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futureteach futureteach is offline
 
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Student Teacher-Question for new teachers
Old 09-23-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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Hello all! I am currently doing my year long student teaching. I am wondering if there are any things i should be doing now to prepare for having my own classroom next year. Also i am curious about what you may have found as your biggest struggle throughout the first few days in your new classroom. I look forward to your feedback.
Thanks!


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Old 09-23-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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I would suggest start planning as soon as possible! Decide what you want to do for your behavior plan, attendance, etc. If you are into making home-made cutesy things (like I am) do it far in advance. You don't need to put it together but if you could start formatting on your computer that would be a great time saver! It was all the really small cutesy things on the computer that took me a long time. Also, if you know what you want for your behavior plan, it would be great to draft up a letter. Write your first letter to send home to parents explaining homework policies, etc. Having a basic foundation will be a big help..then you can add on to it when you learn more about the school you will be teaching at.
I think the biggest thing for me was (and still is) not having enough time to do things. I am a perfectionist and over achiever therefore, i want everything to be perfect in my classroom. I spend about 10-11 hrs a day in my classroom and even go in on the weekends for at least 8 hrs trying to get things done. These things will save you a lot of time!
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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I went to Staples and bought bins that hold hanging file folders. I have one for each subject (reading, writing, math, science, social studies, class management, and monthly/seasonal). I keep a single copy of my work for each topic in these bins. I take them out, make copies, then put the master away. I also have everything saved electronically. I keep all of my resources (mentor texts etc) in these bins so that I can just pull them out when I'm planning. It has made life so much easier.

I definitely agree with getting as much done in advance as possible. When the class you're student teaching with does Thanksgiving activities, save a copy for your files and put a copy (scanned) onto an external hard drive. That way when you have your own room, everything is there and you aren't trying to re-invent the wheel, or spending a whole Tuesday night online searching for that super cute worksheet you remembered.
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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I sort of disagree. I would not buy anything or start projects until you know what grade you will be teaching. I had purchased a few different items for my first classroom only to find out that I already had all of it waiting for me.

I would make a folder on your desktop of all the cool items you come across online. Besides that, set up an idea of what your behavior management will look like (again, do not buy anything- K and 5th grade management is WAY different).
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Advice
Old 10-07-2010, 10:53 AM
 
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I was in your shoes last year. I began buying school supplies items and books when they were on sale. This helped me out a lot because I had a lot of supplies when I first started. Keep everything your mentor gives you and take notes on what she does. I wish I had taken more notes on things I saw in my mentors room/around the school. I just kept telling myself that I would remember and well now I can't! I would also start networking with people at your school/district. Take every chance you get to meet a principal or administrator. I also agree with the other responses about starting to do stuff on your computer. I am in a kindergarten room and made labels for EVERYTHING. This was very time consuming and something you will not have time for once school starts. Good luck, this year will fly by!


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Old 10-19-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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Well, I totally agree with the other responses about starting to do stuff on your computer.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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If you do not have a job yet I would really start looking at different RTI things, behavior programs, Daily 5, Cafe, differentiation, inclusion techniques, etc. Not only will it help you when you will interviewing, you won't feel as lost when you start. The more "lingo" and things you know, the less overwhelmed you will feel.

Also, while you are student teaching, make sure you are not only looking at your mentor but ALL teachers in the building (especially grades you will be certified in). It may seem overwhelming now, but it will really help you for ideas for organization, behavior plan, classroom setup and appearance, etc.

Hope this helps
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classroom management
Old 10-30-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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Student teaching doesn't prepare you much for learning how to manage a class on your own. When STing, your cooperating teacher already has rules/procedures set up and you kind of go with their flow.

When I ST, 2 of my 3 classes were honors under a teacher who'd been teaching 23 years. Her management was beautiful due to all her years and the group. So, when I got my first teaching placement at a rough school, I had the shock of my life. Management was very hard for me because in STing I had self-motivated kids with little to no behavioral problems. I had to learn fast - it was sink or swim. It was very hard, but it made me stronger.

So, my advice to you is when you start teaching on your own, make sure you have rules and procedures set with your students and practice, practice, practice. Also, stick to your guns. Have a set of consistent consequences that goes along with your rules.

Good luck
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reply to evergreen :)
Old 11-02-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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sorry this is such a late reply. I did not expect i would get replies this quickly! I love this idea and have been using it. I havent gotten bins yet but i bought hanging file folders that i can put in my desk. I have even begun taking pictures of different classrooms and what different teachers find important to include. For activities that i like i take a blank copy and completed copy and place them in a file. I think this will help me remember better when i go back? I want to be ready but am worried i will prepare everything for a lower grade. I am trying to collect thing that can be used with any grade for early childhood. When you walked into your new classroom were alot of things left for you or did you have to purchase most of it?
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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I can see where you are comming from as well and this is why i am a little worried. Since my certification is from pre k to 3rd. I have been buying books that work for all grades.(books that they can read independently or i can read to them as a whole group) I have also been saving activities that i think will be useful in any of the grades. I am trying to limit things that i buy to things such as borders or decorations that i can use in any classroom. Thank you for your ideas


