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Need Ideas from New Teachers
Old 07-12-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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Hello and congratulations on becoming a teacher
I will be in charge of the new teacher training academy for my district this year and would love to receive some feedback on the following:
  • What school topic do you think new teachers are in most need of before meet the teacher night and the first day of school?
  • What would you find fun, motivating, inspirational in regard to themes, door prizes, materials, presentations etc... if you had a mandatory training to attend a week before school started?
  • Would you want to sit with other members from your school throughout the training or would you prefer getting to speak with and meet others from throughout the district?
  • What did you receive if anything before you started your job that you couldn't live without (advice, present, materials)?
  • What do you wish someone would have told you about teaching, parents, students etc... before becoming a teacher?
  • What topic or presentation would you find a complete bore and waste of time?
If you think of anything else you'd like to add I'm all ears I'd like to make this training as purposeful, comfortable, and fun as possible for the new teachers in our district.


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nice questions!
Old 07-13-2007, 05:25 AM
 
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I am not a teacher but new enough so that my answers might be helpful. Oh yeah..how do you refer someone for extra support, RTI etc?

It is the little things that nobody tells new teachers and that can make or break a smooth transition to teaching... bus routine, half-day and early release due to snow procedures, recess times, where the copy machine is and other teacher supplies like binder, laminating machine etc, budget and spending allowances and how to use POs, email, web site info- what about the curriculum, do they all have want they need? Classrooms--are they set up with the materials they need? school behavior rules...principal and sending student's to office involvement? Show them the special ed IEP files and where they are kept. Guided reading title 1 room books? Let teachers know what supplies they have already. Oh yes...teacher bathrooms are located where?

Classroom related school prizes are favorites of new teachers and also teacher resources. It would be great if you could order some stuff from like Rhode Island Novelty catalog so at each seat was a pile of goodies. Small treats like erasers, pencils, 100th day stickers, notepads, squishy balls, and other treats that they can use in the classroom. Then give some bigger prizes away like learning games or magnetic letters (depends on grade level).

I would want to sit with the people who worked in my building and start building some relationships in this comfortable and casual setting.

I wish someone told me to NOT take it personally when you can't please a parent. That there is always going to be someone that doesn't like you. I also wish someone told me that I should NEVER take on issues or challenges alone. That the guidance counselor, nurse, and principal are part of my team and are helpful when you need help solving things with unhappy parents or students.
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:49 AM
 
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What school topic do you think new teachers are in most need of before meet the teacher night and the first day of school?
general school information, where EVERYTHING is, expectations, routines, things that are school/district specific

What would you find fun, motivating, inspirational in regard to themes, door prizes, materials, presentations etc... if you had a mandatory training to attend a week before school started?
I would want things I can use the first day/week/month of school, until I feel more comfortable in the building. Door prize - something that would be useful in my classroom but might be considered a luxury item the first year.

Would you want to sit with other members from your school throughout the training or would you prefer getting to speak with and meet others from throughout the district?
Members of my own building for sure, I'd want to get to know a few friendly faces before the year starts then work on meeting others in future meetings

What did you receive if anything before you started your job that you couldn't live without (advice, present, materials)?
Haven't started yet but the thing that's meant the most to me was a care package I got from my principle. It included things with the school logo on it, license plate, notebook, pencils etc. and her cell phone number with a note to call her if I needed anything, building or in general. That offer was very nice since I'm moving so far and to a town I don't know.

What do you wish someone would have told you about teaching, parents, students etc... before becoming a teacher?
I always hear about the "bad" parents. I want good stories! Success stories on how other teachers got good/better parental involvement

What topic or presentation would you find a complete bore and waste of time?
I don't know about waste of time, but bore would be all of last years info. In my new district new teachers come a few days earlier to learn all the programs and all of that. I really don't want to hear about last year during these! It won't bug me as much for the ones with everyone there because I know it's important.
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:18 AM
 
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I think it would have been nice to know how to organize things. Now this may sound dumb but I think it would have helped my to go into other teacher's classrooms and see how they organize their subjects, files, months, weeks, holidays, extra stuff they've added to the curriculum, etc. A mentor that would offer suggestions and come in and help a new teacher get started. I'm beginning my third year and am finally now making binders for all my subjects. I like to hear how others do things and then I can make it to fit my personality.
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RE: Refer for support...RtI
Old 07-13-2007, 08:07 AM
 
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Thank you for your response
As far as referring a student for extra support and RtI/interventions the best answer I can provide you with is that depending on where you live and work the typical process would involve the following:
1. Assessment (TPRI, DRA, DIBELS, IRI etc...)
2. Analyze and Interpret the Data to determine student's strengths, weaknesses, and overall percentage compared to the "average" student in that grade
3. Teacher completes some type of referral document expressing data and concerns as well as what the teacher has tried in terms of extra help and interventions in the classroom which have "failed"
3. A committee such as a care team or student support team (usually comprised of principal or asst. principal, counselor, specialist, resource teacher, classroom teacher), reading specialist, literacy coach etc. will meet about the teacher referral and further analyze the data provided. In addition, they would recommend specific interventions for the student which may include but is not limited to working with a specialist, specific/targeted lesson plans for classroom use, tutoring etc...
4. The committee will provide a realistic timeline for interventions and will revisit whether or not they have been beneficial to the struggling student. The teacher and any other personnel assigned to work with the student will have to keep detailed documentation.
I hope this helps at least give you an idea. This is the system currently used in the Texas schools I have been a part of.


