The war begins before we even step onto the battlefield. The strategy and espionage have already begun and we don’t even know who or what we are facing yet. Heck, we might not even know where the battlefield is. Nevertheless, preparation is key to victory no matter where the battle takes place, and no matter what challenges exert themselves.
As teachers, we may not know what children we have, or what grades we will teach, but we can always prepare to teach for the success of our students. This doesn’t mean we have to plan specifics, but we can plan general concepts and begin to organize our cognitive processes so that our students can reach their full potential, with this, let’s begin by looking at two things you can prepare before stepping into the classroom on day one.
The classroom environment is very important to the success of our students. They must feel safe, accepted, and they must not be easily distracted in order to achieve their goals. There are quite a few ways to achieve success in this aspect.
- set up desks and tables so that conversation and socialization can be achieved, while classroom management is still attainable. For example, small study groups or a circle.
- the walls should not be cluttered or bare, put up some posters to make it a little less institutionalized. Also, if you create a “culture board” students can bring in items that are of their culture to be put up on the board so that they feel like the room is theirs as well.
Lesson preparation is often the hardest thing to do when preparing for the school year. However, during the summer, you might not actually know what grades you are teaching next year. Here are some thing you can still prepare:
- presentation methods- research different approaches to teaching (ie- projects, technology, inquiry, First Nations aspects, etc.) and how/where you might apply them in your teaching
- adaptive dimensions- find some ways you could alter your lessons for those with needs
- assessment and evaluation methods- research and examine different methods you could use in your classroom to assess and evaluate your students, remember not everyone is good at writing exams.
Just by preparing these general aspects, you will already be a step ahead on day one, and being a step ahead means you are preparing to
- teach for success.