Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

Today Blog Hoppin' is encouraging us to share our advice for new teachers. I always laugh when I think back to my first year teaching because I spent time on all the wrong things. My best friend and I call them First Year Stupids (things we did that first year that we would never do now).

*Tell parents cute/funny things that their kids did or said. As a mom, I know how cool my kids are, but when one of their teachers tells me something funny, I know their unique personalities are being appreciated in their classrooms. This goes hand in hand with parent communication. Building a relationship with parents makes it easier when you do have to talk to them about something difficult.

*Read some books just for fun! I'm all about using children's literature to teach all kinds of concepts, but sometimes it is fun to just enjoy books with your class. It shows you value reading, it lets the kids in on who you are as a reader, and it creates such a sense of family in your classroom. We call this, "Start the day with a story." I love when my class develops inside jokes around books we've read. For example, after reading Pete the Cat, you may encourage a kid who is upset to, "keep walking along and singing your song..."

*Always do the Scholastic book order! Or whatever the equivalent is in your area. The books are really cheap and you can usually earn bonus points that you can trade in for more books! I think I've only missed one month of doing the book order in my 13 years of teaching!

*Take lots of pictures and share them with parents! I guess this goes back to the first one, but it makes the parents so excited when they get pictures of their children. I also think it shows that you value each family unit. Many parents just cannot volunteer at school or be present all the time and taking pictures for them is such a huge blessing! Since I'm a teacher, I often cannot be at my son's events- back to school night, first day, etc. My husband goes, but it's just different, so I love when his teachers take the time to take pictures for me!

*Realize that each child is in your room for a very special reason. At least, I believe this. I found a great quote on Pinterest: "Love me when I least deserve it, for that is when I really need it." That's usually true!

What advice would you give a new teacher?


Unknown said...

Scholastic Book Clubs! Great idea!! I totally forgot about that. It's one of the best ways to build your library. My mom even earned an Apple computer with all of the points she saved!

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