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Old 08-05-2007, 07:31 PM   #1
Yael Grauer
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After about two weeks of workshops, retreats, training and pep rally time, I'll finally be starting my first year of teaching this Tuesday. I'll be teaching 8th grade Language Arts. My room is almost ready to go and I have about two months worth of lesson plans written (or stolen).

I know there are a ton of teachers on these boards. Any last-minute advice? I'm planning on being as Harry Wong as I can get, at least for the first week or two.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:22 AM   #2
Paul Mirek
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Congratulations...welcome to the big leagues! I am a "veteran" of 7 years in the schools (high school). I'm just finishing up Summer School this week, so I have a few more weeks of "freedom" in front of me before school starts here in Chicago.

Last-minute advice? Hmmm...at some point, make a solid relationship with a student or two. My challenge to every teacher is to reach out to a student who may be the least desirable in many ways. They need a mentor, a leader, a role model, and sometimes a parent. Be what no one else wants to be for them.

Hey, lesson plans are always meant to be stolen. Let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to help...if time allows.

Do you CrossFit too? I'm thinking it would be fun to introduce CF to my high schoolers. Let me know if you do something like that at your school. I'd love to hear your ideas on it.

http://mrmirek.blogspot.com (w/f SAFE!)
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:56 AM   #3
Simon Bowley
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Congrats! I've just finished my second year of high school geography. I must say that it's a great job.

Tips? Don't try to be liked. Always be fair and consistent - pupils need and like solid boundaries. Classroom management is more straight forward if everyone knows the deal and it is well communicated. Share teaching resources as much as possible with colleagues and on the internet - a million minds are better than one!

An excellent teacher once told me that teaching is 60% education and 40% entertainment. We all like to enjoy ourselves!

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:13 PM   #4
Yael Grauer
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I am planning on coaching a sport at some point; actually Dan John was giving me some great pointers on coaching track. The school is going to let me know what openings are available as soon as they know. We're kind of in crisis mode with all the restructuring going on...

I just got back from my 14 hour workday...who knew that putting together folders could take so long? ;)
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:54 AM   #5
Sean McCue
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Expect long hours, low pay and little thanks but there will be that one kid that comes up and says, "you are the best teacher," and that makes it all worthwhile. I have been teaching for 6 years and those are the moment that you remember.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:26 PM   #6
Yael Grauer
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38 students was more than I expected, but they said they'd fix it next week. HA! Well, I survived somehow. I'm also down to 13-hour days; hoping to get that down to 12 too... We'll see.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:27 PM   #7
Nick Hobby
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Just realize that your first year will be very difficult and stressful. It will be more than you expected but it WILL get easier with every day that you get through. I have been teaching for 5 years now and I love it. Each year gets easier and more enjoyable. As it gets easier I am then able try new activities and strategies that contribute to the enjoyment of both myself and my students. as a first year teacher some one told me, "no matter what make sure you commit yourself to a second year." This is because there will be many times when you want to quit but if you can just get through that first year it gets much better. Also, something like 30-40% of new teachers quit after their first year without even attempting a second.

Paul- I teach high school PE. I have 48 students in each class. I made crossfit a regular part of my classes last year and most students seem to really like it. Many of them will ask to do it more often than we do and my best class efforts have been observed while the class was doing difficult crossfit workouts. I even have a group of motivated students who join me after school and we do the WOD together.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:30 PM   #8
Yael Grauer
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I have a teacher in my pod who is the bestest. :-) (How's that for a Language Arts word?) She actually stayed with me after school 'til 8 or so to help me revamp tomorrow's lesson plan and come up with a new seating arrangement. Since I had less desks than students it was difficult making a seating chart.

If tomorrow is better than today, I'll be happy!
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