Tips for Novice Middle School TeachersBy Lusila Plezia
The first day of school is always nerve racking and chaotic for new teachers. In college, one is not prepared to handle the first day, not even the first year. When a novice teacher is hired, they should find a veteran teacher (if a mentor teacher is not assigned to them) to help come up with ideas for a smooth first day and year for that matter.
Having a plan of action beforehand will allow for a smooth first day and smooth school year such as professional attire, classroom management, and classroom environment.
Teachers must dress professionally from the first day of school to the last day of school because professional dress helps teachers show students who is in charge. In wearing professional attire, teachers will help model good behavior and dress codes for students. Professional attire also helps the parents distinguish between the teacher and student because there are many young teachers that may look younger that the students. (Burridge, 2013)
According to the framework for classroom management from Evertson and Weinstein, having classroom management has a purpose. Not only will it help deal with behavior, it will help students’ social and moral growth (Kratochwill, 2013). There are a few things a novice teacher or veteran teacher should do:
-develop caring supportive relationships with and among students
– organize and implement instruction in ways that optimize students’ access to learning
– use group management methods that encourage students’ engagement with academic tools
– promote the development of student social skills and self- regulation and use appropriate interventions to assist students who have behavior problems. (Kratochwill, 2013)
Positive Classroom Environment
Having a positive classroom environment will help ensure student success. A positive classroom climate creates structure, follow rules, has rewards, gives and receives respect. This helps to foster an enriched learning environment for students. Being strict but fair is helpful. One has to remember to follow through with any type of consequence, for it will show students that a teacher means business. (Mrs. D, 2008)
Create an Agenda
Creating an agenda for the first day of school will allow for the class to run smoothly. Include things that will allow for a smooth day or week for example: classroom rules, school rules, classroom expectations, teacher/student expectations, school supply list (forces students to be responsible), class work, homework, class participation, rewards, etc.
Having a plan of action will allow for a smooth school year, little to no problems in the classroom, and a positive classroom environment.
Burridge, Mark. “ehow Money.” 2013. ehow. www.ehow.com/info_8778353_professional-attire-teacher.html. 3 August 2013.
D, Mrs. Language Arts Teaching Expert. 2008. http://www.language-arts-teaching-expert.com/classroom-rules-and-routines.html. 3 August 2013.
Tom Kratochwill, PhD, University of Wisconsin. “APA Classroom Managment Teacher Modules.” 2013. American Psychogical Association.
http://www.apa.org/education/k12/classroom-mgmt.aspx. 03 August 2013.
About the author
Lusila Plezia is a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and educator who works and lives her dreams in Laredo, Texas with her son, daughter, and husband.