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WICKEDLOVELY88's Photo WICKEDLOVELY88 Posts: 178
2/3/11 11:58 P

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great advice everyone! Teawungee, I love that attention grabber, I am always looking for fun things like that to get the students to be quiet.

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TEAWUNGEE's Photo TEAWUNGEE Posts: 25
1/31/11 3:35 P

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hotfootara: haha that's my favorite advice yet! i don't have my own classroom yet, i'm still subbing, but the first thing i try to find out when i take a new assignment is where are the teacher bathrooms and is there one close to my classroom??

i, too, love all the advice folks! keep it coming! if i may add 2 specific questions to this thread:

* what behavior management techniques do you middle/high teachers use?

and

* any subs out there have any advice in the same area, any grade level?


technique i've found works well with 6th grade to get their attention:

Teacher: If you can hear me, clap once *clap*
All: *clap*
Teacher: If you can hear me, clap twice *clap clap*
All: *clap clap*
Teacher: If you can hear me, close your lips and listen to directions!
Students: giggles

classes i've done this with thought it was fun and since i change up the actions by the third one (stomp feet, packup bags, rub top of head, etc) they usually are listening for the next goofy thing i'm going to say! but they LISTEN!

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HOTFOOTARA's Photo HOTFOOTARA Posts: 11
1/30/11 8:47 P

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Sounds silly, but...use the restroom whenever you have the chance! You never know when you might get the sudden urge and there's no one around to watch your class!

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GEOCACHEAZ's Photo GEOCACHEAZ Posts: 745
1/29/11 5:39 P

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1) don't be threatened or intimidated when a veteran teacher offers you advice. It's not personal- its about the kids.
2) Make time for yourself- time to exercise and unwind.
3) the work will never be finished


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GNUATTITUDE's Photo GNUATTITUDE SparkPoints: (102,594)
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1/29/11 5:14 P

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After more than 3 decades as a middle/high school teacher, I'd pass along the same advice I was given as a rookie.

1. Make your custodian and the media specialist your best friends. Let them know you appreciate them.

2. Part of your job is to be a disciplinarian. Be kind about it, but take it seriously.

3. Kids don't care what you know until they know that you care.

4. Learn the fine are of saying, "you're wrong" without saying "you're wrong".

5. "Never let them see you sweat," but let them see you learn every day.


"Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other."
--Erma Bombeck


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ILLINITEACHER52 Posts: 7,257
1/28/11 10:53 P

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1. Have high expectations
2. If something isn't getting across, find another way to present it. One of the best things I did was to learn about different learning styles as well as different personality types for children. That information has helped a lot. "Nuture by Nature" is a great book for teachers as well as parents. I also took a listening skills class. It has helped me work with co-workers as well as parents.
3. Have fun!!! - It is good for you as well as the students. You will look forward to going to school if you plan something that you are looking forward to too!

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ANGELMANDI's Photo ANGELMANDI Posts: 909
1/28/11 11:44 A

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I learned the following from teaching: (although not all in the first year)
1) stay organized (at school and at home)
2) don't always be the first one to volunteer for something (you may end up getting dumped on later) but don't be afraid to volunteer either (it may get some good brownie points with administration that you might need later)
3) keep your promises
4) don't neglect your own family just because you're so excited about wanting to do an extra good job your first year
5) try to say something positive and celebratory to each student everyday, if you can
6) DON'T follow the teacher's manual all the time
7) No matter what, SMILE.

"That which you cannot give away, you do not possess. It possesses you." ~Ivern Ball

"Clutter is just postponed decisions"
~Barbara Hemphill

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." ~Abraham Lincoln


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MOM2CALLIEBELLA's Photo MOM2CALLIEBELLA Posts: 1,933
1/28/11 11:28 A

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We had that happen at our school too - but they put a bug in a teacher's drink. I also teach at the school where, for a senior prank, two students brought muffins and put them in the teacher's lounge. The muffins had marijuana in them (just the THC - the most potent part) and we had over 20 teachers and staff who had to go to the emergency room. The FBI was called in because nobody knew what was in the muffins. Another good reason to not eat food from the teacher's lounge!

I believe in taking a positive attitude toward the world. My hope still is to leave the world a little bit better than when I got here.

Jim Henson


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WICKEDLOVELY88's Photo WICKEDLOVELY88 Posts: 178
1/28/11 10:54 A

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omg that's terrible.

