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Mikecoffee Mikecoffee is offline
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New teacher advice from old teacher
Old 06-20-2020, 09:49 PM
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Your first priority is to be rehired. Period. If you arenít rehired, you will never have a chance to do anything. SoÖ.

a. Youíre going to stink your first year. Hide it as well as you can. Act
confident. Enter the building every morning with a smile and a
greeting for everyone. NEVER act like you are happy itís Friday.

b. Get a decent briefcase or cloth shopping bag. Come in the door
every day with it. Leave every evening with it. Do NOT enter the
building struggling with big boxes or unwieldy stacks of papers.
Same goes for leaving the building in the evening. JUST THE
BRIEFCASE both times. (If you need to bring home batches of
work, sneak it out and back in. Figure out a way. Do not under
any circumstances look overwhelmed, even though you will be.)

Note: Do NOT use a backpack. A backpack and a briefcase are
not the same thing. A briefcase is professional. A backpack makes
you look like a student. Never at any time look like a student.

c. When the office sends you paperwork, drop EVERYTHING and
complete the office paperwork IMMEDIATELY. Get the paperwork
back to them as soon as humanly possible. Same goes for
emails from the office. The office cares more about their paperwork
than anything else. Let somebody else be the last one in with the

d. ALWAYS be at your duty post, early if possible. ALWAYS. Figure
out a foolproof way to remind yourself. Iím not kidding. NEVER
FAIL TO BE AT YOUR DUTY SPOT! If you are going to be out the
next day, remind the administration that you will be out.

e. Dress neatly and professionally at all times. I donít care if
NOBODY ELSE does. Use thrift shops to find your clothes to
save (lots) of money if you need to.

f. Arrive early, and stay as late as you can without being a fool about
it. If possible, park where the principal can see your car. If that is
not possible, park where an assistant principal can see your car.

g. Try not to take sick days. Donít listen to what other people say
about ďmental healthĒ days. Weekends are for mental health.
Donít miss unless you are truly ill.

h. Donít gossip. Avoid listening to gossip. In fact, donít talk much at
all. Watch and learn. Donít ask questions at meetings. If you
have a questions, ask a more experienced teacher when the
meeting is over.

i. The one procedure that you must have: All students go directly to
their seats when entering your room. MAKE SURE THIS
HAPPENS EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY. Even if you canít get the
students to do anything else, make sure they go to their seats
as they enter the room. This one procedure will save your job if
you get a ďdrive byeĒ observation.

j. Never raise your voice. Never yell, under any circumstances.
Always speak firmly and politely. This behavior will become a
habit. Even if students donít pay much attention to you, you will
gain a reputation (it takes time) as being unflappable.
Administrators crave unflappable teachers.

k. You MUST remember that you have to keep your job if you want
to be a teacher, and that it is MUCH EASIER to change to another
district if you have a reputation as an UNFLAPPABLE teacher who
ALWAYS is on duty, NEVER misses, ALWAYS does paperwork
on time, NEVER gossips, ALWAYS has a class that comes in and
sits down, is NEVER overwhelmed, is ALWAYS dressed
professionally, AND can be counted upon to arrive early and stay

l. Treat the secretaries/janitors with great respect. This behavior
on your part will pay HUGE dividends. If you only heed one
piece of advice, THIS is the one to heed.

I do have other tips to help you be a better teacher, and I will share them later, but remember that you CANNOT be a real teacher if you get fired over and over again. Even if you donít know what youíre doing, you
can APPEAR to know what youíre doing while youíre learning how to
become the teacher that you want to be.

My qualifications: 35 years in the classroom. Teacher of the Year in my
building 3 times. Statewide Coach of the Year (all classes) 1 year. Did
not get rehired 1 time (learned my lessons ó and those are the lessons
listed above). Hired or rehired 34 times.

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Mshope Mshope is offline
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Office Paperwork! Best Advice.
Old 06-24-2020, 04:50 PM
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This is the best advice ever. I always had a clipboard that I put all the office crap on. As soon as I could I filled and returned forms BEFORE I lost them. The amount of paperwork can be overwhelming, but just get it out of the way. I will add this: photocopy important form and retain the copy in case someone loses them. (This is especially important with field trips.)

