Today we’d like to give new teachers inspiration on how they can build routines for their first few days and weeks that will help them establish a tradition of efficiency and excellence. We’ve helped a lot of new teachers adjust to the rigours of the job and keep from feeling totally overwhelmed. There is so much to be said, we can’t possibly touch on everything.
Perhaps first and foremost would be to get support from the right places, no matter how proud you are. Ask for help; just pick the teachers whom you admire. With that said, perhaps a lot of your planning time is spent in front of the computer terminal. What is it you do there? What makes it more efficient than doing hands-on planning with paper and pencil?
To start with, there are many more user-friendly tools out there today. With cloud services and Web 2.0 tools you can get organized, stay on top of paperwork, and communicate with efficiency. Make your digital practices efficient and worthwhile rather than time wasters. Get yourself into a routine schedule on using the computer and do it religiously, if only for the first month. Hopefully by then it will either become habit or you’ll find better ways of doing things.
Things for New Teachers to Do Daily
- Start with a plan everyday. Whatever task organizer you choose should be your home base; your place to think, gather your thoughts and launch forth ideas. Add the element of collaboration in there, and you’ve got yourself a support team. We like ToDoist, Asana, and Trello. You can find others here courtesy of Capterra.
- Take care of paperwork, and build lessons with a solid template. If you’re required to do lesson plans, how will you get this done? Try the Solution Fluency Activity Planner, the perfect lesson planning and professional development tool for educators of every level. You can look through thousands of premium plans written by a community of global educators, add co-authors for real-time collaboration, add your own curriculum, call for coaching on your plans, access a broad list of downloadable and premium teaching resources, and much more.
- Communicate with your parents and colleagues. Parents can be your greatest allies, and by building trust you and the parents can act as the bookends in supporting a safe and confident leaner.
As for some personal tools, you’ve got old fashioned email, but there are better options. Facebook? Maybe, but you can probably do better. Twitter, yes. LinkedIn? It certainly can’t hurt your professional development strategy.
How about Blogging? For lasting documentation and as a way to look back on your year, blogging is the best if you can devote the time to it. Do it properly and it could be a portfolio to the next big step in your teaching career. If you’re concerned about having to post every day, then ProBlogger has some welcome news for you.
Things New Teachers to Do Weekly (at least)
- Nurture your PLN (Professional Learning Network).This is your support group, your colleagues and mentors from all over the world at your disposal, in an itty-bitty living space. Twitter and Linked In provide the best foundations for this. Join an online forum, or check out some learning groups. Not enough can be said here to cultivate these relationships now. Take your professional development into your own hands.
- Create Flipped lessons constantly and give exclusive access to your students via YouTube.
- Create formative assessments that are fun and easy. Here are some suggestions for you.
- Consider building Digital Portfolios with your students. Start with Kidblog, and then when they get older they can transition to Linked In for professional uses.
New teachers should consider how much time they have during the day to spend on computer tasks and block out that time. Keep a timer to make sure you leave room in your day for socializing with colleagues and reenergizing.
Can all your online tasks be done in one sitting, or spread out? Will you have to work at home? If you do, just make sure not to overdo it. Here is some more inspiring advice for new teachers from Edutopia.
As a new teacher, try to remember that the hardest part is organization, documentation, and communication. With the advent of cloud computing and Web 2.0 tools, the job of organizing as an educator is easier than ever. When you set up a sacred daily ritual of tending to these tasks, you’ll stay ahead of your game and you’ll have energy for what really matters—your learners.