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The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

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The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

Post by sabine on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:23 pm

Hi dear mates! I consider teaching one of the hardest jobs. Class management is not an easy task at all especially for a new teacher. Every teacher wants to give effective lessons, to manage and control his\her classes and to be admired by his\her students. I found this amazing article of great help. It gives some ideas that help to be a successful teacher. Smile Enjoy it

The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know
by Catherine Wilcoxson, Ph
.D.

Teachers begin their careers, they are usually excited about their first
“real” teaching position. This feeling is followed by one of uncertainty.

Do I have the knowledge and skills to be in total control of a classroom?
What do I do when a student talks back to me? How will I decide what topics to
teach? How should I assess students’ progress? What is the best way to
maintain discipline in my classroom? Will the students like me?

These are all valid questions, and you will find that as you evolve as a teacher, you will return
to them frequently. As a first-year teacher, you have the exciting challenge of
teaching students and learning what it means to be an effective teacher. The tips
in this article will give you a head start on this process by giving you some basic
ideas to help you be a successful teacher and to help your students become
better learners.

1. Don’t worry so much about doing the right thing. There is no one right
way. You must determine what works best with your personality, your students,
and school policies. It will help if you have read your school’s student
handbook. The guidelines in the handbook will help you avoid some of the more
obvious pitfalls and give you some insight into the culture of your new school.


2. Relax. Get to know your students. Listen, empathize, and above all be
patient. Your students are great people. Let them know that you care about them
and their education. Also let the students know that you are not infallible—be
comfortable enough with yourself that you can admit when you do not know an
answer and that you are willing to learn with your students. Establish that
“sense of presence” that conveys to students and anyone observing the
classroom that you are confident, capable, organized, prepared, responsive to
students’ needs, and able to make the class engaging for all students.
Remember, stop worrying about yourself and what you are doing. Think about
your students and enjoy working with them.

3. Teaching is hard work. It is much more work than you ever thought
possible. It is essential that you are organized and use your time efficiently.
Beginning teachers are generally surprised at the amount of time it takes to plan
effectively. Determining objectives, deciding on activities, collecting materials,
grading papers, and making informed decisions take a tremendous amount of
time. And just when you think you have everything planned and organized, there
is an unexpected fire drill, student assembly, or early dismissal that forces you to
adjust your plans. It is essential that beginning teachers give themselves
sufficient time to plan as well as learn to be flexible.

Flexibility in time management is also essential to accommodate the diversity of
students’ background knowledge and the manner in which they learn to process
information. Successful teachers are willing to stop and reteach if necessary or
to modify lesson plans if it becomes clear that more or less time is required.
It will help if you thoroughly think through your day’s activities and objectives,
keep careful records and notes, and prepare to explain and give common
everyday examples. Don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions and opinions. Talk to
colleagues. Most teachers are flattered that you asked.

4. Standards cannot be ignored and should not be feared. There are
pressures of test scores and state standards that must be met. Standardized tests
are often used to determine school and district performance, allocate funds, and
gain public approval. These test scores may even be published. Look at the
standards as an aid to good teaching. Standards help you decide what to teach,
support your decisions about what and how to teach, convince the public that
you are familiar with the field of science teaching, and focus curriculum so that
you do not spend too much time on a favorite subject and ignore important
concepts that must be taught. To relieve your anxiety about standards, offer to
serve on the committee that implements standards in your school.3 of 5

5. Write objectives that focus on student learning, not on today’s task.
For example, “Build a model of a dam” is a task while “Simulate the principle
of how dams work” is what you really want students to learn. Focus on what
you really expect students to learn and to be able to do. Thinking about the
criteria for student success before giving an assignment will help you determine
your expectations. Critics will say this leads to grade inflation, but I disagree.
Almost all students want to succeed. Clearly stating your expectations upfront
helps students to know what they need to do to be successful and helps to build
student confidence in you as a fair teacher.

Expectations need to be realistic and challenging for all students. Creating a list
of expectations that provides for a range of abilities and skill levels can be
difficult; however, students of all abilities must have the opportunity to succeed.
Having clear expectations (objectives) will help you focus your lesson plan by
allowing you to ask yourself, “How does this lesson or activity bring my
students closer to meeting expectations?”

6. Smile, and do so frequently. Forget the adage, “Don’t smile until
Christmas.” Smiling and demonstrating a sense of humor will not compromise
your authority. You may be the only adult who smiles or greets an individual
student warmly today. You may never know the importance of those smiles or
other expressions of caring. Remember, you do not know what has happened to
your students before they entered your classroom. Maybe they have had a fight
with their mom or dad or with a sister or brother before leaving for school;
maybe they haven’t eaten; maybe they are feeling sick or have been teased in the
hallway. Give them a break. Make them happy to be in your classroom every
day.

