Before I started teaching, I rarely had to ask for help. I worked hard and researched answers when I came across a challenge, but never in my life have I even felt quite like I was drowning and didn’t even begin to know where to turn. I dislike asking for help and would much rather pretend like everything is okay and try to deal with the difficulties on my own, trying not to burden others with the issues I was having in my classroom and my inability to deal with them. However, instead of successfully taking these problems on, I felt very small, like I was on my own island.
Lesson planning mastered? Check. Classroom management plan implemented? Check. Class library organized? Check. Now what?
With the hustle and bustle of the first month of school behind you, autumn presents an exciting opportunity to engage and invest your students in learning, their quality of work, and in being a part of your class. Check out the list below for 12 awesome investment-building tips.
- Display student work inside your classroom and outside of it too.
- Allow students to have a classroom job or responsibility.
- Select books and project themes based on students’ interests.
Ms. Henderson’s classroom at Lincoln Elementary School in Richmond, California is affectionately referred to as the Learning Center—or El Centro de Aprendizaje—by students, teachers, and families from the surrounding neighborhood.
“It is the room where the lowest performing students in the school (70 students in grades K-6) and the students with specialized learning needs come once a day for a reprieve from their general education classrooms,” Ms. Henderson writes. “It is a safe haven for many students who are used to ‘not getting it,’ who oftentimes ‘feel stupid’ or like they ‘can’t’ (a word that is banned from my classroom).”
The days become shorter and shorter, while the to-do lists grow longer and longer. These are the signs that fall is here. But did you know there is a group of people who can help with behavior management, classroom projects, lesson plan ideas, and chaperoning field trips? Who? Look no further than your students’ parents.
Below, you will find a list of ideas to help leverage parent support in your classroom for the stressful month of October, and the rest of the school year, too.
A couple of weeks ago, Facebook’s “On This Day” feature reminded me of the first post I made as a newbie teacher six long years ago:
That which doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.
To say that the first year of teaching can be tough is an understatement. Like so many other new teachers, I struggled with the countless challenges that came with the role. Most of these challenges involve the development of different skills—classroom management, lesson planning, learning how to talk to parents—that get easier over time.
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! September 15 marks the start of a month-long celebration and recognition of the many contributions of Hispanic and Latin Americans in the United States. First founded in 1968 by President Johnson, Hispanic Heritage Month was originally the week of September 15, when eight Latin American countries celebrate their independence days. Twenty years later, it became a full month under President Reagan.
The start of the school year is a great time to cultivate new procedures in the classroom to keep yourself and your students organized. Many “organized teacher” advice focuses on procedures for elementary and middle school classes, but this time, we’re turning our lens to high school, when papers, grading, and assignments really start to pile up. See five high school procedures below, specifically developed for a math class though adaptable to all subjects, to keep your papers (and your sanity) in check.
Last year, Teach For America alum Caroline Decaire-Goldin wrote an astute post about working smarter in the classroom with student-based strategies. With back-to-school season in full swing, we thought it was a great time to revisit her wise words with a few updates.
We hear it over and over: “Work smart, not hard.” We all know what that statement means, and we all try to apply it to our lesson-planning and daily productivity goals—but are we translating it to give more power and classroom control to our students? Often, what seems “smart” to us is maintaining order and having cohesive procedures. It took me two-and-a-half years and lots of peer collaboration to finally start realizing what it means to work smarter throughout the day. The key component? My students.