Saturday, July 24, 2010

The start of a new year

As the new school year comes upon us I thought I would post some items to help administrators and teachers have a successful school year. This will be a series of blogs. I am going to begin with suggestions on how to support the first year teacher. While these tips are for first year teachers, there are some things that the experienced teacher will enjoy as well.

  • Assign a “good” mentor, who is not only an excellent teacher with good interaction skills, but one who also has a positive attitude and a good relationship with the school community.
  • In addition to the mentor, try to find a “buddy” who is similar in age and/or experiences for the new teacher who is willing to be a friend even after school ours. Encourage social time to help new feel more at home.
  • Purchase a copy of The First Year Teacher, K-8 for new teachers, The First Days of School or other published or hand made resource to give ideas on setting up the classroom and getting the year off to a positive start.
  • Take new teachers out to eat periodically. Include local favorites to help support the community.
  • Help the new teacher unload / unpack / move into their new classroom.
  • Post a welcome message with new teachers’ names on the school sign before their first arrival.
  • In the “welcome back” letter mailed to your staff, be sure to introduce new teachers and what they will bring to the staff. Encourage staff to help you make them feel welcome.
  • It is a nice surprise for a new teacher to receive a care package in the mail from the principal containing a school shirt, coffee mug, grade level curriculum, student handbook, and an apartment finder book if from out of town.
  • Prepare welcome baskets to give to new teachers at the first faculty meeting containing everything they need to survive the first weeks in their new school: school t-shirt, Tylenol, coffee mug, CD of relaxing music, hand sanitizer, chocolate bars, band aids, tic-tacs, gum, etc.
  • Provide new teachers a supply of business cards complete with their name and school logo.
  • Provide time to get to know new teachers on a personal basis – not just during pre- post-observation conferences or staff meetings. Ex: Have a monthly “tea” just for new teachers. Use this time to discuss hobbies, interests, etc., not school stuff. It would be a good idea to do this away from school. We always have an ice cream social before the first day that teachers “officially” report. Many teachers come in for this and it allows new teachers to have met someone before going to that first faculty meeting.
  • Do not assign the new teacher to a floating position, or give them the worst group of students.
  • Give new teachers your home and cell phone number, or others they can call in an emergency, and let them know it is OK to call at any time.
  • Give new teachers a special orientation to the school to show them copiers, supply areas, storage areas, and where things are “tucked away.”

I will be adding more items to the list over the next several days. If you have suggestions to add please do so.

No comments: