Saturday, March 31, 2012

Featured Teacher Author: Miss Kindergarten

1.     How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I started selling on Teachers Pay Teachers in May of 2011. I posted a few ideas for my beach themed room decor and got such positive feedback. I realized my love of teaching and others appreciated decorating around the world and I liked that!

2.     When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
When I was in second grade, I remember writing in my journal, "When I grow up I am going to be a teacher".  I absolutely adored my second grade teacher and I wanted to be just like her! All through high school and college I worked teaching children dance, foreign languages, arts and crafts. I just loved it!

3.     How are you currently involved in education?
I am currently in my second year of full-time teaching in a first grade classroom and I am also part of the amazing teaching blog community.

4.     What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
My advice to people considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers is to not be so hard on yourself! I always find myself second guessing a product I want to post  because I'm afraid no one will like it! I just have to remind myself that if it worked for me, it will work for others! It's so easy to get competitive and compare yourself to others, but just remember what you're doing is helping and others appreciate you!

5.     What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
I think a highlight of selling on Teachers Pay Teachers is all the sweet comments I get from happy buyers. Knowing that I was an influence in even one classroom other than mine is so rewarding! The extra money is nice too ;)

6.     What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
I feel like I talk about myself so much, there can't be anything that people don't already know about me! I love bargain shopping and finding great deals. I'm into fashion and attempted a fashion blog at one point but I couldn't keep up with it! I also love crafting and making things. I sell classroom signs on Etsy :)

7.     Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
I am an author of several education blogs including Miss Kindergarten, Teaching Blog Addict, and The Crafty Community. Aside from being in my second year of teaching and blogging I don't have much time for anything else!

8.     What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I have always been interested in being a professional organizer. I love to organize and I feel I can help a lot of people! I think being a professional organizer for classrooms would be so much fun!

9.     What profession would you not like to do?
I know that I would never be good at a profession that involves minimal peer interaction. I could never work in a cubicle without frequent communication with others!

10. Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
I am a big fan of all types of books, but especially children's books. I don't think I could ever pick just one author!

Hadar {Miss Kindergarten} Miss Kindergarten's TPT store

Miss Kindergarten's Prized Products

My first creation that I'm most proud of is one of the first products I created and sold on TpT. It was the decor for my beach themed classroom. The comments I received from teachers who used my creations to decorate their classrooms just warmed my heart! 
Beach Theme Room Decor

The next creation I'm most proud of is my Gone Batty Math Game. It was the product that started my success on TpT and encouraged me to create more! 

Gone Batty Math Game

Monday, March 26, 2012

Consistency is Key

by Heidi Raki

TPT Storefront: Heidi Raki's Store

Consistency is important for all students, but when teaching English Language Learners (ELL), it is the key to successful learning. Students who are learning new languages need consistent routines, consistent expectations, and, most importantly, consistent phrasings of language.

Imagine that you have just learned the meaning of the phrase “Line up to go to the bathroom.” Then, your teacher stands in the front of the class and says, “If you need to use the restroom, raise your hand.” Most English Language Learner students cannot connect “go to the bathroom” with “use the restroom.” When a routine is changed, ELL students are confused. Although this is a simple example, it’s an easy way to show the importance of being consistent when working with English Language Learners.

Here are some suggestions on consistency when working with English Language Learners:

1. Keep a consistent schedule. A routine gives students one less thing to be concerned with. If they know they work on reading every morning from 8-9 and writing from 9-10, they will not worry about what comes next, and they can focus on learning language skills.

2. Refer to activities by the same names. Whether its Guided Math, Small Group Math or Math Workshop, it must be the same name each time. Once students have understandings of the names, they will be so routine teachers won’t think to change them. 

3. Use the same graphics or symbols for words whenever possible. When introducing word families or new vocabulary words, use the same graphics or symbols each time so students recognize pictures and associate these with vocabulary words. 

4. Read books from series. When students get to know a character or group of characters from books, they can spend more time working on vocabulary. Also, predictable characters make it easier for students to foresee events and comprehend storylines.

The transitions between home languages and new languages should be as simple as possible, and consistency makes learning easier for ELL students.

