ADVICE TO BEGINNING EDUCATORS
FROM YOUR EXPERIENCED COLLEAGUES

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Index:


Web Sites Just for New Teachers


Some Books for New Teachers

The Beginning Teacher's Manual, a book full of advice and ideas for new teachers on all the things a new teacher has to master in the first few weeks, like classroom discipline. Available from NSDC for $60. See NSDC info under "Organizations" elsewhere on this site.

The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, by Harry Wong, 352 pages for $24.95 from Harry K. Wong Publications, 1030 W. Maude Ave. #507, Sunnyvale, CA 94086, Fax (408) 732-2206

Handbook of Skills Essential to Beginning Teachers, M. Goethals & R. Howard, (1985). Lanham. MD; University Press of America.

Keys to the Classroom, is a great teacher guide for the first month of school. Includes setting the learning environment, establishing daily routines, sample letters in English & Spanish and activities & songs in English & Spanish. Paperback available for $27.95 + $2 handling from Corwin Press, 2455 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, Ca 91320-2218, (805499-9774 or e-mail,

The New Elementary Teacher's Handbook, this seems to deal with just about everything from maintaining discipline toorganizational ideas, and assessment. Paperback available for $29.95 + $2 handling from Corwin Press, 2455 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, Ca 91320-2218, (805499-9774 or e-mail,

New Teachers Helping New Teachers: Preservice Peer Coaching, a book, looks great, at http://www.indiana.edu/~eric_rec/bks/newteach.html

New Teacher's Survival Guide, by a new teacher. Includes traits of effective teachers, dealing with discipline, getting a job, picking a school, etc. At- http://www.dun.org/sulan/teacher/default.htm

Profile of a Beginning Teacher, by American Assn. of Colleges for Teacher Educ. List the desired characteristics. At - http://www.ualr.edu/~coedept/STHNDBK/PROFILE.HTML

Time-Saving Tips For Teachers. A book to help teachers to become more efficient in their use of time for communications, planning, assessment, etc. How to maximize help by volunteers, subs, and parents. Paperback available for $29.95 + $2 handling from Corwin Press, 2455 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, Ca 91320-2218, (805499-9774 or e-mail,


Advice for New Teachers From Mentors: Compiled from mentor comments by Barry Sweeny

THE CRITICAL STUFF:


1. ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS AND SHARE YOUR PROBLEMS. As mentors we want to help and we need to know the best way to provide that help, so your questions are important to us. We know that you have a lot to learn, especially the first 2-3 years, so don't feel inadequate or embarrassed asking often for suggestions or help. We all are professionals & are always learning. Be willing to take some time from "today" periodically to develop yourself as a professional for the children you will serve "tomorrow".

2. EXPECT IT TO TAKE A LOT OF WORK. You may be expecting to assume the full load of an experienced educator but you will be doing that without the benefit of that experience. There is so much to learn and some of the "lessons" are easier than others, so for the first year or so you'll be working very hard to do your job as well as you want. Just remember that as your experience and skills grow, so will your ability to work efficiently and effectively. If educating children was simple, it wouldn't be a profession!

3. DON'T TRY TO DO IT ALL NOW. No matter how experienced any of us becomes, we find that the work is NEVER done. It is not possible to do enough for the children about which we all care so much. The most important things are:

In this way the essentials will receive your best effort.

4. JOIN THE "SCHOOL TEAM", DON'T GO IT ALONE. We all discover that the most significant results are achieved when we work as a team. Each of us has strengths and limitations as individuals, but as a team our diversity creates more strengths & fewer limitations on what WE can accomplish. This means that WE can respond better to the differences in children and that their learning will improve because their needs are met. The more open we are to learning from and sharing with others the truer this becomes.

5. LISTEN TO YOUR MENTORS AND DEFER TO THEIR JUDGMENT WHEN YOU FIRST TRY THINGS. Mentors are trained to limit the amount of advice they offer, particularly after the initial orientation period. If your mentor advises you to try something you should definitely consider it. Try it once, then when you have that experience you'll be better able to judge for yourself what is right for you and your classes. Ignoring the mentor's advice often means learning "the hard way", by trial and error.

MORE ADVICE:


1. Don't assume very much. Ask for clarification or check it out.
2. Don't apologize when you ask questions. You need to know, so asking is what you should do.
3. Use the resources that we provide you. Read the handouts, articles, and manuals.
4. Be yourself. We liked you when we hired you!
5. Be flexible and willing to adapt to situations. Rigidity wins a battle but loses wars and friends.
6. Keep your sense of humor and enjoy the children and your colleagues.
7. Celebrate the successes, but realize that we do not always succeed.
8. Plan some time for yourself. Protect your great attitude.
9. Listen a lot. Speak up when it's appropriate.
10.Pacing is vital. Ask others for their outline of the year's activities or curriculum and consider it.
11.Keep clear notes on each child in your elementary classroom. Keep notes on any secondary child when you are concerned. Documentation will sometimes seem a waste of time when you don't need it, but when you do need it, it will protect you.


You may copy and distribute this paper as long as you do so for free and maintain the following credits:

© by Barry Sweeny, Best Practice Resources
26 W 413 Grand Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 668-2605, E-mail [email protected]
Web site at <http://www.teachermentors.com>.