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HDHAWK's Photo HDHAWK Posts: 17,074
1/28/11 8:08 A

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emoticon


Kim

"Train hard, expect success"
Tom Venuto

"Teaching is the profession that creates all others."


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MISSLONDON09's Photo MISSLONDON09 SparkPoints: (5,029)
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1/27/11 9:56 P

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Never leave a drink unattended - students put drugs in my tea - visit to ER -

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KIM--POSSIBLE's Photo KIM--POSSIBLE Posts: 2,809
1/24/11 7:32 P

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I am glad Sheila said that, too. I was working as a sub last year, and planned to do that this year. In Sept, I was asked to take a long-term sub position. In Oct, as I was being offered a job at the middle school where my daughter attends, I was also offered the position I was subbing full time. I struggled with this decision. I loved the small alternative school where I was subbing, and equally adored the staff at the middle school (most came from the K-8 elementary where my kids went for many years, and had taught my kids). In the end, though, I made the decision to stay with the alternative school and I have no regrets. Still love it, and decided to get my master's in Special ed.

~~Kim in NC~ EDT
Aug 2009: 175
Dec 2009: 142
Aug - Dec 2012: 135 size 4
*30lb gain in 8 weeks*
Feb 2013: 164
Hypothyroid Diagnosis,
April/13: 166 size 12-14
July/13 Jaw surgery
Sept- confirmed Hashimoto's
Dec 2013: 162
March 2014: 155
Goal: 135-140 size 4
“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength!"~ Unknown


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TRIXIERACER's Photo TRIXIERACER Posts: 512
1/23/11 9:17 P

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I am so glad Sheila said that about finding the right place for you. I took the first job I was offered (didn't even go to another interview I had scheduled) and then spent 5 miserable years looking for another job. Now, I LOVE what I do, LOVE the people I work with, and LOVE to go to work everyday. It's amazing what a difference that can make.

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SAMODER's Photo SAMODER Posts: 11,838
1/23/11 8:56 P

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Save yourself time - I put all unit/lesson plans in Word, then cut and paste them into my daily plans. I like that I can make changes add ideas etc. I make my own "teacher" plan book.

Get as many books - picture books & novels into your classroom. It's easier to put a book in a child's hand, if they are nearby.

What makes one parent happy, will make another one unhappy. In other words you can't please everyone. Don't make yourself crazy trying to.

Have good communication with your parents. Use student made newsletters, class emails, class webpage to keep parents informed.

Be firm, but kind and caring. Be friendly, but not their friend. You are more like a parent.

Have expectations for your students. If you don't, they won't either.

Don't be intimidated by a student's knowledge of a certain subject. Some of them are truly experts in some areas.

I have been teaching the same grade level for 15 years. I love it just as much as I did in the beginning, now I'm just better at it.

Sam



You don't stop laughing. because you grow old, you grow old. because you stop laughing!


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MOM2CALLIEBELLA's Photo MOM2CALLIEBELLA Posts: 1,933
1/23/11 6:58 P

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This is my 30th year teaching (I'm only 29 so I'm not sure how that happened? :)) but my advice would be to try to find a good filing and/or storage system to keep good ideas for future use. And don't be hesitant to "borrow" any good ideas you find from other teachers. I wish I had taken my own advice - I know I've lost lots of great ideas that I didn't file away somewhere. Good luck!

I believe in taking a positive attitude toward the world. My hope still is to leave the world a little bit better than when I got here.

Jim Henson


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SHECHAM's Photo SHECHAM SparkPoints: (51,800)
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1/23/11 5:53 P

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I learned it is important to take a job that is a good fit. I went to the boondocks and was the only teacher teaching students with severe special needs. I had no one to turn to for support and I was living and teaching someplace that was foreign to me. I only lasted a year there and was more selective after that!

Wishing you well, Sheila

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and pray continuously. Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain....


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WICKEDLOVELY88's Photo WICKEDLOVELY88 Posts: 178
1/23/11 3:30 P

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Thanks everyone for all the great ideas. Keep'em coming, I love getting great ideas for when I have my own class or to use while I'm subbing.

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SMILE2HAPPINESS's Photo SMILE2HAPPINESS Posts: 2,058
1/23/11 2:35 P

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This is such a great thread! I'm taking notes emoticon

Sandi

"A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse"-- Stephan Dolley Jr.
SHADESI's Photo SHADESI Posts: 240
1/23/11 10:41 A

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My first year was exceptionally tough (or maybe normal - I don't know, but I hope not). These are not just from the first year, but the seven years since.

