Mentor #3: What I wished I had known

Ricky reading aloud

Setting Up for Classes

Get your schedule as early as possible.

Teacher planners didn’t work for me.

I created a binder with my schedule in the front. Divided by each class with class list, lesson plans, pockets for their class name cards, class curriculum. Pockets for running notes (what worked, was didn’t, discipline issues)

Know What is Going on in the Classrooms

What are they doing in Social Studies, Math, Science, Music, and Art?

Have novels and informational books ready for grade level support in your own practice and for them.

Social Emotional

Get the heads up on learning issues and IEP’s so to be prepared for individual needs.

Are there two kids who should NEVER sit together?

Prep Lesson Plans and Supplies

I had at least a month of lesson plans, the books and supplies ready for the first week of school.

I might not follow it exactly but at least I had one.

Work Together

The fourth graders had gym right right before library class. It took me ten minutes to settle them down during the transition. These students walked independently from the gym to library. They were usually late. There was a lot of drama, “she said” “he cheated” “she pushed me” That was ten minutes out of a 50 minute period. Way too much. 

I asked the Phys Ed teacher, Ricky to walk them from the gym and and start the class with a story and a discussion.

The students were shocked. Yes, we talk to each other. Yes, we help each other. No, this unacceptable behavior wasn’t going to continue. Yes, we are keeping an eye on you.

Learn Everyone’s Names

Everyone gets name cards. If there is an assistant with the class, they get one too.

Half sheet of heavy stock. (I like different colors for each class during one day in case one goes missing it is easy to refile) Bag of markers. Clipboard for each kid.

Each kid has about 10 minutes to write their first name. Printed. No bubble letters. They can decorate how they want.

Name printed.

Every class period, call out the name and have the kid come up to you and take their card. Repeat their name before you give them the card. The card stays out for the whole class.

When it is time to line up, call the kid by name, take their card.

Have A Back Up Plan

Is the class twenty minutes late? Skip the lesson, go straight to check out.

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