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Old 07-13-2007, 08:57 AM
 
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As a first year teacher, I have SO many questions. The information I am seeking is ENDLESS, lol. That's just the way I feel right now. Do you know how many teachers will be attending your training academy yet? Would it be possible for you to reach out to them specifically and see what they are hoping to learn from you? I honestly could go on an on about what I hope to learn at my new teacher orientation.

The one that comes to mind first is what supplies will be provided. Will the teacher before me be leaving materials in my classroom? I'm at the point where I'm buying things for my class because I feel like I really need to be productive with that right now. With little contact from my district so far, I don't even know what the student supply list is. So not being sure about what I need to buy is a bad feeling. What about grade books, lesson plan books, will I be provided with these at new teacher orientation or inservice meetings, does the district use a certain one, or should I purchase this on my own? What instructional programs are already in place in the district? What do I need to be familiarizing myself with? Like I said, I could go on and on...

I don't know if it's just my district, but it seems I have a VERY short amount of time to get my room ready. It's stressing me out. I have new teacher orientation July 25, 26, 27, inservice starts August 1st and students come to school August 8th!! I can't even get in my classroom until August 1st. That's just not long enough (especially for a first year trying to find her way). ARGH!!!!
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Re:lmntry2
Old 07-13-2007, 10:55 AM
 
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Can you tell me what state and/or district you work for? Does your district have a website? Typically if the district has a website you can find school supply lists possibly under a student or parent tab. You should also be able to find the scope and sequence and/or curriculum the district/campus is currently using.
I wouldn't count on the previous teacher leaving you anything unless perhaps he/she was retiring but I'd guess even then she probably gave it away. However your team probably has some items like a rug or cart etc.. that they've purchased for each grade level teacher so you would want to check on big items like that before purchasing.
As far as grade books and lesson plan books go as far as my experience has been the campus will provide those. Many schools have their grade books on the computer and also type their lesson plans on the computer.
I'm sad to hear that your district and campus especially haven't been in better contact with you. I recommend contacting your principal and seeing if he or she would be able to answer your questions as well as provide you contact information for your teammates.
I will be conducting the training for all new elementary (k-4) teachers throughout the year (appx. 80-100). Our first training is Aug. 14th. I have a set "curriculum" I have to follow but hoped to put my own spin on it and make it as enjoyable and purposeful for teachers as possible because I remember being in your shoes I do not currently have contact info. but was thinking if I could get it that it would be nice to have them bring first day ideas, seating chart/room set up ideas, questions/concerns etc... when they come.
I'm happy to help you with anything that I can...just let me know.
Thanks for your response and I wish you the very best of luck!!!
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Old 07-13-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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I will PM you my district information.

Thanks for suggesting that I check out the district website and call my principal. I've been meaning to look at the site and see what info I can round up. If I could contact team members that would be so helpful as well. I didn't even think of that.

Thanks for your advice and good luck with your training. You sound very determined to make it as successful and productive as possible. I'm sure all the first years will appreciate you!
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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I've been a new teacher three times now. (three schools, three grades)
What school topic do you think new teachers are in most need of before meet the teacher night and the first day of school?
Everything. lol Usually schools give the general handbook, a map of the school, and the curriculum to follow. It's the little things that make a difference -- what is important in the social culture of the school staff, what dates on the calendar are really important (I knew a certain event was coming up 'cause it was on the calendar, but I didn't know that event was going to take a couple of hours a week from my instructional time for a few weeks leading up to it. That would have been useful to know), who is the best person to go to with questions about how things are run, what supplies does the school provide & what do the students get asked to bring, is there a grading system that needs to be followed, etc.

What would you find fun, motivating, inspirational in regard to themes, door prizes, materials, presentations etc... if you had a mandatory training to attend a week before school started?

Materials and door prizes - anything that I could use in my classroom! Bulletin board materials, prizes that could be given to students, stickers, resource books, gift certificates to the teacher store, etc.
Presentations - classroom management ideas, maybe stuff from Harry Wong or others like him
Themes - wouldn't really care

Would you want to sit with other members from your school throughout the training or would you prefer getting to speak with and meet others from throughout the district?


My school. It's going to be difficult enough getting to know people quickly without having to get to know other people from the district who I probably won't interact with again.

What did you receive if anything before you started your job that you couldn't live without (advice, present, materials)?

Best thing is reassurance that no question is a stupid question. After that, constant beneficial feedback from my principal was lifesaving at my first school.

What do you wish someone would have told you about teaching, parents, students etc... before becoming a teacher?

