Congrats on finishing your degree !You’ve just been hired as a teacher,so I thought I’d share with you somethings you need to know right away !! Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D. • This was a lecture I gave to my students at Mercer University. Notes provided in smaller (bulleted) text on each slide. Enjoy !
anticipating the trip ahead1 st year issues to consider Discipline and behavior management (but a lot more than this) *** class size *** availability of curricular materials *** feelings of isolation *** lack of (district and building level) support >>>>>>> estimated that 50% will leave profession within 1st five years [recruiting new teachers, 2000] <<<<<<< Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
Why is 1st year difficult?Theory to practice• difficulty transferring the theory they have learned to actual practice in the classroom.• some teachers have deep knowledge of educational theories or the social/philosophical foundations of education• some are knowledgeable about a variety of curriculum materials and methods. Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
Why is 1st year difficult?Theory to practice• knowing too much of the wrong information and too little of the relevant information often results in some serious stumbling.• teacher – preparation programs • Many new teachers are often placed in the toughest schools with the toughest kids • In the tough schools there is often a serious shortage of resources available to new teachers (and in these schools, it often becomes primarily about discipline and behavior management – works for these schools, but does it really prepare you to be a teacher?) Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
Why is 1st year difficult? Theory to practice• in schools like these – teachers learn to “make do”• New teachers are reluctant to seek help or ask questions – don’t want to be perceived incompetent• Many decide to struggle alone rather than reveal themselves to be in need or support and guidance.• new teachers often experience a serious reduction in their sense of efficacy – that is, the belief that what they are doing makes a difference. At the beginning – they face hurdles they think they can overcome – eventually , they see these hurdles as insurmountable … Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
structure• Structure : it is essential to successful teaching • There is less agreement on what structure means • For me: means predictable and consistent learning environment• Providing a structured learning environment is one of the most difficult tasks a new teacher can work to master• a structured classroom is a classroom where the need for testing the limits is substantially reduced and where student frustration and agitation about unclear expectations are greatly decreased. structure Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
It’s July – 6 weeks to teach • You will have all kinds of students • Eager learners • Reluctant learners • Well-behaved and compliant students • Tough kids who are noncompliant and anything but well behaved • Students on grade level • Students way below or way above grade level Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
expected anxietyAnxiety-don’t listen to people • You will hear all kinds of negative “helpful” advice (don’t listen to it) • Way too much paperwork • Complaints about administration • Complaints about what teachers to stay away from • Everyone is positioning to get to know you and see you align with • Very click-y Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
be warned Mrs. Geautreaux• She worked with me – but she’ll work with you to …… you’ve been warned• Self-appointed expert and resident critic in your school• Has an opinion on every aspect of school – including students, families, teachers, administrators, and especially new teachers• Judgmental statements more than willing to share with you• Be cordial -- but don’t ever believe Mrs. Geautreaux• Easy to recognize• She wants to help u but she is a MORALE KILLER• Seek out true mentor teachers who are organized, have great classroom management skills, and love teaching as a career. It is essential to find a good mentor Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
importance of first days• Sounds harsh but kinda true• This is confirmed by the research – first few days have a profound impact on both teachers and students alike (evertson, 1997,emmer, 1997;moran, 2000) Make you or break you Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
importance of first days Well-planned 1 st days =Improved student outcomes • Reverse is true: chaotic and poorly planned first few days send the wrong message to students about the importance of learning and hard work. Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
Important questionsWhat is the main message youwant to send your students in thefirst few weeks?• Need to view you as confident, organized teacher whose main job is to teach them as much as you possibly can. • How can you present this image? • Dress • Minute-by-minute organization • All work is prepared and ready to go Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
Important questionsHow do you want your classroom tobe viewed by your students?• You want students to think of your classroom in positive terms.• You want them to view your class as an enjoyable place where they can experience success and learn a lot• View your class as a place where they can be comfortable and work hard at the same time.• You want them to see it as a place where they can achieve a great deal as a result of your careful planning and systematic and purposeful teaching.Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
Important questionsWhat do you need to do so thatyour students will answer thesequestions the way you hopethey will answer them?Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
classroom designImpacts learning – NOT AN AFTERTHOUGHT ! • Room design impacts learning and decreases inappropriate behavior Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
classroom designGuidelinesIs it your room alone ?• Could be the beginning of co-teacher problems• Teachers are very particular about their space – it shows territory – who is in charge• How to get through this?Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
classroom designGuidelinesIs it your room alone ? • place desk where you wont be tempted to sit in itMake your desk much • very little effective teaching occurs when ahard to get to teacher is at their desk • when you are sitting at your desk – gives higher probability of problem behavior • When kids are in the room – work as if you have NO desk in your room !! Seriously !!! Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
classroom designGuidelines • allow space and routesIs it your room alone ? for you to move about without squeezing byMake your desk hard to get to furniture or hurdling over objects in the wayEasy paths (no • Good teachers move around nonstop andsqueezing through) circulate almost nonstop when they are monitoring student performance. • Movement is essential for proximity control • What is proximity control ? Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
classroom designGuidelinesIs it your room alone ?Make your desk hard to get toEasy paths (no squeezing through)Good sight lines• set up classroom space with good sight lines that will allow you to observe all students from everywhere in the room.• Good sight lines are essential for monitoring students behavior and ensuring your students can see you at all times Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
