Roxanna Elden, one of my favorite teacher writers, has created a wonderful free resource for new teachers.
Here’s an excerpt from her announcement:
Educator and author creates a free School Year Starter Kit to help rookies focus on the first day.
With teacher shortages growing in many states and one in ten teachers quitting by the end of their first year, it’s more important than ever to help rookies get a good start to the year – something many districts try to address during New Teacher Orientation. Yet NTOs often leave out the main subject on teachers’ minds: The first day of school. To address this, educator and author Roxanna Elden has created a new, free tool: The School Year Starter Kit.
The Starter Kit is deceptively simple – a free, three day email series with links to all the basics teachers need to prepare for the first day. Among them: Suggested classroom rules. Tips on how to assign seats and remember student names. A ten-day countdown checklist. And do’s and don’ts for the all-important first day lesson plan.
Everything in the kit serves as a reference rather than a reading assignment.
Elden spoke with hundreds of teachers about their first-year experiences for her book, See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers. She also attended these events herself as a beginner in two different school districts. She’s found that teachers recall a surprisingly similar experience – orientations combine fire-hose levels of information with inspirational parables. Bette Midler’s song, Wind Beneath My Wings, is a staple. Says Elden: “This means the message we send teachers right before they step into their first classroom is: ‘You are the wind beneath kids’ wings. Your job is to be the force of nature that keeps children from dropping out of the sky. But also, be confident! Students can sense when you’re not confident. Now, read this binder that describes our evaluation system.’”
Personally, I think it offers good advice to all of us educators – not just new ones!