Beginning Teacher Helps

On this page you will be able to find a number of links, suggestions, and ideas to help make your first year of teaching just a little bit less overwhelming. There are also some ideas here that can be useful for veteran teachers as well

Now that you have been hired
          The contract is signed and you have been offered a class to teach. You are fulfilling a dream and are full of expectations. But in the days or weeks before you face the children for the first time, you find that your mind is often filled with worries and unsettling questions:
  • "When the door closes and all those children are sitting in their desks and looking up at me, will I have something to say?"
  • "Will I ever be able to fill all those hours until lunch?"
  • "What if a parent comes to meet me and can only say, 'You're the teacher?!"
  • "Am I going to be able to keep the vows I made to myself to treat my students in a fair and loving way?"
  • "Will they like me?"
  • "How long is it going to take before I feel like a REAL teacher?"
           Most beginning teachers want to be competent and creative in a classroom where students are inquisitive and on task. They envision themselves as flexible and fun, enjoying their job, respected by parents, and looked upon as a valuable addition by their school staff. These expectations, however, do not become reality overnight. Included here are ideas and links to sites that will help you as you face the overwhelming job of figuring it all out and putting it all together

          This is the preeminent book on classroom management and lesson mastery. The book walks a teacher, either novice or veteran, through the most effective ways to begin a school year and continue to become an effective teacher. This is the most basic book on how to teach and is helpful for any teacher from kindergarten to 12th grade. Every teacher, new and not so new, and every administrator needs to have a copy. It works.


          If you live in the state of California, BTSA is available in many communities. BTSA, the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program provides opportunities for fully-prepared first and second year teachers to expand and deepen their teaching knowledge and skill. The BTSA Program also provides a smooth transition into the complex responsibilities of teaching, increases the retention of beginning teachers, and improves learning opportunities for their K-12 students.


          Building a sense of order, respect, and trust in your classroom is essential, and indeed, provides a good place to start. Without these underlying dynamics, the real business of teaching and learning cannot take place. Here are ways that some educators are meeting the challenge, including some suggestions for noise control, safety issues, transforming behavior and using positive reinforcement. Try them and see if they work in your classroom!


          Beginning Teacher's Tool Box is a community of educators offering support to new, student, and substitute teachers through print and online resources. There is help for student teachers, teacher preparation, classroom resources, and professional resources. There is also a mentoring page for mthose teachers seeking help from other teachers. A monthly features section provided helpful tips and informational articles. This is great for more experienced teachers as well.


          Here are eleven techniques that you can use in your classroom that will help you achieve effective group management and control. They have been adapted from an article called: "A Primer on Classroom Discipline: Principles Old and New." by Thomas R. McDaniel; Phi Delta Kappan, May 1986. Also included are links that outline 4 steps of classroom discipline as well as what does NOT WORK


          Discipline is probably the number one concern for new teachers. When a teacher first steps into a classroom, his/her impression on the students is extremely important. Unfortunately, as the cartoon on the left implies, there are no easy fixes for good discipline. What works for one teacher, may not work for the next. The links below are just some ideas to think about. Have patience with your students, and have confidence in yourself.


          At this site you will find links to a number of other pages contributed by teachers including getting organized, getting ready for the first day, learning to know your students. The focus of this site is for teachers of older grades.


          From "how to" information on lesson planning and writing behavioral objectives to ideas about classroom management, and descriptions of the advantages and disadvantages of different instructional methods, this site can be helpful to new teachers, beginning teachers, and teacher education students. There is useful information here that will give you a different perspective, get you thinking, and maybe help you to be a more effective teacher.


          This is a site that focuses on helping those studying to be teachers and those who are just starting their first few years of teaching. However, there is beneficial information for teacher who have been teaching a while as well. Included here are such things as: geeting a job, your first classroom, classroom management, technology and mentoring.


          This site has links to sources of practical information for teachers. Included here you will find help on writing behavioral objectives, thinking skils, managing student behavior, teaching method, help for a job search and more.


          Teachers helping teachers provides basic teaching tips to inexperienced teachers and new ideas in teaching methodologies. Their goals are: to provide basic teaching tips to inexperienced teachers that can be immediately implemented into the classroom; to provide new ideas in teaching methodologies for all teachers, whether new or experienced; and to provide a forum for experienced teachers to share their expertise and tips with colleagues around the world. There are lesson plans for every area across the curriculum as well as holiday ideas, suggestions of books to read, poems and more.


          This Web Site is designed to give specific advice, help, and direction for those who view teaching as a profession not just a job. The HELP TOPICS have been gleaned from effective teachers who seem to get the most out of their students with low stress to themselves. Also, many of the "what to consider to do" come from the research, teacher training, and observations of Dr. Fred Jones in his two works, Positive Classroom Discipline and Positive Classroom Instruction and Dr. Madeline Hunter's work in Clinical Teaching and effective Lesson design.


          This is a page of helpful resource links for new teachers as well as ideas for substitutes. Definitely worth a look.


          This siteconcentrates on posting job opportunities available at kindergarten, elementary schools, junior high, high schools and vocational schools. Each job posting has complete information, including school name, location, application deadline, salary, contact information, school e-mail address, and the school's web site.  For those of you who are currently seeking an educator position, this site has a lot of good information. For those of you who are fortunate enough to have a position somewhere, you can see how your pay, benefits, etc. stack up.

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This page is dedicated to Oralia.
Best wishes and prayers as you begin your teaching career!
I know you'll put your whole heart into it!