Every year as we start back to school I begin to take time to reflect on some of the lessons that I have learned over the years. This year will mark my twelvth year in education and no matter what I still continue to learn new things about my own teaching style as well as the students, and teachers, that I work with.
These days, new teachers are leaving the field at a rate of 50% – decreasing the teacher population while the student population increases. Brian and Eric of Wise Guys have used their combined experience of 40 years in the classroom to help tackle the problem, by writing an e-book to motivate new teachers along wiht creating a large resource guide to equip new teachers with the tools they need for success. They also create a FREE e-book for more established teachers to start this new school year off strong.
I remember what it was like to be a new teacher back in 2004, I thought I was so ready for day one in my very own classroom with 22 fifth graders. I had all the training in college, done my student teaching and even had been substitute teaching or 4 years… what else did I need to know? I had the first day planned out to thee minute to cover every single rule, policy and procedure that I wanted to put in place. I moved around my classroom with ease as I was going over things. My students sat there with blank looks on their faces and I just knew they were soaking it all in. UMM, WRONG! I was giving them WAY TOO MUCH info at one time. They needed time to acclimate back to being in school and learn all about their new teacher and new classmates.
When lunch time came around I was ready for a nap! I had talked pretty much non-stop for about 3 hours and didn’t know if I could do this everyday. I sat down with my team at lunch and listened to the veterans on my team of 9 fifth grade teachers and learned that many of them had barely even covered the “rules” as they wanted to observe their students interactions. Why didn’t I think of this? I love to people watch and this is a great way to do just that. After we arrived back into the classroom from lunch and recess I allowed my students time to mingle with each other first within their own groups and then doing an icebreaker as a whole class. Now this was the right way to build a family in our classroom.
We as teachers have to remember that we are all new each year and even if they have been in classes with some of the students before the dynamic is always changing. From that year on I took time on the first day to build that family aspect in my classroom. Each year I did different icebreakers to vary things up but we were all getting to know each other on our own levels.
If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed in anticipation of this upcoming school year, you definitely need to check out Brian and Eric’s new resources. The First Year Teacher is a great book to gift to new teachers, to equip them to excel in their new profession. They also have a companion resource guide, with resources for just about every situation that will arise in the school year. They also have a free ebook called 10 Things to Accomplish Before Back to School – filled with great reminders for even veteran teachers!
But here’s the best part – as part of this book tour, you can enter to win their First Year Teacher resources AND spending money at Teachers Pay Teachers using the giveaway widget below! Be sure to click over to their blog to check out the other stops on the book tour.