Related Teachers Pay Teachers Products:

Vowel Sound Shorts  $6.00 
Basic Phonics Kit  $10.00
Family Word Wall Card Package (41 Sets)  $12.00
Bodies of Water--A Touch It Learn It Smartboard Activity  FREE!
Visual Writing Activity for New/Emerging Readers  $1.00
"Now Showing" Cinema Marquee Graphic for Bulletin Boards  $1.49
Summer Sailboat Coordinate Graphing Pairs  $2.75
Word Webs Writing Lesson Package  $3.00
April Fool's Day! A History with Fun Interactive Activities  $3.00
Commonly Confused Homophones Worksheets  $4.25
Easter Spring Pre-School Pack  $4.99
Plant Unit  $5.00
Easter Craft Activity Pack  $7.00

Saturday, March 24, 2012

featured teacher author: Yvonne Crawford

1.     How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I've been on TPT for about 1 week.  I've been selling my own curriculum on Amazon and on my own website for almost 2 years. I didn't know there was even a site like this.  One day I happened upon someone's blog who had a store who pointed to TPT and the rest is history.

2.     When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
I think ever since I was born.  My mother was a teacher and she was an excellent teacher.  I remember being her teacher's helper after school, weekends and during the summer. I used to love to help her create curriculum even back then. 

3.     How are you currently involved in education?
I was a teacher for many years in the USA, Hungary, France, and Slovakia.  I taught elementary school and high school.  Now, I am homeschooling my own children and I also teach French (and English) to elementary school children. 

4.     What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
I would tell them to do it.  Just try, it doesn't cost anything and so you won't lose anything. 

5.     What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
Meeting a lot of neat teachers who care about helping other teachers as much as I do. 

6.     What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
I love to write fiction books. I've never tried to publish them, but I do print them out and let my own children read them.  They enjoy them especially when I make them the main characters. 

7.     Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
I'm always taking some kind of class during my free time.  One year it's Chinese, the next it's knitting. I'm a lifelong student!

8.     What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Nothing! This is not only my profession, but my life.  I love everything I'm doing!

9.     What profession would you not like to do?
I wouldn't like to be a housekeeper. I had a job doing housekeeping when I was in college and I didn't like it.  I didn't like changing kitty liter nor cleaning other people's toilets. 

10. Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
I love Philip Ardagh. His books are just so much fun.  I love reading them to my children and I love reading them by myself. 

I think that in a way everyone on TPT is my favorite educational author because they all contribute so much to the education world. 

by Yvonne Crawford 

Yvonne's TPT store

Yvonne's Prized Products

I love these new "Mathbooking" books that I've recently started to create.  They are so much fun for my students and my own children.  For many math is dull and boring, but when you add drawing, creating and journaling, it opens up Math into a whole new world. 

This is a book that I originally published on Amazon and then I recently put it on TPT as well.  It's a great book to help girls learn French by learning the French words for things that they enjoy the most - tea cups, dolls, horses, etc.  Lots of activities and worksheets for girls.  There is also French for Boys in this series.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory Makes a Difference

 By Ruth Spears

Teachers Pay Teachers: Ruth's Store Front

It was a crisp autumn, New England morning perfect for writing haiku poetry. As I pulled into the parking lot, there was a mist which rose from the fields, the pond and the rolling hills that surrounded our school. The sun peeked through the clouds, and its light caused the mist to sparkle. I thought about the earliest Japanese Haiku poets, Basho and Issa, who wrote their brief, yet striking, poems about nature. Then, I thought, This is a perfect Haiku day!

When my first period class arrived, we reviewed the elements of Haiku. I gave specific instructions to write haikus then to draw individual pictures of the poems. I asked students to get into small groups and brainstorm. After a few minutes, I circulated the room to see what progress was made. Of the first group of five boys, four seemed focused on the assignment. Their pencils flew across their papers, but one boy looked dreamily out the window. I noticed some doodling on his paper.

“Matt, you haven’t started writing anything. Do you need some help?”

“Nope. Just thinking.” He tapped his pencil and continued gazing out the window.

“Did you talk with your friends about the haiku?’


“Don’t worry, Matt’s helping us,” Joe chimed in.

When I first started teaching I would have insisted Matt write, but, now, I waited to see what would happen. At the end of the period, I asked for volunteers to present their creations. Matt’s group eagerly raised their hands, so I asked them to stand and present their haiku and illustrations.

The boys decided to read it in unison, except for Matt. He stood on the far side of the group and held his paper in front of his face. When the boys finished, they turned to Matt, and Joe said, “Matt did our illustration, and the rap.”

