Section 1: Your First Day
You must be flexible and prepared to handle incidents when they arise in order to be a successful teacher. If you can’t handle interruptions in your daily routine you may have trouble surviving as a teacher. — Kelly McMahon
Your First Day…
- Introduce yourself and give students a short biographical sketch.
- Establish a method for learning students’ names.
- Share your expectations with your class.
- Review, or develop with students, your rules for behavior with the rewards and consequences.
- Rules should be written and posted in the classroom.
- Clarify your homework and makeup policies with students.
- Establish a place for students’ papers.
- Establish a place for your personal papers.
- Recognize that you will not know everything; ask questions of your colleagues.
- Take time at the end of the day to reflect on the good job you did.
In the first few months…
- Know where students’ files are housed so that you can consult them when needed.
- Familiarize yourself with the timelines for students’ progress reports and grading deadlines.
- Read over district/school policies and ask questions if something is not clear.
- Become familiar with the procedure for special education referrals.
- Make sure you have a substitute folder available.
- Broaden your horizons…get to know people outside your immediate environment.
- Find out the dates and the procedures for parent-teacher conferences.
- Meet with your mentor regarding evaluation procedures.
- Establish a method of communicating with parents on a regular basis.
- Talk with your mentor about getting your licensure Professional Development Plan (PDP) process started.
- Find out the process for requesting/purchasing materials.
- Be good to yourself. Make sure you are eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
- Take some time to reflect on your first month as a teacher.
As you begin the 2nd semester…
- Consider attending a school board meeting with a colleague.
- Read journals and research on instruction.
- Check out the professional development activities offered by your district and WEAC.
- Your financial future is important. Do you have a budget that includes a tax shelter? Find out which tax deductions are allowed.
- Begin formulating your professional development goal for licensure purposes.
- Get to know your building rep and local officers and be apprised of the activities in your local Association.
- Reflect, reflect, reflect.