If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, or are a new teacher, a must-read website is “smartteaching.org.” In particular, mark as a favourite this most recent posting entitled “Baptism by Fire: 100 essential tips and resources for student teachers.”
I wish a resource vehicle like that had been available when I started teaching because my first week’s planning for both a grade six language arts class and visual art on rotary was enough to last nearly a full month’s work!!! Ah well, much better to be overplanned than under.
In any event, all practising teachers will no doubt nod their heads when I speak of the stark terror you will feel when you are facing a class of 30-40 students for the first time. What if they won’t listen to me? What if I can’t maintain class control? What ifs galore. But, what student teachers don’t realize is that the kids are just as nervous as you are. The bottom line is to somehow not show that nervousness while being comfortable with yourself.
Back to the “Baptism by fire” article. It starts off with general tips and relevant blogs. They then go on to list guides and tools, sample lesson plans, classroom management techniques, forums, advice from others, professional organizations, resume and interview ideas and last, but not least, a list of resource books.
With that many tips and resources at your finger tips, you can’t help succeed. But, one thing: Don’t forget about parents. The list of 100 only includes one specific item regarding parents — # 4 under “general tips.” Remember, if you have thirty students, you have up to sixty parents. All of them care about their kids and they want them to succeed even more than you.
So, learn how to communicate with the parents. And please, don’t put a bureaucratic and professional wall between you and them. If you can avoid doing that, plus all the technical stuff you will or have learned — guaranteed — you will have a long and productive teaching career.