Slowly, Matt turned his paper around for all to see as he held it in front of his face. There were “ooohs” and “ahhhs” from kids and several “that’s awesome” comments. The pencil sketch was exquisite. Shades of light and dark grays mixed with splashes of black depicted a mountain with a shimmery lake at its base. A swan paddled past a small rowboat that drifted to one side of the shoreline.

I praised Matt’s illustration then made sure students understood how talented their classmate was. I told him I’d like to use his illustration as the cover of the haiku book I was compiling with students’ poems and illustrations. When I explained I couldn’t use his drawing as the cover until he penned his “official signature” on it, he looked up at me and beamed. Next, the group of boys presented their rap Matt created to accompany the haiku. The class burst into applause and asked for it to be repeated. Then, the students got out of their seats and joined in.

Ten years prior to this lesson, I would have thought that Matt was unfocused and refused to collaborate with his group members. Now, I understood he gazed out the window not because he was bored, but his mind was in another place and time. As he listened to the other boys talk about the haiku, he visualized it then created an illustration and set the poem to rap.

As a new teacher, the name Howard Gardner popped up repeatedly in conversations. A colleague stated Gardner’s ideas were fresh and new, and his theory on Multiple Intelligences was going to change teaching. I was given some literature about Multiple Intelligences theory, and I had the opportunity to hear the author speak. From that day on, my classroom became a Multiple Intelligences world.

Watch the following videos on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences to learn more about how to implement the theory into lessons plans:

Mutliple Intelligences based on Gardner's Theory
Edutopia's Multiples Intelligences Based on Gardner
Mutliple Intelligences Thrive in Smartville
Total Physical Response Teacher Training Film
Bill Gates on How to Make a Teacher Great!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

featured teacher author: Jennifer DeBrosse

Featured Teacher Author

1.     How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
I joined in the fall of 2011 as a MAJOR buyer :) and as a seller Thanksgiving 2011.

2.     When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
I can't even remember...maybe age 5 or 6? I taught piano and early childhood music for 15 years before becoming a Special Educator.

3.     How are you currently involved in education?
I'm a Special Educator with KIPP (national charter school network) in Baltimore City. I teach at a school that currently serves K-2nd grade.

4.     What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?
Just do it! As long as you are always keeping your own students first and foremost in your mind, you can't go wrong!

5.     What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?
The forum is definitely a highlight - everyone is friendly and so helpful! I also greatly value the positive feedback I've received on my products. It's so rewarding to know my products may be helping a child learn!

6.     What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?
Hmmm...not sure if it's fun or not, but I'm a fitness fanatic. I go to the gym every day before work & try to incorporate music and movement into my teaching as much as possible!

7.     Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?
At this time, I do not. KIPP keeps me very busy with an extended day and year program, as well as fantastic professional development opportunities.

8.     What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Law - I'm FASCINATED by law, specifically concerning Special Education. I also love, love, love Educational Psychology. I would also love to be a certified fitness trainer!

9.     What profession would you not like to do?
Any typical "desk job." My friends sometimes complain about their jobs and I'm one was throwing a tantrum, you were allowed to use the bathroom at will, AND you had a lunch break??? I think I'd be very bored!

10. Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
I don't have a favorite author - I will read ANYTHING! I'll have to think about a favorite educational author...because of the nature of my job, I don't often do read-alouds with my students. I would love any author my own students love because I'd be SO excited they were enjoying reading!

by Positively Learning 
(Jennifer DeBrosse)
Positively Learning's TPT store

Positively Learning's Prized Products

I'm very proud of my Speedy Sight Words Fluency Builder! I brainstormed with a general educator about the idea of creating a resource binder for students to keep in their seat sacks to use during any available "free" time (i.e.: D.E.A.R. time). It's been wonderful for my students to use when I am not there because it moves at the pace of the students' own learning. Fluency with sight words is KEY to my students' growth in reading.

