LITTLE ABOUT CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT for new and experienced teachers:
a secret that is not such a big secret.
management is the most important skill you will need as a teacher.
A new teacher needs a lot of help with this his or her first year,
as a matter of course. You can plan and plan, but until you have
your first class, you will not have a lot of experience with classroom
you have a mentor? Does he or she spend hands-on time with you
sometimes in your classes while you are teaching to show you how
he or she handles classroom problems? If not, you will have a
lot of extra work to do in order to survive your first year. You
may feel unsupported.
teachers around you may all be too busy with their own classes
to help you.
may also have started your year without any lesson plans or instructional
materials. You may not even have a textbook. Your class may be
composed of students who are VERY unmotivated and unmanageable,
even by expert teachers.
can you do? Well, you can make everything from scratch, and try
everything you can think of by yourself. This will be very difficult.
You will be working many more hours after and before school, and
every hour of each weekend with this plan.
will also have to make photocopies of needed materials for the
students, too - - every day! This is on top of other duties you
may be assigned.
also can find a teacher in your school that will help you with
lesson plans, advice, and even planning. Some schools will provide
a mentor for you, but one mentor may not be enough. They may not
teach the way you have been taught, or they might not even teach
your subject. That's why finding somebody to help you in your
department is such a good idea.
you ask other teachers for help, you will hopefully find at least
one person who will volunteer to help you. Maybe they remember
how hard it was for them their first year.
the two of you can come up with a partner-system for classes -
sending hard-to-discipline students to each other during the same
class period, for example.
SOME TEACHERS DO:
teachers who are almost on their own turn to the internet for
planning and advice. Luckily there are some GREAT sites out there
that a new teacher can use. For some new teachers, an online group
or a website is just about all the classroom management help they
will receive their first year, or first semester.
the links at the top left on this page for some internet sites
to help you with classroom management. Some sites even let you
sign up for credit classes. I personally think that the Wongs
are the very best classroom managers ever. Be sure to check out
their books and their web page.
sites may help to rescue you from some bad situations. After all,
who can help a new teacher better than somebody who has already
been in his or her shoes?
good attitude is so important. It can really help, when things
seem impossible. A friend of mine swears by "acting as if"
- - which just means acting as if you are happy, acting as if
you are having a good day, etc. even when you are not. It can
help buoy your mood, and your students' moods, too. And remember,
it is not the end of the world if you make a mistake. That is
something ALL new teachers do.
positive really helped me through some really difficult teaching
days. And just knowing that other teachers are having the same
problems can really help you get through it. Do you know another
first-year teacher? Perhaps he or she can help as well, and would
appreciate your input.
you do not know other first-year or intern teachers, you might
want to join an online group. You can always try joining this
new Yahoo Group, The
Teacher Tree, which has both new and experienced teachers
Remember: most teachers do have a difficult first year. It DOES
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN INTERVIEWING FOR YOUR FIRST JOB:
Will I have any in-class support? Who will be my mentor?
Do I have a coursebook or instructional materials (such as standards-based
daily lesson plans, etc.) available for me?
How long will my induction period be for? Will it be longer than
one or two days? Will I be learning about the community as well?
(Induction programs are relatively new - see the Harry
Wong page for more information...)
Will I have all previous scores, other years' student information,
and all applicable student files available to me? (i.e. student
files, tests, and folders from previous years).
Will I be aware in advance of students with serious learning and
behavior disabilities in order to properly teach and help them?
Also, will I have support and assistance in dealing with serious
student disabilities, if they are present?
Will I be able to pre-test my students in order to find out their
current level of knowledge? Are grade and discipline-appropriate
pre-tests available for me?*
all your answers are "no," or even if some are unclear
or vague to you, you may not want to accept the position. Period.
other teachers (in private) how they like the school climate -
and how they were supported during their first teaching year -
and now. This may also give you valuable clues to help you with
this very important decision.
THE FOREFRONT OF CHANGE:
and Rosemary Wong believe that a supportive school system and
a positive, worthy teacher induction program can make all the
difference for new teachers. Does your school have a good induction
system (for instance, at least a week long) and adequate support?
I would advise that all new teachers make sure that the school
offering the job has a really good induction program before they
accept that first job. Better to wait a bit for before working,
than to jeopardize your entire career by working in a school that
does not give adequate support to new, intern teachers.
out what to look for by visiting Harry Wong's website
and Mrs. Wong have many other top-notch articles
about teacher induction, learning,
and support for new teachers on their websites.
book, "The First Days of School" (see box at top left)
is fast becoming the book of choice for new teachers who want
to learn about Classroom Management. Their ideas make sense for
any teacher - from elementary to secondary.
pretests: there is a GREAT pretesting site online I found last
year that I will be listing here as soon as I find it. For now,
know that there are resources available online to help you with
pretesting. You can also look up your State standards and come
up with your own basic pretest (hopefully in the summertime when
you have time.)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS:
TEACHER LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAMS:
are several National teacher programs that all teachers-to-be
should know about. One is the special Perkins Teacher Loan program.
They may or may not tell you about this when you go to the Admissions
Office at your local school. If you select a Perkins loan, you
may be able to have part or all of their student loan forgiven,
simply by teaching at a low-income, high-need school. Other programs
are also available!
Teacher Site Page for more information.
and Deferment Options Page
can also check the FinAid
page for more interesting sites.
NEED SCHOOLS LIST
state maintains their own high-needs school list.
to your state's official Education site by clicking on the map
on this page on the ed.gov site:
State Contacts Page
Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative (national)
back for other links (to come).