Be flexible and over plan. You might have a wonderful lesson plan, but you might have to scrap it and go with something else to reach your children. And don't be married to one particular system or method of management; not every style works with every group of students.

What topic or presentation would you find a complete bore and waste of time?

All of the "safety" presentations that drag on forever. They really take 15-20 minutes tops to show us where everything is located, pass out the maps, and go over the safety information. It's all basic common sense anyway.

Also the "You Can Do It!" motivational presentations without any content. I want content, content, content in presentations. Give me something I can actually use. Limit the motivation and inspiration to a few minutes.
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:42 AM
 
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Seating:

I would change up the seating each day.

For elementary: First day, have them sit with other staff from their school. Next day, grade level from other schools. Third day, mix them all up. This way they will feel comfortable going to (email) staff in other buildings.

For MS/HS: First day with department staff. SEcond day, with grade level staff (if possible). Third day, mix them up!

If possible, it would be interesting to put together elementary and secondary teachers. My bf teaches HS and we get so many ideas from each other. His kids love it when he pulls out some of my crazy elementary stuff (HS kids love stickers and goofy songs). And elementary kids love it when you tell them "this is something from the HS, but I think you guys are smart enough for it!".


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Old 07-15-2007, 11:25 AM
 
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I am just coming out of my first year teaching and we had something similiar to your thing. I think its really hard because a lot of the questions I had were school specific.

* What school topic do you think new teachers are in most need of before meet the teacher night and the first day of school?

- what do I need to be discussing with parents at meet the teacher?
- maybe some sort of group work to come up with a plan for the first day of school??


* What would you find fun, motivating, inspirational in regard to themes, door prizes, materials, presentations etc... if you had a mandatory training to attend a week before school started?

bulletin board stuff, classroom stuff (i went to a training last year that gave us hall timer things!)


* Would you want to sit with other members from your school throughout the training or would you prefer getting to speak with and meet others from throughout the district?

my school! it was so nice to see a friendly face when i showed up on the first morning for our staff meeting!!

* What did you receive if anything before you started your job that you couldn't live without (advice, present, materials)?

Be flexible!

* What do you wish someone would have told you about teaching, parents, students etc... before becoming a teacher?

I wish someone would have told me (and I am actually still wishing this!) how to balance being sociable with your team while a) maintaining professionalism and b) getting your work done!


* What topic or presentation would you find a complete bore and waste of time?

Well, we had our code of ethics during this training and it was rather boring but necessary..

Man I am glad my first year is over!!
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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*What school topic do you think new teachers are in most need of before meet the teacher night and the first day of school?
~What parents will expect to hear from you, what copies you need to have made. Parents was the one thing that I didn't have a lot of practice with during college.


*What would you find fun, motivating, inspirational in regard to themes, door prizes, materials, presentations etc... if you had a mandatory training to attend a week before school started?
~I agree with what Teach n' Learn said...anything that could be used in the classroom would be a good door prize.

*Would you want to sit with other members from your school throughout the training or would you prefer getting to speak with and meet others from throughout the district?
~ We had new teacher orientation for two days (this is my second year) and then we had school/district training. I sat with the new teachers for the first two days, then my grade level team the rest of the time, just because they were my mentors...and could answer most of my questions.

*What did you receive if anything before you started your job that you couldn't live without (advice, present, materials)?
~Another grade level teacher gave me a "good luck" coin the night before school started. It was just that I had prepared for this, and that I would be okay.

*What do you wish someone would have told you about teaching, parents, students etc... before becoming a teacher?
~ To set personal boundries right off...meaning set a "go home time" how much time you are willing to spend on the weekend working on school stuff....if you don't it can totally overtake your life.

*What topic or presentation would you find a complete bore and waste of time?
~ How to write lesson plans and anything that doesn't impact this year about last year. I don't need to hear how last years awards ceremony went if it doesn't impact anything this year.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:41 AM
 
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I am going into my third year now but what I needed the most in my first year was help with classroom management, specifically, maintaining consistent and effective disicpline, gaining and maintaining student engagement, and managing student assessment, paperwork, record keeping, etc.

I teach in a large inner city district with large class size (30 +) so this may vary from district to district.

I had received all kinds of education in college and professional development on differentiated instruction, learning styles, creating good lessons, etc. so going over that more would have been a waste of time. I needed hands-on help, you know, actual help managing the hands-on issues which come up and that you have NO IDEA how to deal with "in theory" until they actually happen. These were things that never came up in my perfect "Harry Wong" you know? :-) That's what my new teacher coach was most helpful to me with - managing, - so that's my advice to you for new teachers from my experience so far.
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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LMNTRY2 - Hi! I just had to say...I'm a first year teacher too, in 2nd grade, and I'm reading all your posts thinking, "I FEEL THE SAME WAY!!!" I feel like I have no clue what I should get or what they already have for me...I feel so out of the loop and like none of the other teachers really have time to help me! AAHHH!!! Anyways, just thought I'd tell you I sympathize, and I hope we'll be able to help each other through this first year!
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