This coming school year will be my first year teaching. I decided to change careers, got hired to teach (yay!), and will be teaching HS earth science/astronomy/oceanography.
I worked as a technical trainer for years, and that involved a good bit of lesson planning, assessment, and data management/reporting, but I was teaching grownups. I've also taught after-school science classes for upper elementary grades, and I've worked with kids in other settings as well. This is the first time I'll have my own public school classroom, though, so I feel like the stakes are higher. It's also the first time I'll be teaching high school. It's exciting but also intimidating, and I want to serve my students and their families well.
My current biggest questions are:
What works best for you in keeping your classroom organized? I'm talking, like, paperwork, supplies, stuff like that. I'll need to buy whatever organization tools I use, so I want to avoid overbuying or getting the wrong stuff as much as possible. We're 1:1 so there's a lot less paper, but I know there'll still be actual stuff in the classroom to keep organized.
What ways of communicating with students and families do you find most effective? I really appreciate it when my own kids' teachers share what's going on in the classroom, so I'd like to do the same. Those of you who do that, do you send a weekly email newsletter? Keep a private class webpage up to date that families can visit at their leisure? Something different?
Looking back at your first year teaching, was there anything that you wish you'd known then or been prepared for?
I'll take any and all suggestions on other topics, too. Basically if you have time to share your experience with a baby teacher, I'm all ears over here.
Post by UMaineTeach on May 25, 2021 20:22:54 GMT -5
I don’t have a lot in the way of organization things. Most of the materials are on rolling bookshelves or in the closet in those plastic shoebox size containers. I have a tall set of plastic drawers beside/behind my teaching table and a wooden crate on the other side with folders in it. I didn’t even have the tall draws until the teacher I was sharing the room with brought them and let me keep them when she moved. I’m not a Cricut Pinterest teacher, at all.
I imagine that high school kids mostly keep things in their backpacks in class, but all my kids have a supply box for a pencil bag, books, and folders. I’m loving these scrapbook style books this year that we got with our COVID money. Storex Classroom Student Project Box, 15.25 x 13.25 x 3.25 inches , Assorted Tints, 5-Pack (63202U05C), standard sized www.amazon.com/dp/B06VVK69R8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_GW8AT0Z43VTSACABWQS2
Think about the routines you actually want to set and what practical materials you need to achieve them. Don’t get sucked in by (ok, mostly younger kids) book hospitals and sharp/dull pencil cups if you don’t see yourself sharpening 14 pencils after school. I prefer to have simpler routines and add something if I need to, rather than go overboard and let things go.
Read over the curriculum and decide how to teach it. Ask your team for help.
I have no advice for teaching high school, but I bet much of your adult ed experience will apply.
All the teachers at my school are required to use Google Classroom, so many communicate that way, some have Class DoJo or a similar program. Several have letters that go home once a week. For individual communication we call or email parents. Some teachers are comfortable giving their cell number out and texting parents. I’m not one of those.