classroom designGuidelinesIs it your room alone ? Good sight linesMake your desk hard to get toEasy paths (no squeezing through)Wall design - moderation • Don’t want to underdo – but not overdo either • elaborate bulletin board displays may serve to distract some of your students • Plan adequate space on the walls for your classroom rules , student work, and your classroom schedule and assignments • Specials change each day – velcro system
classroom designGuidelinesIs it your room alone ? Good sight linesMake your desk hard to get to Wall designEasy paths (no squeezing through)Assign seats• Assign seats the first day of school.• Put name tags on the desks before class starts so everyone will know where to sit• This is another way to show your students that you are prepared to take your teaching and their learning seriously.• you can always move students around and change accordingly as you get to know them. Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
daily schedulelinkTime available (to learn)Time spent (in learning activities)Actual learning (that takes place)• The more time students spend actively engaged in learning activities, the less time they have available to misbehave!Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
daily scheduleConsider these ideas:Sketch out your day (to the minute) • Schedule it to the minute – no transition or very little transition from subject to subject • Understand that your ideal schedule will be in no way close to how it will actually look once you get to know your kids. • Make sure there is no downtime in your schedule ! No periods in your schedule when there is nothing going on. Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
daily scheduleConsider these ideas:Minimize disruptions (note/sign on door) • So easy to chat at your door with another teacher • Especially when you have a paraprofessional • Put up a sign • Testing in progress • Discourage unplanned interruptions as much as possible ! Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
daily scheduleConsider these ideas:Get your S#*t ready (supplies, dittos…etc) • Every day before class starts, organize what the schedule requires in the way of lesson materials and supplies, manipulatives, teaching manuals, and so on. • One of the biggest time-wasters in schools is the time teachers spend shuffling through papers, manuals, and piles on their desks to find their lesson plans for that day or hour. • If your don’t show your students that you are serious about being organized and making the most out of the time available, you will have an extremely difficult time getting your students organized and ready to learn.
dailyConsider these ideas: schedule• Think through and develop a plan for distributing things like learning materials, graded assignments, and notes home to Procedures parents.• During the first days of school, have your to distribute class take the time to actually practice these routines until they are performing them information in a timely and efficient manner.• Failure to develop and practice these procedures unnecessarily fritters away valuable time and provides a fertile environment for more behavior problems.• Trust me when I say that the time spent in practice now will pay off huge dividends later with a routine that runs smoothly
dailyConsider these ideas: schedule• Actively teach your students how you want them to move frOm one activity to another or from one area of the classroom to another• This means thinking through each move ahead of time.• When I say return to your seat I want you to …..x • When I say turn in your paper I want you to …. X • When I ask you to line up at the door I want you to ….x • I want you to do this in 90 seconds • For each procedure in your entire schedule, you will give specific directions, demonstrate the procedures, and have your students practice following them. • Encourage and give feedback, making certain to verbally recognize good performance. Procedures to change activities
dailysummary: scheduleESSENTIAL to use your time wisely • If you don’t it can be the difference between a terrible start or a very successful year • ALSO: REVISIT ALL OF THESE IDEAS WHEN YOU RETURN FROM THE CHRISTMAS BREAK • Its like starting over – your first day back in january is like the first day back after the summer for your students! Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
final considerationsMake contact ahead of time• If possible – make contact ahead of time • Email • Phone call • Short note• Special education – particularly EBD / Autism – not necessarily their home school - a lot of anxiety about new place • That s why it is essential to make early contact (in summer or early August) • They don’t trust the school district, school, or you (particularly Autism / EBD parents – they’ve been through so much)Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
final considerations1st moments of 1st day – planned • Decide what you will do and say the first minute and the first hour of the first day. • First impressions mean everything ! • What kind of introductory impression do you want to make? • May consider planning an engaging and novel learning activity as your very first activity the first DAY Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
final considerationsDesks – Chairs - Space • Name tags on desk and door • MAKE SURE you have enough desk (always have 2 extra – plus overflow plan ~kidney table?) – Special education is unpredictable with numbers – you wont end with the # you started with ! Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
final considerations • This is covered the day teachers all go back and have a day-long meeting • It is very important to the administration – and they will come seeking you out if you forget something • Soooooo much to do the first day – and even week • Get with an experienced teacher FROM THAT SCHOOL to make certain you understand what is required and by when School requirements Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
final considerationsKnow your school (tour) • Go early – go in the summer – or the first day back when teachers go • Get a teacher to give you a tour (most don’t mind) • Know your school BEFORE STUDENTS ARRIVE – it will make you seem incompetent and unprofessional if you have no idea where things are (because your returning students will know) Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
final considerations• Everything should be ready to go when the kids come – no early morning work on your part• Be at the door – ready to greet them – with a positive (personalized) comment to each student as they enter• Contingency – problems • You and the para need to be on the same page with behavior and teaching and administrative (paperwork) roles • What is your plan if you are EBD teacher and kids wont enter room? • What is your plan if you deal with problem behavior/medical issue/autistic tantrum (does para pick up with the teaching)Greet at the door Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.
final considerationsA word about paraprofessionals • This person should be viewed as your assistant teacher • they often know the kids and learning styles and schedules and needs better then you because they have been in this room for years (in spite of teacher turn over) • they will only do what is required by their contract OR they will go wayyyyy above and beyond what is required – depending on how you you show respect and a sense of equity with them. Presented by: Brent Daigle, Ph.D.