Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

Wooo..I am bloggin like crazy tonight!  Time for Blog Hoppin's Teacher Talk Tuesday.  I am supposed to give advice to new teachers.  While I don't feel totally qualified for this (I feel like I can always use more advice) I will give it my best shot!  My top 5 tips:

1.  Take some time for yourself!  It's so easy to get overwhelmed and absorbed in school.  If you let it take over you will burn-out quickly!  

2.  Take it slow at the beginning.  Especially in the early grades, like my kindergarten.  It's so important to establish routines and a sense of community and in the long run the time spent on this will make all the "learning" with curriculum go much more smoothly.  (This is something I have to remember every year!)

3.  Stay out of the "politics" and gossip of the school.  I am always amazed at how much we adults can act like catty teenage girls!  Just keep out of it and stay positive and you will enjoy teaching much more (not to mention being more professional)!

4.  Communicate with parents.  As much as possible.  I try to send home positive notes/phone calls/emails and that way if I do have a not-so-positive conversation that isn't the only communication I have with that family.  I love getting to speak to parents when they pick up my students - I feel like I'm able to better involve them in the learning process!

5.  Lastly, be sure to give clear guidelines on scissor use!  My first year of teaching, I started about 3 weeks into the school year.  I assumed my students knew how to use scissors so I only gave a cursory review on use.  So during a cutting project, as I was helping one student cut his paper, another student came up to me with blood gushing from her mouth and she was wailing.  I panicked, of course, and sent her to the nurse and we finally figured out that she had CUT. HER. TONGUE.  With safety scissors.  She had to get stitches IN HER TONGUE.  It was repulsive.  And I felt like a terrible teacher.  Luckily no one blamed me and I've become much better at explaining scissor use.  This story always gets my new kiddos and no one has ever tried to put the scissors anywhere but their paper!

I hope these tips will be helpful to someone!  And if this is your first year, congrats and good luck! :)

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