sake!!!! They need to have *some* fun, too!
6. Last but not least, Be flexible!!! I always say, "Go with the FLOW!" That is my motto and one I *have* to live by or I will go crazy in my classroom. Normally I am very Type A. I obsess over everything-- did you read about my confessions?? But in my classroom, I have to let go of that a little because classroom is life and "Stuff Happens". You never know. Just gotta roll with it and adjust. Didn't quite finish up a lesson-- ran out of time? Finish it tomorrow. Fire drill went over? School in lock down because of a naked man running down the street in front of your school (honestly that happened one year!)... Whatever you do, keep calm and keep teaching! And if you can't, well then just laugh because some days if you aren't willing to be flexible you will just cry and I hate crying because my make-up will run! LOL!
So, there you have it! Straight talk from me to you! Best of luck to you this year as I know some of you are getting ready to go back. I still have a few more weeks. You will do fabulously! If you want to link up, click on Latoya's Linky badge on top! Have a super week!