I also use my Super Sentence Builders unit often in the classroom. I designed this activity pack (and there are additional themed Sentence Builder units available) for my students to use during writing time, specifically time designated for journal writing. My students often require more assistance and this activity pack provides that. Students use vocabulary words and models to (re)create sentences while gaining experience with writing mechanics, including spacing and sentence structure.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Look: Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise

Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise
Review by: Mary Bauer 
Visit Mary’s Store on Teachers Pay Teachers 

Recommended for: Ages 9 and Up

When Ignatius B. Grumply rents 43 Old Cemetery Road to overcome his writer’s block, he is hoping for quiet. Instead he meets 11-year-old Seymour Hope who has been left there by his parents and the house’s other inhabitant: a ghost named Olive C. Spence and Seymour’s cat, Shadow.  They are not pleased to meet I. B. Grumply.  The story is told through letters between the characters, news stories, and advertisements.  It is marketed to 9 to 12-year-olds, but much older readers will also enjoy the humor.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers Storefront: Hojo's Store

For new teachers, stepping into the classroom is exciting and terrifying. They wonder if they learned everything needed in college, such as: How are classrooms set up? What materials are needed? What if students won’t listen? What if lessons go poorly?

Below are some helpful hints and tips for new teachers:

Things to Do before School Even Starts:
• Set up the classroom. Where will students’ tables/desks go? What about other tables? The teacher’s desk? Where will students’ supplies go?
• Decide what will be put up on the walls.
• Have grade level standards printed and readily available.
• Post a daily schedule.
• Keep clocks visible for students.
• Post rules, procedures, and consequences.
• Build a chore chart.
• Be prepared for emergency drills – fire, tornado, lockdowns, etc.
• Have a grade book set up and ready to go!

Lesson Planning:
• Actively engaged students are not discipline problems.
• How will papers be collected and handed in?
• What is the policy for papers without names?
• What will each day’s opening and closing look like?
• Find out lesson plan requirements for the district. When are lesson plans due to the office? How much detail should lesson plans include? Are standards written in?
• What is the late work policy?
• Make all assignments clear for students and parents.
• What centers are needed? What are the subjects? How will students be grouped?
• Read aloud often to your students, or try
• Hold high, yet realistic expectations for all students.
• Give enough WAIT TIME!
• Keep learning fun!
• Be flexible. Emergencies happen, and lessons change.
• Plan twice as much material for the first week as what you think you’ll need! Then, plan a few more activities!

Classroom Management:
• Be consistent: have routines and procedures in place. After all, children love structure.
• Have a reward/discipline plan ready.
• Practice students’ expectations. For example, to line up quietly, they should practice it. Model good behavior for students.
• Plan for transition times.
• Create a morning routine. How will you know who is present? Who is having cold or hot lunch? What will students do as others come into the room?
• Determine how the class will be quieted down so you can talk.

Building Student Relationships:
• Communicate with parents/guardians/families. Use the free Communication and Contact Log. Use e-mail, send out newsletters, or make phone calls. Use the “sandwich method”: start with something positive then state the concern and end with something positive.
• Give students notes or cards about something awesome you “caught” them doing.
• Show students love every day!

Other Miscellaneous Tips:
• Become friends with secretaries and custodians.
• Be ready for a sub! Have an emergency sub folder ready with daily schedules, students who can provide guidance, some random games/assignments, etc.
• Continue professional development to grow as a teacher.
• Label personal classroom items. If you bought it, it’s yours. If it was at the school when you got there, it stays there.
• Go to rummage sales and see what “steals” can be found.
• If the school doesn’t provide a mentor, reach out and find at least one person for guidance about school norms.
• Dress professionally!

There are going to be rough days. Keep the “pats on the back” received throughout the year to look at when feeling down. Keep a file of all the cute things children say, as well as numerous cards and items students give as presents. These can really encourage new teachers after tough days.

New teachers need to ask many questions. Don’t be afraid of reaching out and asking for ideas and help. Veterans in the building know how lonely and tiring the first year of teaching can be. Also, visit internet sites, such as Teachers Pay Teachers. There are so many wonderful ideas and resources available online that will save new teachers time and money.

