The most wonderful yet depressing moment of your teaching career is when you walk into your first classroom. It’s the realization that every decision you make, big or small, will have a genuine impact on other people’s lives. You’ve spent years honing your teaching skills, and now it’s time to pass on your knowledge to your students.
The weight of this responsibility might be overwhelming, but concentrating on a few simple concepts can help you adjust to your new role with ease and ensure that you teach with confidence right away.
TRANSFORM YOUR PEDAGOGICAL IDEAS INTO ACTIONABLE STRATEGIES
You might recall hearing about a pedagogical creed in one of your undergraduate classes—that somewhat esoteric declaration made by all of history’s great educators. Simply expressed, your pedagogical creed is the foundation of your teaching philosophy. Consider it to be your mission statement.
What are your responsibilities as a teacher? What do you think the purpose of education should be for students? What are the most crucial elements in a classroom setting?
Write your educational mission statement before you prepare your first class or consider how to arrange to seat; it will be the driving force behind everything you do. Consider how each of your beliefs would appear and sound in the classroom, as they would be the actions you take as a teacher in your everyday work.
Education is a social activity that reflects current life.
There are numerous ways in which this belief could manifest itself in the classroom:
- To enable talks, create pod seating arrangements for small groups.
- Make time for partner and group work on a regular basis.
- Incorporating project-based learning, in which students apply what they’ve learned in class to make a real difference in their school and community.
- Facilitating Socratic seminars in which students can freely express themselves and learn from their peers’ perspectives.
- Providing numerous opportunities for students to go outside and incorporate the outside world into the classroom.
These are just a few strategies to consistently recognize the social process in the classroom and draw connections between what students are learning and its real-world applications, writing them down can help you make the numerous decisions you’ll have to make as a new educator.
Put your teaching mission statement and action plan somewhere you’ll see it all the time. This will ensure that you begin your career as an educator by living out your principles and implementing them into your everyday lesson preparations.
TEACHING ADVICE IN PRACTICE
Utilizing the wisdom of colleague teachers and creating protocols for all jobs, major and little, will be tremendously beneficial in your early years in the classroom.
Collaborative planning meetings are the most beneficial way to spend your prep time. Making ties with colleagues will be critical to your success as a teacher throughout your early years.
As much as feasible, plan with your grade team: Collaboration on a regular basis will inspire you to attempt new tactics in your own classroom.
Look for teachers who have previously taught your grade (even if they aren’t presently doing so): Inquire if they have any suggestions or previously developed materials that you may utilize for a certain unit or subject.
Recognize the steps in the learning process for the pupils you teach: If you teach third grade, visit with teachers from the second and fourth grades to learn about the foundations your kids should have and the next steps in their learning journey.
As educators, you spend most of your time engaging children, with only a few minutes set aside for planning and preparation. Being extremely time-efficient can make the difference between ticking crucial things off your to-do list and bringing your work home for tense late-night planning and grading.
The following suggestions for staying on track are simple and easy to implement.
At the conclusion of the day, spend 10 minutes organizing your desk and classroom: Prepare your morning message or goal on the board, and gather the items you’ll need for the following day’s activities. This way, instead of quickly setting up, you can spend your initial few minutes of school welcoming your kids.
Set up mechanisms for what appear to be straightforward tasks: Having a copy basket on your desk where you may drop materials and assigning a certain time for copying materials, for example, will reduce the number of time-consuming trips to the copier.
Creating a student assessment procedure may appear to be a daunting endeavor, but including a simple assessment strategy into your daily routine can ensure that you are extremely attentive to students’ needs.
Quickly evaluate each lesson you teach: Consider what went well, what didn’t, and how it could have been improved. Allow yourself the freedom to make changes to subsequent lessons if necessary. Collect exit tickets as well to determine how your pupils felt about a particular lesson.
Regularly incorporate informal conferences: Make a one-page document that extrapolates the methods and skills you want students to master over the course of a unit. When meeting with students, jot down notes on this sheet. It not only reduces paperwork, but it also guarantees that you are attentive during student sessions and provide the most appropriate criticism.
Allow students to grade their own quizzes: This not only strengthens students’ capacity to analyze their own comprehension but also saves time and adds value to your quiz by empowering students. Students must be taught self-assessment, but putting in the time to practice as well as crafting clear, student-friendly rubrics and checklists can help both you and your students.