7. Respect your students. Treat your students as intelligent humans beings.
Avoid categorizing them as lazy, bright, unorganized, etc. Rather, look for each
student’s unique qualities. Do not allow put-downs or sarcasm in your
classroom. Show by example that every comment is valued and must be
constructive or helpful to others. Students can be taught responsibility for their
own actions by following your example. This means you should always be
prepared, return papers promptly, and provide feedback that is quick, helpful,
and thoughtful. Chances are that if you respect your students, they will respect
you.

8. Believe in your students even if they don’t believe in themselves. Treat
students as valued members of society. Give them hope and confidence that they
can develop as strong individuals. Giving students answers or taking over and
doing an experiment or activity for them leads to learned helplessness. The
students begin to feel incompetent and doubt their ability to succeed. It is also
important that discipline is not perceived as being personal. The act is criticized,
not the student who has erred in judgment. We are all learning acceptable modes
of behavior. Help them learn.

9. Don’t isolate yourself. New teachers are often overwhelmed with the
demands of their first teaching job, fear of failure, and uncertainty about the best
course of action. Compounding this situation can be a feeling of isolation and
the need to talk about work and the problems you have encountered. It is
essential that beginning teachers become proactive in developing a support
system. Often, experienced teachers become entrenched in a day-to-day routine
and are so busy with their own concerns that they do not realize that a beginning
teacher might need help or support. Take the initiative to develop personal and
professional relationships in your school. If possible, establish a mentor
relationship with an experienced teacher. A mentor relationship encourages you
to cooperatively seek solutions, increases your awareness of alternatives,
provides a sounding board to vent frustrations, and allows you to learn from the
experiences of a colleague.

10. It is not appropriate to teach the way we were taught. Chances are that
your students are growing up in a world completely different from the one you
grew up in. Technology, lifestyles, economics, and many other factors have
created a different world than when you were in school. Students at this level are
still curious, imaginative, enthusiastic, and talkative. The classroom environment5 of 5
tends to be very lively. However, as a first-year teacher, you may be surprised to
learn that students are not as you remember yourself as a middle school student.

Today’s students seem less motivated to learn and more interested in other
things such as listening to music, going to the mall, or playing video games. You
can capitalize on your students’ energy and enthusiasm by making connections
between what you teach in the classroom and your students’ everyday lives.
Before you can do this, you need to know what students’ lives are like outside
the classroom.

A good way to learn about your students is to allow them to choose their own
topics for projects. This gives you the opportunity to see what your students are
interested in and helps make the learning relevant. An added benefit is that when
students are involved in deciding what to study and how to demonstrate their
understanding, they develop a sense of ownership and generally try to exceed
your expectations.

In conclusion, effective teachers are constantly learning from their successes and
failures. To be effective, teachers must look back on their practices and assess
what works well, what doesn’t, and how they might improve as teachers.
Keeping a journal is an excellent means of keeping track of your performance,
and it can provide valuable information for your own professional development.

Source http://go.hrw.com/resources/go_sc/gen/HSTPR040.PDF
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sabine

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Re: The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

Post by sassy86 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:02 pm

Sabine! Wow !!! That's soooooooooo helpful !! Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu

(By the way, have you read my sms. Obviously no. You've missed something Very Happy lol
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sassy86

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Re: The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

Post by Wallace on Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:37 pm

Thank you, Sabine, for the article. That's of good use to trainees et all Smile
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Wallace

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Re: The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

Post by sabine on Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:48 pm

@Mr Wallace: it has been long time not seen Smile you're always welcome
@my dear Sassy : you're welcome Smile
do you think that I can miss such a great event Wink please check tour mailbox sister
may allah bless you sister
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sabine

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Re: The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

Post by sassy86 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:57 pm

heheheheh yeah just checked it! Thank you sweet doll !
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Re: The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

Post by aspire on Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:43 pm

Very useful things to know, all the 10 of them. Thanks Sabine!
But how about beating our students the way we were punished? i feel disappointed not too see it mentioned. Am I the only one left who believes in the power of the red stick?!!::smiles::

aspire

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Re: The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

Post by sabine on Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:42 pm

Happy that you find it useful aspire. Smile
I really prefer to let beating the students as the last solution. I'm totally against this way of punishment because it has a heavy psychological impact on the child. I think that there are always solutions to any problem facing the teacher with his students. Of course punishment is required in many cases but beating is the worst for me. I do believe in the power and effectiveness of the red pen and not the red stick and al fala9a Very Happy
best regards
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sabine

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Re: The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

Post by aspire on Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:30 pm

Very well said Sabine. You win!

aspire

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