We were all there once. Young, excited, ready to branch out on the hard earned career of teaching. It excites my soul each year when we host our New Teacher Training sessions. Each year I am able to meet those new faces that come to our District ready to put their teaching talents in gear. I have been pleasantly happy this year as I meet more and more young faces who are tech savvy and ready to incorporate those technology tools that they are very comfortable using. I hope many of you seasoned teachers allow yourself to be rejuvenated by their excitement and energy. Please, please consider your own comments and be courteous and positive in welcoming New Teachers to our profession. Be careful not to drag them into negative conversations. I have come across some tips and resources that I'd like to share for new Teachers and maybe you can pass them along too.
1. Develop your PLN (Personal Learning Network) on Twitter
Twitter is a great starting place for new teachers to connect, collaborate, and share ideas with educators around the world. Let me suggest the #ntchat (new teachers chat) for support with like-minded teachers. You can also check out the many other educational hashtags for others to follow.
2. Keep students engaged (have extra tasks and activities on hand)
It is a good idea to have engaging activities on hand to keep students on task and learning at all times. If they are bored with nothing occupying their minds, they will misbehave. Technology is a great way to fill those extra minutes with whole class critical thinking and problem solving activities. You may want to keep a weblist, symbaloo, or livebinders with links to these approved websites that are both educational and fun. Below are a few suggestions:
Light Up Your Brain
I Know That. Com
Invention at Play
3. Consider your own Personal Learning PD
Yes, we have our degree, but learning is never complete. A good teacher is adding continues to learn and improve. Technology makes it easy 24/7 and allows you professional development on demand. Keeping yourself updated on current education issues, and learning new teaching methods will help you understand your students while they struggle with new learning. Below are District resources for learning and a few others you may enjoy:
Edutopia Instructional Modules
4. Keep Communications Open for Parents
Connections between home and school is important and your time and efforts will pay off. Informed parents can be advocates for your students’ education at home. Here are a few sites to help you keep parents involved and informed:
(Class website) Class Blog – Blogger, Edublogs, Kidblogs
5. Keep Organized with Tools and Apps
You will be discovering many resources and ideas to use in your teaching career. Be prepared to keep track of the great finds by saving your information to your favorite location. Here are a few suggestions to help:
Evernote (web notebook)
Pinterest (social bookmarking, lessons)
Diigo (social bookmarking)
LiveBinder (web notebook, presenter)
6. Follow Educational Blogs
Discover a favorite one stop place to read all the posts on the blogs that you choose to follow. Feedly or BlogLovin are two suggestions. Check out some of my favorite blogs to follow or discover ones that you like.
Teacher Reboot Camp – http://teacherrebootcamp.com
Cybraryman – http://cybraryman.com
I Learn Technology – http://ilearntechnology.com
Project Based Learning - http://biepbl.blogspot.com/
Matt B Gomez – http://mattbgomez.com
Mathy Cathy – http://mathycathy.com/blog
You Matter – http://angelamaiers.com/blog
7. Know Your Students
Get to know each student individually. Find out about their likes, dislikes, family, pets, friends, hobbies, etc. Consider setting up a classroom blog or twitter account for students to write in a protected web space. Pose questions and comments that will engage students in discussions.
8. Work Smarter, Not harder
There are many resources that will help you maximize your time and provide free lesson plans online for various topics and grade levels. Check out a few here:
A to Z Teacher Stuff – http://atozteacherstuff.com
Oswego Resources - http://resources.oswego.org/cur/standards/
Lesson Plan Sites - http://www.angelo.edu/services/library/govdocs/lessonelem.php
Share My Lesson - http://www.sharemylesson.com/teaching-resources/
9. Always Be Prepared, Look Professional
Plan out your lessons and keep them organized. Many teachers work together in teams to make lesson planning easier. There are many online interactive websites available for your lessons.
10. Have fun and be yourself
Let students know more about their teacher. Don’t be afraid to admit failure and say, “I don’t know” The fun is in learning together!