Need more ideas?
Try the Pinterest board devoted to tips for new teachers.
Check it out here: Hojo's TpT Store for New Teachers  

Related Teachers Pay Teachers Products:

Free Tips for Teachers!
Class Handbook for Open House / Back to School Night, $3.50
Board Games: A Unique Assessment Activity  $1.50
Lucky Leprechaun Short Vowel Partner Game  $2.00
Shamrock Blended Consonants Game  $2.00
Visualization Mini-Lesson with Active Engagement/Script  $2.49
St.Patricks Day Mystery Graph Pot-O-Gold Coordinate Graphing  $2.75
Adjectives with Dr. Seuss  $3.00
Weather & Climate Tic-Tac-Toe Differientated Learning Plan  $3.18
Graphic Organizers--22 Appealing Activities for Any Book  $4.00
Grammar Fail! Bulletin Board or Literacy Center   $5.00
High School Five Paragraph Theme Set  $8.00
ESL Teacher Tips  $9.99

Saturday, March 10, 2012

featured teacher author : Kelli Shrewsberry

Featured Teacher Author

1.     How long have you been on Teachers Pay Teachers?  What made you decide to be a part of it?
We started TpT about a year ago.  We had heard about it and thought it was a great idea that allowed some innovative sharing!  We started thinking about the best way for us to use this to share lessons and ideas from our programs and products.  We're a little unique in that we are selling as a non-profit organization.  We design and implement professional development programs in math and science with teachers in grades Pk-12.  Our staff consists of teachers on special assignment from their district, retired teachers, and K-12 consultants that are in the classroom.  All the products we have listed were developed by teachers...for teachers!

2.     When did you know that you wanted to be in education?
Personally, I think I always did!  My father was in education and I would always read the professional journals that were around the house.  My mother was an educator as well.  I knew however, that I loved science, so I made sure that I could focus on this content and be able to teach in an elementary--kids are just naturally curious at that age and I wanted to be able to foster that curiosity!

3.     How are you currently involved in education?

Currently, I am on loan from my district as the Director of the Teaching & Learning Collaboration (TLC) which is what we use to sell on TpT.  While I direct the organization, my passion is being able to work with teachers who attend our professional development programs.  They are always eager to learn new ideas, and I love the excitement of a group coming back to share how well their students responded to lessons from our session.

4.     What would be your advice to people who are considering joining Teachers Pay Teachers?

Do it!  Even posting a few lessons to get started, and looking at other lessons that sellers post is rewarding!  I think is also makes you think about the innovation that takes place in a classroom on a daily basis--there are some amazing things happening out there and I love that TpT is a good platform to share those ideas!

5.     What has been a highlight, thus far, about being on Teachers Pay Teachers?

For us, it has been energizing to begin to brainstorm new ideas for lessons to post on TpT.  We started just by posting a few resources we already had to see how things went.  Math Camp-In and Science Tasks with Otis & Flask are two that were ready to go, and we wanted to see how TpT worked.  Our main goal is to use funds from TpT sales to provide professional development at no cost for our participants, who are teachers!  So, we really like the idea that teachers are helping teachers in our programs.  Now, we have a good list of ideas, especially for math and the Common Core that we are working on.  I like that TpT is pushing us to think outside the box-and the fact that we can share some of those ideas is exciting!

6.     What is something fun about you that other teachers don’t know?

I love weather!  A few teachers in my building know me as KDAR.  In the winter, I am best known for my weather reports that forecast snow days!  They are usually creative, crazy, and correct.  What everyone really loves is that if I am wrong, I have the Krispie Kreme Guarantee.  So, if I say there is a snow day, and there isn' least there are donuts to look forward too!

7.     Do you participate in education outside of the classroom?  In what type of role?

Since our main focus is designing professional development, I do a lot outside the classroom.  I have taught grades 1-5 for about 17 years and loved every minute.  I have been on loan for just a few years as the Director of TLC, and love it too!  We are always presenting at conferences (look for us at NCTM where we present about Math Camp-In) or NSTA. 

8.     What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

I often think I missed my calling as a Secret Agent!  Maybe that's why I love my Teacher on Special Assignment title!  Or, based on my interest in forecasting the weather, maybe I should have been a meteorologist!  But the great thing about teaching is that I can be just about anything on any given day - I love the creativity of teaching!

9.     What profession would you not like to do?

I tell my school nurse all the time that I couldn't do her job!  She has too many schools, too many sick kids, and well, we all know how it usually ends in the clinic!  I do always make sure she gets a nice little holiday gift:  Lysol, Airborne, and chocolate!

10. Who is your favorite author?  Favorite educational author?  And why?
Personally, I love Dan Brown titles.  (Again, maybe its that secret agent thing)  What I really like is the blend of history, secrecy, and some science.  It's a book that I usually can't put down.

Professionally, one of my favorite books is Greater Than Yourself.  I love the message behind it of mentoring and looking for the best in everyone.

