Teacher Advice
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TimestampWhat advice do you wish someone had given you as a first year teacher?Is there a tool or resource in your classroom that you couldn't live without? If so, how do you use it? (It could be technology related or not...its up to you!)
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5/23/2011 14:20:14Don't be afraid of parents. They are just as human as you are!Google Docs
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5/23/2011 14:21:55Find some way to let out the frustration you experience when your expectations crash into reality. It may be exercising, talking to someone, making something artsy. Find whatever you can do so the stress won't get to you.Edmodo!
A good mentor to run to in times of trouble.
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5/23/2011 14:31:33it does get better and easier...internet is quite handy-but a good picture book can get you a lot of places
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5/23/2011 14:36:22Keep your lesson plans, and write what you would do to make them better the at the end of the day. You'll forget that info by next year.lab equipment (I'm a physics teacher)
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5/23/2011 14:41:56Seek out one person you can trust. This may or may not be your mentor.

Ask questions. Lots and lots of questions.

Take the first year just to learn your curriculum. Teaching from the textbook is OK. Build upon a solid curricular foundation after that to develop more meaningful projects.
sticky notes
chart paper
sentence strips
acetone nail polish remover (it cleans everything)
a phone list right by my phone of everyone I need to contact throughout the day
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5/23/2011 14:46:23A text book should not be synonymous with a curriculum. More relevant and engaging learning will happen for your students if you can use text book materials to supplement their learning than it will if a text book directs their learning.
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5/23/2011 14:48:261. Join a school PLN
2. Join a virtual PLN i.e. Twitter
3. Ask for a mentor teacher - one of the very best teachers in your district. Our district offers this opportunity.
4. Embrace technology integration
5. Only introduce one new program per year i.e. new math program or new language arts program. Experiment with it and become master.
Electronic projector
Twitter
Speaking and listening goals/tips
Restorative circles
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5/23/2011 14:50:51You're in charge! Don't even say a word until all students are listening... Silence tends to get their attention better than anything else!For teachers in Ireland: access Primary Britannica Encyclopaedia online through scoilnet.ie
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5/23/2011 14:53:53That it is ok to ask for help, to reach out beyond your school through twitter and to don't just teach it the way you are told, instead figure out how it will work for you.My common sense! I didn't trust it when I first started teaching and I wish it had, it would have saved me a lot of grief/
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5/23/2011 14:54:20Get involved....but don't get over involved. Volunteer to sponsor a club or coach a sport. Don't try to do both or more than one. Focus on your classroom, attend extracurricular events, get to know your students and be seen outside your classroom.Name Generator. Helps you decide the students to call on in class and avoid shout outs, constant hand raising, blank stares, and the same kids answering all the time.
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5/23/2011 14:55:25It's ok if things don't always go as planned...learn to go with the flow!I would definitely be lost without my computer (and internet). I use to find resources to print and use and also use it to find other resources to share with my students.
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5/23/2011 14:55:38Although you are worried with making your classroom presentable, impressing parents and setting academics. Spend LOTS of time worrying about behavior and procedures for your school. Interview teachers about specifics because school to school is different and little tips such as procedures for the bathroom makes the world of a difference as the year progresses. I could not live without my PRT. She pulls out my lowest readers for 45 minutes each day. Her advise and support has been a life saver.
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5/23/2011 14:55:421. You may have a horrible class one day, but odds are that by the next day, the kids won't even remember.

