Your classroom is being decorated and you feel pretty confident about what you are doing and what you have planned. Self-reflection is the best way to ensure you are growing as a professional– this, in addition to keeping abreast of current topics and new ideas in your field. Your classroom should be ever changing but like I used to say “my classroom runs like a well-oiled machine” but it can break every now and then. And that is OK!
Here are some things to start or continue doing to be the best possible teacher you can:
1) Start or continue your classroom website/blog: This allows you to stay in contact with families and allows families to better understand what is going on in your classroom. Your website also gives you the opportunity to add and change pages that show your curriculum, pictures of centers, share recipe ideas etc. Here is an example: www.busyclassroom.weebly.com This will be something you will want your families to visit frequently.
2) Have your first Parent Party: Parent Parties should be conducted as soon as possible after the first week of school. This is different than the “Back To School” night. Here is an article that provides more information about Parent Parties. As the new year begins challenge yourself to step outside the box and try these to build relationships with families.
3) Continue to Develop your classroom: everyday you are learning about the new students in your classroom. This set of students is different from any you have ever had. Differentiate and ensure that your centers, your classroom set up, your transitions, routines and even the schedule reflect on the new students you have.
4) Teach Procedures over and Over: You want your classroom to run like a well oiled machine. From the very first day of school teaching your students what to and how to be a member of the classroom community is vital. You may have to go over and over what you expect but eventually it will become second nature. If a procedure is not completed correctly for example: walking down the hall with voices off, looking straight ahead, hands behind back, turn around and start over. The more you do and the more it is practiced correctly the more routine it becomes.
5) Schedules: Try different things. Sometimes something may work the first couple of weeks and then it doesn’t work after that. Maybe you are teaching Kindergarten and students are exhausted after lunch but you had big plans for the afternoon. Flexibility is key and it is OK to change what you are doing and when you are doing it.
6) Continually learn about each student: Make your students the number one priority while you are there. Ask them questions, find out about interests and then incorporate those interests into your curriculum and your thematic planning including center areas.
7) Get your students excited about learning! Be the teacher that welcomes his/her students each day and is excited to be there. Love learning, show students and model what it means to be a learner and a part of the classroom community.
You are in control of how your classroom runs. You are in charge of waking up each day being positive and excited to teach your students. Show your students that you care about them, their families and cultivating the best classroom community possible.
This guest post was written by Tisha Shipley. Tisha has a doctorate of education in Curriculum and Instruction and has taught multiple grade levels at Moore Public Schools, including pre–K and gifted 3rd–6th graders.
You can find Tisha online in these places: