Monday, January 5, 2009

Topic: New Teachers

Question: What are some tips for new teachers?

10-second review: How to relate to parents, colleagues and supervisors.

Title: “Mentoring Matters.” TM McCann and L Johannessen, Eds. English Journal (November 2008), 86-88. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: Subhead: “Retaining Quality Teachers Is the Real Test.” Gives advice on how to relate to parents, colleagues and supervisors.

Parents: Be accessible through phone, e-mail, conferences. Put yourself in the parent’s place. Recruit parents to be partners in helping their child’s growth. Be active and attentive listeners. Acknowledge fault when you make a mistake. Make homework instructions clear. Be careful what you send home; somebody will be scrutinizing and criticizing it.

Colleagues: Learn background of colleagues. Gravitate toward positive people. Enlist everyone as your mentor. Respect dignity of every school employee, including custodians, secretaries, food staff, etc.

Supervisors: Assume supervisor is interested in your professional growth. Show interest in long-term professional development. Ask how your supervisor defines the behavior of good teachers. Invite your supervisor to troubleshoot. Alert supervisor about possible difficulties with student, parent.

Comment: Good advice, to which I add, for the secondary teacher, some advice on classroom management. The first ten minutes of class time are critical for settling students down for work. Engage the students in an activity for the first ten minutes. Give extra credit for completing and rewriting. Examples of activities:

1. Write as well as you can for ten minutes on the topic of your choice. Good for one of your five classes. Three weeks. Then shift to next class. Ten minutes of writing will be easy to mark for one class. Clean up individual grammar problems.

2. Spelling test. I used to use a single spelling problem for the ten words: multi-syllable words; rules; words frequently misspelled because of the indefinite vowel; “C”/”S” confusion; -sede, -ceed, -cede words; words frequently misspelled because of mispronunciation, etc.

3. Put grammar problem in a sentence on board and have students correct. Use the format of the SAT?


No comments:

Post a Comment