In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have."
-- The discussion is lively at this listserve
for new teachers, where experienced folks drop by from time to time to offer
advice and ideas. If you're a new teacher looking for some companionship
-- or an experienced teacher willing to help out your freshman colleagues
-- you should check this list out. To sign on, mail a message (no subject)
to: [email@example.com ] without the brackets. In the body (text) of
the message, type only the following: [subscribe SNE-NewTeacher-L yourfirstname
yourlastname] without the brackets. Although this list is maintained in
Canada, it includes many teachers from the US.
-- The "Teacher Talk" website
is experimenting with a new e-mail mentoring program that promises to match
beginning teachres with experienced colleagues. The "Mighty Mentors"
program is looking for mentors and mentees. The site will post biographical
information about all its mentors, allowing mentees to match themselves
with an appropriate e-mail correspondent. Give it a try -- and let us know
how it worked out. Free registration at site.
-- A rich source of information
for new and experienced teachers. Practical information on curriculum, instruction,
learning, thinking skills, lesson plans, teaching and other education topics.
The name means "the best" in Latin. The site's motto is suggestive:
"Anything not understood in more than one way is not understood at
Can New Teachers Do for Themselves?-- "When I read
articles about new teachers, I am confronted with such issues as, 'How can
we better support new teachers?' That's nice. But why don't I ever read
about 'The top 10 ways new teachers can help themselves,' or 'How to make
your first years the best years'? The focus of our efforts to help new teachers
seems to weigh too heavily on the schools, forgetting to encourage new teachers
with practical steps to help themselves." (from "Classroom Leadership,"
ASCD, May 1999.)
-- The Maryland Department
of Education has a series of webpages where middle grades teachers can link
to resources about best teaching practice -- including brief materials on
homework, abstract concepts, praise and rewards, student accountability,
organizing and presenting instruction, goals and purposes, monitoring student
success, meaningful school and community participation, rules and rountines,
managing disruptive behavior, learning skills, student team learning, setting
high expectations, and more.
-- An experienced middle grades teacher
shares what she's learned. "My first advice to anyone starting in teaching
is to be careful of those who claim they know the perfect method of teaching.
Teaching is an on-going learning experience."
--Don't miss this
rich advice from experienced middle grades teachers! Pam Chandler, a Middle-L
listserve member, offers a couple of good ideas about starting off the year
and discusses the bond between middle school teacher and child. And other
teachers chime in, with ideas about assessing
your new students, designing curriculum, building community, and more.
One teacher suggests a good book
to read the first week. And Debbie
talks about the importance of deciding
early on what's most important about discipline and classroom management.
Several college faculty offer classroom management ideas,
and a freshly-minted teacher describes several
-- This advice for prospective student teachers
comes from a Canadian teacher who just completed student teaching. As he
notes, many of his thoughts "could probably apply to first-year teachers
as well." Excellent tips from the New Teacher listserve.
-- Dedicated "to
giving new teachers the tools they need to complete their jobs, helping
them develop the skills necessary to succeed in the classroom, and encouraging
them to remain enthusiastic as they face the challenges of the future in
the classrooms of today." First annual conference scheduled for July
includes a quarterly magazine, a free book, a newsletter, and access to
-- This commercial site offers the box "Survival
Kit for New Teachers," which can be purchased on-line. Also includes
useful links and free resources, like the web newsletter "The Mentor."
New teachers will especially appreciate
-- Continuous teacher learning is the key to
helping students achieve higher standards, says the report, "Teachers
Take Charge of Their Learning: Transforming Professional Development for
Student Success." A good start in thinking more deeply about professional
development and your school.
contains many interesting professional development links. Here's one of
our favorite stories (we wrote it) about
-- How we group and sort students, how we divide
up the school day, how we escape "the prison of time," how we
advise, retain, promote -- these are the "nuts and bolts" issues
of schools. This MiddleWeb page offers links and articles on all these subjects
and more. Among the best:
and Learning -- More and more school systems are adopted a
standards-based approach to teaching/learning and assessment. The MiddleWeb
Guide to Standards-Based School Reform includes many resources on the topic,
including stories about teachers who are working toward a standards-based
-- We maintain a large collection of curriculum resources,
sorted by subject. In addition to specific lesson plans and subject topics,
we include links to articles and other resources that can help teachers
think more deeply about "content-specific pedagogy."
-- "Teaching Alive!" is an interactive
CD suitable for pre-service and in-service teacher education. The program
uses video clips and lesson transcripts to illustrate five principles for
effective teaching of at-risk K-8 students.