What is the greatest advice you received during your 1st year of teaching?
- Do you have a checklist that you follow when preparing your classroom (include the checklist)?
- What are some must haves in your classroom that you cannot live without (ex. items, books, posters, management strategies)?
- What is something that all teachers should have in their classroom?1. The greatest advice that I ever received was to place a stack of 5 letter tray labeled Monday through Friday on the corner of my desk.
In these files, all papers to be used would be placed for the upcoming week, including envelopes used in collecting various "return to school" papers like a book order or picture money. By Thursday of the current week all lesson plans needed to be completed for the upcoming week. By end of day Friday..or before I went home, all necessary papers that were needed for the upcoming week must be placed in the letter tray for the correct day. I can't express how wonderful it felt on Monday morning to walk into my classroom and know that I was ready for the upcoming week.
2. I didn't have a checklist when I was preparing for my classroom, but after I would set up my room I would "WALK THROUGH MY DAY" just like a student would. For example, when I entered the room, would I know where to place my homework, return papers, and how to start the day automatically without direct teacher instruction? Was my classroom environment set up to enable students to do this? I continued thinking and walking through the day... and I knew I was ready for my students to walk through that door the first day. I ALWAYS posted my time schedule and subject taught for each day. Kids like routines, and the time schedule would keep ME on schedule too.
3. Some must haves in my classroom were... some background paper on some bulletin boards, but NOTHING filling that space. That space would be filled with student work. I also must plan my classroom environment to contain an area for my entire class to meet together (sit on floor) with a freestanding writing surface.
4. One idea that I used year after year was to place a opaque plastic 9 X 12 sleeve taped near an exit doorway. In that sleeve, I placed a class emergency list with students names and a contact number to reach a parent. That list went with me for every drill, assembly, and field trip. Those were the only times it would be taken out of the sleeve - for one of these events. One year, an Epipen, in a manila envelope, was taped on the wall next to it, when I had a student with a severe allergy problem.