Start the school year in the right direction with tips and hints from Maryland's Teachers of the Year. Pre-service teachers are taught many things in college; the history of education in America, behavior modification theories, lesson planning, assessment and much more. Rarely are they taught how to start the first day or the first few weeks of their careers.
Question: What are some useful tips and strategies to start the school year successfully?
- Involve students in the rules of the classroom: Make them feel part of the process so they will have ownership. If students feel as if they have a voice, they will respond positively! Establish routines early.
- Clean and organize your classroom: The classroom environment sets the tone and can determine the student's comfort level.
- Establish classroom rules in a positive tone: Keep rules short and sweet and think about required materials, tardiness, discipline, grading procedures, and classroom expectations. Have parents and students sign the rules/grading procedures and request an email address to open
lines of communication.
- Assign a fun writing assignment on the first day of school: Plan a fun activity where all students will be successful.
- Make lists: Make a list of questions and possible contacts and check them off as you get them answered. Seeing things get accomplished and questions answered will help you feel more grounded and less overwhelmed.
- Use other teachers as resources: Make connections with your team members and support staff.
- Create seating charts and names: The best way for establishing rapport is to call someone by name.
- Establish strong lines of communication with parents: Give parents your email and school phone number.
- Keep parent communication logs, what method of communication occurred, and the result of the discussion.
- Keep a balance between the 'positive' and 'negative' communications that you make. Don't be afraid to tell parents you saw their child doing something fantastic.
For more information, try one of these resources:
Advice for First-Year Teachers -- from the 'Sophomores' Who Survived Last Year!
Includes the ABC's for first year teachers.
Important Phases of First Year Teaching
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New Teacher Survival Guides
Help is on the way! Survive and thrive your first year teaching with handy monthly guides. Get great tips on managing your classroom, students, curriculum, and time. The guides provide advice on talking to parents, working with colleagues, and advancing your career.
20 Tidtbits for New Teachers
Get a step ahead and browse through helpful tips, suggestions and guidance for success inside and outside the classroom. Each tidbit links to a useful resource for additional support.
How to Work with Parents
Learn how to communicate and collaborate with parents to help your students’ better reach their learning goals. A highly-regarded teacher, trainer, author and international speaker shares her advice, knowledge and links for working with parents.