2. Exercise. No matter what.
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5/23/2011 14:57:21There's ALOT of paperwork.
You will get stressed out, expect it and be prepared to deal with it outside of school.
Be very hard about everything for a month or more...then start to ease up.
Talk to other teachers in the school about routines for hallway, bathroom, lunchlines, etc. to know what to expect before needing to make a new rule half way through the year.
Unlimited supply of pencils :)
Chair pockets--if there are no desks.
Student computers IN the classroom!!!
Document camera--best invention ever!
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5/23/2011 14:58:38Don't try to be friends with your students. That was my critical mistake my first year of teaching. Hard to regain their respect after that. You need to be firm but supportive.I could not live without my SMARTboard.
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5/23/2011 15:12:49You can not please everyone. Try your best to teach what is being asked of you. Not every parent will agree. Follow your curriculum and do what you know in your heart is right by the children in your room.The computer. I use the computer to communicate with parents- via e-amil and by typing and printing notes. I create homework, lesson plans and classwork on the computer for the children. I use websites with the kids and the kids use them for stations and centers and word processing. I use it for attendance,and to keep track of grades and important information for myself as well as the students.
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5/23/2011 15:12:57Make sure that you have thought out carefully what rules are and what are simply procedures. Never make threats or compromises but be prepared to back up whatever you say with actions. Everyday find something specific to praise a student on and avoid general positive comments. Be sure to set goals with students so that they see how much they accomplish because this is often the best motivation!Having worked at Kimmel Farm- my promethean board, document camera! Non-tech my Royal Reading/Easel cart with magnetic white board. These are the two hubs of learning in the room.
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5/23/2011 15:15:50You can't do everything so knowing that, pick 3 things that are important to you and make those things your priorities. You can add items to this list as you move along in your career but trying to take on too much overwhelms you and your students!I don't know what I'd do without my document camera. I love to use it to allow my students share their work. Its especially handy for them to use to show what they did with a math problem. I like my kids to know that there is more than one way to solve a problem. My document camera allows them to prove this to their peers without me having to get involved!
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5/23/2011 15:30:16Always remain calm in every situation, no mattter how bad the incident/injury, event, or behavior. The students take their cues from the teacher and if you remain calm they will remain calm. The teacher sets the tone for the class for the moment, the day, and the year. I could not live without a Promethean ActivBoard. It's the tool that allows me to use all other tools to their fullest extent, and the software is something students should learn to use because it is flexible enough to incorporate planning, encompass text, images, and movies. It also allows for on the fly assessmet so I know if I am being effective as a teacher at that very moment. I don't have to wait to reteach. I can address it right then, right there.
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5/23/2011 15:39:31Don't expect them all to be on the same level! BE FLEXIBLE!!!!ActivBoard, now having it at my disposal I could not go back to anything else! It is so versatile and interactive for the students..I LOVE IT :)
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5/23/2011 15:47:38Write down your questions and don't be afraid to ask until you get an answer.I just love using the Promethean board and flip charts!
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5/23/2011 16:30:07To do the best you can and not stress about what you are not able to to-it takes years to build up your stations, etc...Ask others to share-we don't mind. Teach the skills you must teach-fluff and stuff can wait...My active board-I love using it for everything!!!!!
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5/23/2011 17:50:50Don't smile until Thanksgiving. I walked in thinking I'd be a friend of my students. I was, in time, but first I had to establish my reputation and standards for class behavior. After all the testing, I could settle in to teaching and building relationships!Flexibility. Being able to throw out the planned lesson when it seems appropriate.
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5/24/2011 8:34:46How to effectively manage my classroom... My first year teaching was very difficult. My teammates were never around to give me the support that I needed. I was assigned a mentor, but never saw her throughout the year. My saving grace was at the end of the year when I was told that I would be working with another teacher, who was a team player and an outstanding teacher! ALL of the technology...
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5/24/2011 12:14:26Don't be afraid to ask any question and ask for help continually. We were all new once and needed help too!My computer--for everything!
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5/24/2011 14:10:18more guidance and lesson plans due to the lack of resources a first year teacher hasI could live without the Promethean board and ActivExpressions; however, I wouldn't want to. I use them to introduce a subject, allowing for easy manipulation and "hands-on" that I wouldn't have the resources to do otherwise. It's very easy to spot check to see if students have a concept or not with the expressions!
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Best advice I got: Just wing it once! Allowed me to relax when I realized I would be ok w/o spending HOURS planning each lesson.
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Do your own thing, don’t let the old guys drag you down!
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Don’t be afraid of making mistakes!
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Make your students love learning. The facts/strategies are important but the desire to learn is vital
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You don't have to conform to the status-quo in your building if you know how to connect with educators virtually
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So many "required" unpaid hours
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The ability to say 'no' this is too much...volunteering too much time will burn a teacher out their first year!
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5/24/2011 17:21:41I wish someone would have given me a huge book of time-management strategies! My first full year of teaching was stressful because of the million things I had on my plate and I wish someone had told me how they managed to do everything. Also I wish that someone would have told me how important schmoozing and social things were with other teachers. The world of teaching is highly social and for those of us who are shy (seems an odd career choice for someone like that, no?) there is a certain need for cultivating your inner social butterfly. In terms of lesson planning, Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking which is a handy flip-chart based on Bloom's Taxonomy is really helpful. Also, I love National Geographic's My Wonderful World website for all things geography. My student's liked to answer the questions from the GeoBee :)
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5/25/2011 15:06:28Get the children to do as much of your paperwork as you can. Have them check and grade their own papers as much as possible. It takes the burden off of you and it gives them instant feedback.Just the basic office staples: scissors, stapler, 3-hole punch, ruler, meter/yeard stick. Chalk for the blackboard or markers for the white board. Paper in various sizes and colors. Everything else is gravy.
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5/26/2011 21:05:33That is is OK to be friendly. You don't have to be so grim and grumpy!
Tell them about yourself, share stories as you teach. They will also open up to you and you will becomre more effective!
Could not live without email. WoW! Don't know how I did that before we had email!
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5/27/2011 11:46:09You need to leave the worries at school and give your brain a break. Everything will still be there when you come back!Either a document camera or an overhead. I use it to demonstrate a lot of things to the kids. One or the other is essential.
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5/28/2011 15:52:21Ask as many questions as you want! No one thinks it's strange that you're unaware of anything your first year.I *love* my document camera! Especially working with kindergartners, it helps make demonstrations of even the most minute tasks easier to observe.
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5/29/2011 12:29:19To be sure to take time outside of the classroom to nourish your body and mind. Teaching can quickly consume you, but you'll be better able to sustain years in the field if you care for yourself from the beginning.

Be sure to put the students first. Take time to address the needs of students as individuals. The puzzle of what content to teach and how to teach it is clearer when you take the time to ask yourself what each child needs to progress as a learner.
My peers. Reflection with a trusted mentor, or colleague is one of the best ways to be sure you are creating a learning space that allows for creativity and real learning. Look for the people in the school that you can go to for honest and productive debriefing.
Be honest in your self-reflection. Although you can learn from the lesson that was smooth and energizing, you can learn more from the lessons that didn't go as planned.
Aside from that, I wish I had a resource like Edutopia when I started in the classroom 20 years ago!
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