I have learned:
1. "Collaboration" was a mandatory course for a reason - people have a hard time working together, and special education teachers get "pushed out" same as their students.
2. Surround yourself by people who want to learn, grow, explore, try new things, and ensure that students learn. Anyone else will stunt your growth.
3. Ask for help and keep asking (not always the same person) until you get it. You will not be fired for struggling, but you are at risk if you don't try to tackle it.
4. Be creative. Budgets get tighter all the time. Find a new way to demonstrate knowledge without having to make photocopies (like plastic cover sheets and dry erase). Look for resources like the PFO, state support agencies (i.e., Autism Society), and community volunteers.
5. Follow the rules. By undermining school rules, I undermine not only the principal's authority, but also my colleagues and myself. When I don't enforce the rules, it becomes harder for my peers to enforce them too. Student safety and maintaining our resources are definitely worth the effort.
6. Don't let kids get away with things just because they are kids or just because they have a disability. The adult world will not be that generous with them.
7. On the other hand, don't be too hard on kids either. Shape their understanding of the world. :)
8. Teaching is like step-parenting. I have no control over how they were raised until they walk in my door. My authority may or may not be respected. I can do my absolute best, but it may be undone as soon as they go to "the other house". I can only give my best for right now.

"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - from "The Alchemist" by Paolo Coelho


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HDHAWK's Photo HDHAWK Posts: 17,074
1/23/11 9:07 A

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Don't be afraid to ask veteran teachers questions. Observe their classes when you can.


Kim

"Train hard, expect success"
Tom Venuto

"Teaching is the profession that creates all others."


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KIM--POSSIBLE's Photo KIM--POSSIBLE Posts: 2,809
1/23/11 8:19 A

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Thanks for posting this! I am in my first year teaching in a self-contained EC class (long-term sub from Sept to Dec, and officially the teacher for a month that has included holiday break + 6 snow days already!) so I will be very interested to see what others have to say!

I also have 5 children and just started a master's program in Special Ed, so time is tight. Making sure I keep time for me (working out, yoga, getting to bed when I need to, even if the kids don't) have been extremely important!





Edited by: KIM--POSSIBLE at: 1/23/2011 (08:21)
~~Kim in NC~ EDT
Aug 2009: 175
Dec 2009: 142
Aug - Dec 2012: 135 size 4
*30lb gain in 8 weeks*
Feb 2013: 164
Hypothyroid Diagnosis,
April/13: 166 size 12-14
July/13 Jaw surgery
Sept- confirmed Hashimoto's
Dec 2013: 162
March 2014: 155
Goal: 135-140 size 4
“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength!"~ Unknown


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TRIXIERACER's Photo TRIXIERACER Posts: 512
1/23/11 8:01 A

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Hi Sara!
I am in my 6th year of teaching, so I would by no means call myself an "experienced" teacher, but I have already had my first years. I am including a relatively short list of the things I learned (through trial and error or from the wisdom of the others), that I would pass on to other new teachers.
1. Don't show up when the building opens every morning and stay until it closes. You will only drive yourself crazy.
2. Take a SMALL stack of work home with you every day. You never know when you'll have a snow day, sick day, sick kid, etc. and when you have some time to grade you'll have it with you.
3. Realize that no matter what you do or say there will always be one (or more) kids who do not want your help.
4. Continue to learn, even though you're not the one in school. I have at least one "just for fun" book and at least one content/strategy book on my night stand all the time.
5. Make friends with the other teachers in your hallway/pod/ramp. There's nothing worse than not being able to pee/vent/scream/cry when you need to!
6. Take one night a week to do anything you want (I go a Krav Maga class every Wednesday after work) including beat the living daylights out of a punching bag.

I hope this helps! I love teaching and I don't mind sharing. That's how I got here. :-)

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WICKEDLOVELY88's Photo WICKEDLOVELY88 Posts: 178
1/23/11 2:39 A

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Hi all,
My name is Sara and I am currently substituting but I am always looking for stuff for when I finally get my own class. My question is when you were in your first years of teaching what were the best lessons/ideas/advice that you found out? Or if you are an experienced teacher what advice would you give a first year teacher? Thanks ( and I know there is a first year teacher thread but it hasn't been active in a while so I thought I'd start a new more specifc one)

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