Kelli Shrewsberry 
Kelli's TPT Store

Kelli's Prized Products

I'm most proud our Math Camp-In products.  A colleague and I developed the Grade 2 version and used in with our classrooms for four years.  Now, we have expanded the idea and have a Math Camp-In for grades 1-4.  It's a great way to engage students and families in mathematics!

We also have Science Tasks with Otis & Flask that are a set of 9 science centers that reinforce concepts and help prepare for achievement tests.  Each can be downloaded separately, or all 9 can be ordered as a hard good. This was the result of a great collaborative project of teachers and curriculum directors.  It's a great product and doesn't require lots of science equipment, so they are east to use.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers Link Up: St. Patrick's Day Freebies!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mentoring New Teachers

By Michele Luck

Teachers Pay Teachers Store Front: Michele Luck's Social Studies   

Mentoring new teachers is a great privilege and a great challenge. Experienced teachers often enjoy having young, learning mentees in their classrooms because they offer new perspectives and updated content knowledge. Yet, they can also feel burdened by obligations to prepare new teachers well for their blossoming careers. Being a good mentoring teacher requires preparation, open-mindedness, and dedication.

To provide new teachers with great learning experiences, mentoring teachers must teach as they know best. They do this in several ways: providing excellent learning opportunities, allowing new teachers to step outside of the box, and letting new teachers fail. With most training taking place in working classrooms, it can be stressful for parents to hand over children to inexperienced teachers. For mentoring teachers and parents, it can be fearful to allow new educators to fail from time to time, but this is how they gain skills and determination needed in their professional careers. For mentoring teachers, one of the greatest challenges is to keep control of “real classrooms” while turning them into “learning environments”. At the same time, mentoring teachers will witness wonderful interactions and incredible learning moments that will be priceless in their own teaching careers.

Here are some simple steps all mentoring teachers should take in assisting their new teacher counterparts:

1. Show mentees around their new environments. This seems like an elementary activity, but new teachers can become overwhelmed with simple things, such as finding bathrooms in a hurry. Show them the faculty areas, introduce them to support staff, and include them into teaching teams. 

2. Provide resources. Allow new teacher to use veterans’ materials, show them workroom materials, and provide them links to favorite teaching sites. Help them identify content area websites, and be sure to inform them about great resources available at Teachers Pay Teachers!

3. Model correct classroom management. One of the greatest challenges for most new teachers is classroom management. Share ideas, provide them long-standing tools that have worked. Try Wong’s First Days of School or my handbook A Lesson Plan for Teachers, New & Old then offer suggestions for mentees’ classroom development plans.

4. Explain the curriculum. Despite the many classes new teachers take on curriculum, they will only begin to know their content once they start teaching it. More importantly, new teachers need to understand what standards are required and what objectives their students must learn. Those two things may not always be the same! Help mentees’ write lesson plans and encourage them to find tools that will be helpful.

5. Become a soundboard. Listen, listen, and listen some more. New teachers are often very sensitive to their failures and frustrations, so encourage them then let them know that we have experienced similar incidents. Allow them an open forum where advice if offered and where failures and frustrations are shared, which will help them validate their own insecurities. Finally, as new teachers are sent off to their classrooms provide them links to favorite teaching blogs. Remember to offer ongoing support since we know what it is like to “walk in their shoes”! 

In many states, first year teachers are paired with veterans or well-established teachers for learning experiences that only successful, working teachers with their own classrooms can provide. What new teachers learn in their monitoring experiences cannot be taught from textbooks and cannot be shared in lectures. Only “walking in the others’ shoes” can help mentees learn the skills and patience they will need to be effective and successful in their own classrooms. 

Teachers Pay Teachers Related Products:

A Lesson Plan or Unit Template   FREE!
75 Ways to Say Good Job: A QR-Code-Enabled Poster  FREE!
St. Patrick's Day Story Starters  $1.00
I Watched From My Window  $1.00
Current Events Worksheet and Grading Rubric  $1.49
Four Season Word Webs  $1.50
Brainstorm Fum with Scattegories Type Game  $2.50
Long Division for Kid Who Can't Multiply for Smartboard  $3.00
Science Game: Solar System, Earth, Moon, Sun, Planets  $3.00
Lesson Plan for Teachers--New & Old  $10.00

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