Advice for New Teachers

The TeachThought site has a new #reflectiveteacher blog challenge for January and its theme is to reflect and renew in the new year. The question for tomorrow's post centers on advice for new teachers. I feel a priority or focus for new teacher energy should be centered on developing, modeling, and managing classroom procedures and routines.

I have taught middle school for close to twenty years (that really makes me sound old!) and feel that the heart of my classroom environment centers on procedures. I am certainly not an expert and have some areas that I still need to work on (handing back student work comes to mind) but procedures and routines bring structure to an classroom, give students comfort and stability, and effectively establishes the teacher as the authority figure (one that is still definitely kind, approachable, and fun). 

I've searched for a few examples and feel these will benefit new and veteran teachers alike: 

http://www.educationoasis.com/instruction/cm/routines.htm 

http://teachingasleadership.org/sites/default/files/Related-Readings/CMC_Ch3_2011.pdf

I would like to make two points in closing: the first is that having routines does not make a classroom a dull place filled with skill-and-drill, one-answer-fits-all learning. On the contrary, my students are always taking risks and delving deeply into our curriculum. Having procedures such as a detailed agenda and objectives on the board everyday brings stability to a lively, energetic environment. 

The second point is that it is not too late in the year to start (or change) a routine. Students need to see their teachers as learners, too. What a powerful example we set for our students when we show them we see something in our learning environment that needs to be improved and we care enough to try a solution to fix it. 

Happy New Year!

Comments

  1. Great to have you with us for another challenge! Also agree that helping new teachers establish routines is incredibly important. For me, the most important part of your post is that of teachers being learners too - so important for us to model that making changes, making mistakes are all part of learning. Looking forward to reading more posts. :-)

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