New FHS Teacher Newsletter

Welcome to FHS from the FHS Library

Surviving your First Year

In Education Week, Robert Kolar published a really neat article titled An Open Letter to a First-Year Teacher. This article had some really great suggestions that I thought I would pass on. I am also going to include the link to the article and a few basics to help you during your first months of school.

Don't take it personally

Do not feel that every student should love being in your class. As a matter of fact, don't be surprised if the majority complain about how ___________ your class is. (Fill in the blank options: stupid, dumb, hard, etc.) Although we want students to enjoy learning the reality is that we don't always know what is going on in their life. Sometimes when a student is acting out with you, they may only be venting because you are safe.

Have an Outlet

No, not the shopping mall and more than venting.
The idea here is to keep a journal during your first year so that you can reflect on your experience. Write specifics down. This journal will really allow you to focus on improvements you can make and help you pinpoint areas you need to improve on.
I had this really great lesson planned. I just knew the students would love it. Nothing worked right. It was a horrible experience. I REALLY need to tweak this lesson. I think I will ask my mentor for some advice on how to make this work better.

Organize

It may not be fun, but try to think of every single question a parent might ask. Have the answers already together and post it on your website. Remember that your website is a great way to help parents receive information.
Think about a cloud based solution for saving your files. Nothing is worse than working on a unit lesson and your computer crashing. Every second of work just disappears. It's enough to make your cry.

Simplify

It is exciting to enter a classroom for the first time. You have so many ideas about what you want to do and how you want to achieve getting all the students mastering every single learning target. Take a deep breath and pull back just a little. Choose a time frame like nine weeks or a month. Choose one thing to focus for that time frame. Develop one project or unit. Make sure you are keeping up with your journal during this project. Make detailed notes. Next year you will have a great lesson already done.

I can help!

As a new teacher or a teacher new to a school, it can be really hard to find your balance. There are so many areas you have to concentrate on. Please know that I can help in many ways. I love solving problems and helping. Need help with your website? I can do that. Want to try a group project but sort of scared? I can come in and help get you started. Need students to write a paper but don't know where to start? Yep, I will come in and create a custom lesson for you and I will even teach it! I am including links to some of the information available on our library website.