As somebody who has spent lots of time in the classroom working with kids, I like to think that I have some idea about what I’m doing in the classroom. However, I very well remember my first couple of years teaching, in which I felt like I was sinking into quicksand. I know that many of the visitors to my site are new teachers, and that some of you feel like I did.
For what it’s worth, I’ve decided to offer a few thoughts and suggestions about how new teachers might better navigate the world of education. However, unlike some of those folk in teacher ed. programs who insist that they know The Truth, I’m freely willing to admit that these suggestions will work for some of you and not for others. Teaching is a very personal endeavor, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to anything. These are suggestions that have worked for me, and are not meant to be a blueprint for your teaching practices.
- Respect: The single most important thing a teacher should understand is the concept of respect, and what it entails for everybody. What is respect, and how can everybody practice it?
- Discipline: Every teacher knows that their students can sometimes be a handful. Here are some suggestions for the new teacher about how to rein them in and make the classroom fun for everybody.
- Safety: Keeping our students safe is our top priority. However, safety isn’t the same thing as implementing rules and regulations. Let’s explore how to get a safer classroom by establishing fewer safety rules.
- Culture: Every school has their own way of doing things. Here, we explore what to do if the school way clashes with your way.
- Dealing with “expert advice”: So, you’ve been told to read the latest paper about being a good teacher. How should you handle this information?
- Technology: I love open source software, mainly because it’s very good and costs nothing. This post isn’t so much a lesson about how to teach but a lesson about how to make open-source software work for you.
- Using autocorrect to write formulas: If you hate writing formulas, here’s a special plugin that makes the need to use subscripts and superscripts unnecessary.