I have to disagree about the bag thing. For 15 years I drag things in and out of the school. I ALSO carry a backpack in addition to my other bags/cart. Yes, I'm sure I look like a pack horse, but it would be impossible for me to do all at school.

My top advice would be come early, leave on time. I quit staying after school due to random people stopping in and chatting with me.

I would add to form good relationships with students, but don't be their friends. In this day and age, I also think you need to be interesting and dynamic to get and hold students' very short attention spans. Incorporate your interests and preferences and it will translate to the students. For example, i find something in each lesson to make it more interesting. It doesn't always work, but sometimes it does.

Other advice: keep your mouth shut. Don't say or do anything with students that you wouldn't do in front of parents and admin.
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Englishish Englishish is offline
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Old 06-25-2020, 07:35 PM
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Keep yourself current on trends in education. This means keeping an ear to the ground for things happening in the political arena, as well as in the field. Youíll be surprised at how much people you donít know affect your life in big ways.
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MissESL MissESL is offline
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:28 PM
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I just donít agree with most of what you said. I have only been teaching 12 years, though, and all in one district. Same department, but two different grade levels, and I moved by choice to fill a gap they were having trouble filling.

I think that the majority of what the original poster said was so negative, and Iím sorry that was the experience they had.

I really think that if you find the right environment, you wonít have the majority of these issues. You might have one or two bad experiences on your way to the right place, but you can find it!

1. Yes youíll have a lot to learn your first year. Ask for advice from experience teachers in your department when you need it. I would never have survived my first year without 2 older teachers and their experience and advice.

2. Get a backpack. Especially if there are stairs. You are not a CEO, so do not need a briefcase. Totes and backpacks hold more and cost less. Further, if you need to take stuff home, do what works for you. Some of us work better in our home environment or donít love staying at school after dark. I personally only grade at school so I donít lose anything. But I will take planning materials home if I need to. Find what works for you.

3. Paperwork usually has a deadline. Follow it and youíll be fine.

4. Duty is important and timeliness is helpful. Just know your spot and time and if you forget donít be offended when someone reminds you. It happens and life goes on.

5. Dress appropriately according to your dress code. Remember that neatness and professionalism do not have to mean uncomfortable.

6. Arrival before your contract time. As long as you are not late youíre good. Personally I like about 30 minutes ahead to get myself settled in and check my schedule...but people with kids often just have to be ďon timeĒ - itís contract time for a reason, you donít have to go w over your life.

7. This one actually angers me. You have sick days for a reason. Use them. That is what they are there for!

8. Make friend with your colleagues and keep it positive. That way, gossip isnít a problem. Also, we all have very close friend see trust and say things to that we know will go no further...use your personal judgment and take care in your own words.

9. Again, your classroom - your routine. Do what works for you, be that a bell ringer or warm up question or even a to-do list to be ready for class. Itís not your time unto others bell rings...and Kids have passing periods for a reason, too. They need to move every once in awhile just like we do.

10. I just donít agree with j & k. I think that teachers come in all shapes and personalities and being ďloudĒ doesnít mean ďmean and yelling,Ē so I believe that your personality should shine through. You are a human being and kids build better relationships if they know the real you. You donít have to have every answer. You donít have to be a robot. Be yourself.

And I just canít let this negativity go: you are a real teacher. The minute you have a certificate, you are a real teacher. You need time to learn and grow, so take the time to learn and grow. Gain experience. Tap your resources. And ask for help when you need it.

Your dedication and learning results show more about you than anything else. Yes, you have to prove yourself - but so does everyone!
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1889 1889 is offline
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Old 08-27-2020, 09:45 AM
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I'm supposed to start student teaching this fall, although, nobody knows how that will work. I'm not sure how well my program is preparing me for the actual job of teaching although they are preparing me mentally for being overwhelmed and clueless. I read this thread and many on this sight with a sinking feeling. I don't expect my first year to be easy but I expect to find encouraging moments. I suppose those can get lost at times but I want to thank MissESL for leaving me that hope.

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