First Year, Hectic Year

As an upcoming first year teacher, I thought I’d make a post to help all future upcoming teachers figuring out how and when to plan.

Often we are presented with the comments, “don’t plan too far in advance because you’re going to change it all anyways.” Well l am here to tell you that this is false! If you want to be successful in your first year I suggested the following:

  1. start planning as soon as you know your classes
  2. if you can, complete all your lesson plans before you do your teacher notes, power points, etc. Remember, you are an expert in these fields so having the plan will be enough to get you ahead
  3. once you have your lesson plans done find all your handouts for each class, if you are doing sciences this is the perfect time to find labs as well
  4. put together your teacher notes, power points, etc. But, instead doing one class at a time, try doing 3/4 of a semester of each before you finish them, that way you have plans for every class and don’t have to panic to plan one day by day!
  5. my final tip, buy a bunch of sticky notes to make note of changes or adjustments you will need to make for the future (these notes will come as you start teaching)

I found these things worked for me, hopefully they help you, future first year teachers, find a planning pattern that works for you!

Good Luck!


Benefits of Preparation – Teaching for Success

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.

#1- Environment:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

#2- Lessons:

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:

  1. 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
  2. adaptive dimensions- find some ways you could alter your lessons for those with needs
  3. 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.