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Old 11-02-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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I have been doing this, maybe a little too much ..i feel like i spend too much. Every penny i make i put into things i think i will use next year. I really like your idea about beginning to make labels. I have a friend who was teaching first grade and is now teaching kindergarten who gave me the idea about labeling all books with her name and a color sticker or picture sticker. This helps keep her library in order. She also has them sign a contract saying they will take care of her books and keep her library neat. She said it works great. I think i will take your idea and start this over my breaks so that i am ready with the small stuff that takes time that i wont have when the beginning of next year starts! What other things did you make labels for? I noticed a lot of classrooms label things such as: chalkboard, desk, bathroom(if one is present), etc. Any other ideas you have would be great, so that i can get started on this
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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I have a summer job where i am director of a summer camp which will help me somewhat, but i do not currently have a teaching job. I am lucky to be at a college where we review many of these things. I try to use the lingo and talk about it as much as possible so that i can learn as much as possible. I was told the more i use it and learn about it the better. I will use your advice on looking at as many classrooms as possible. I noticed every classroom is completely different and each teacher uses a different variety of strategies. It is very interesting to see the different teaching styles in action. A really quiet teacher may have a complete different setting and her class adjusts to it. A teacher who is a little bit louder enjoys things being a little more chaotic. The kids always seem to adjust to the setting. Thank you for your advice and i will begin looking at as many teachers and classrooms as possible. I will also try to take pictures so i remember their ideas.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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Thank you for your suggestions! I agree that i am going with the flow of things right now. I am trying to learn her way of teaching so i can stick to it when i do my full time by myself. I plan to try a few of my own techniques at that time without completely switching things and confusing the students. I think for the time being i will focus on creating a plan for management that i feel will work for me. By taking classroom management currently and observing different teachers i will try to come up with my own. I will keep in mind that one management plan will not work for every group of kids. I will try to come up with alternatives as well. Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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I made labels for all the different art supplies and math supplies. I would have liked to have done this for things that were stored in the cupboards but I ran out of time. I also would start taking note of how teachers layout their day and how much time they spend doing each thing. Figuring out how to work out a schedule can be difficult! Good luck!!
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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this sounds like a great idea! I have noticed that my time management needs help when im teaching. I will plan for a lesson to take a half hour and then students ask questions that are off topic and it takes longer. I will definitely try to work on this. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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go to garage sales for books for your classroom library! start stocking up now!!
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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I was in your shoes last year but I'm still without a teaching job! My mentor teacher was amazing. I bought a crate and some hanging file folders and photocopied everything that we did during the year. Also, she had me photocopy all of her things she had already throughout the years! I have SO much resources and I am lucky enough to have a job now where I can print off anything so i've still be collecting things and filing them so when I have my own classroom I am somewhat prepared. When I have lazy nights and I have nothing else to do, I write lesson plans or I surf the web and find things lol. I love this site because I print things and revise things all the time. In terms of books, my parents get me a childrens book every Christmas and so do my grandparents. I LOVE Goodwill and garage sales. I've gotten like 50 books for like $15.00. I have alot of materials but I am definitely prepared. I also have gotten binders and sleeves and filed that way. I also like the dollar store- I pick up materials for bulliten boards and things like educational games and what not.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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I forgot to add something...haha

I'm not sure how this would work for you but it has defintily helped me. I've got a boyfriend who loves to hog the big screen playing COD for hours, so I've began to keep just a binder and if I am so bored that I dont have anything else to do, I jot down any ideas that I have or I find lesson plans online that I believe I might like to use. I have a basic lesson plan template that I use and I link them to the learning results and any thing else then. It makes it easier later on. I adapt them in ways I want. I have almost 4 binders of just lesson plans that I can use. I like to write them down instead of printing them off because I tend to remember them more.

I hope any of this helps you!
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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thanks for the great advice! i will try doing this. i have started taking notes on lessons i observe..and taking note on things i would keep the same and different..a lot of the time i see a lesson taught i think of an even better way to teach it..my goal is to get organized like you said and keep things in a binder or in file folders..since i am so busy right now i have my teaching stuff scattered everywhere..thanks for the advice
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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I would say definitely keep copies of everything your mentor teacher gives you (activities, worksheets, letters, etc.). Find some way to organize everything you keep. You may want to sell your text books back that you think you'll never need again, but if they're education related I would keep them. You never know when you'll need them! Ask to observe other teachers in other grades. When I was s.teaching in 1st grade my teacher had been teaching for almost 30 years. There was another teacher that was a 2nd year teacher. It really helped me to see to almost complete opposite teachers in the same grade...and both were very good teachers. I also observed things like ESOL, Reading Recovery, speech, etc. It really helps to see what those teachers do with the kids. Now that I'm in my first year in pre-k I wish I would have observed more in those other areas. I feel like it would help me with some of my students. Start buying books. I understand not wanting to buy a lot of classroom supplies that you may not need, but I firmly believe that you can use a variety of books whether you teach pre-k or 4th grade. Older children love picture books and being read too, they just don't get it often enough! This isn't much, but I hope it helps!
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