50 More Things New Teachers Need To Know

“Don’t hit the kids and don’t hit on the kids.”  If I had to summarize my best advice about teaching in just one saying, that would be it.  However, last summer’s post, 50 Things New Teachers Need To Know, went into a bit more detail and has now garnered thousands of hits, making it this blog’s most popular post.

During the school year between then and now, I’ve made some more notes and now have this new collection ready.  As I say at the end, take it all with a grain of salt, but I have no doubt that this list is more useful than a bachelor’s degree in education.  Furthermore, I like this list even more than last year’s.  Enjoy!

 

1. Cover any windows on hallway-facing doors to your room from the inside with paper. If administrators complain about it, just cover as much as you can at eye level.  You don’t need lollygaggers out there distracting students by making faces at their friends in your class.

2. PC Myth #5: “Your teaching skills are more important than content knowledge.”  In my own undergrad days, an early class taught me that I wouldn’t need to worry about subject knowledge because I already had more than the students would, and I should just focus on methodology, classroom management, etc.  As a result, I spent my first couple of years as a teacher watching all those college theories go down in flames, and desperately playing catch up on the English facts that I needed to know to teach well. 

3.  Always remember: administrators are politicians.  Many, perhaps most, are personable and caring, and try to support you and help students, but nobody ever became an administrator for those reasons.  No, people get office jobs because it offers more salary and authority, and any administrator’s first priority will always be protecting their own career.  If you ever end up having a serious problem with a parent or student, your administrators might defend you…but don’t count on it.  You can like your leaders, but don’t ever trust them.  The risk to yourself is too great.

4.  As soon as you can (before the school year starts, if possible), sign up for your local newspaper’s classroom delivery plan.  No matter what subject you teach, this will be an invaluable source of topical, timely lesson materials.  Regularly delivered newspapers will also help you establish a routine that you can rely on.  I use mine as a way for students to do reading response journals with independently chosen material (they choose two stories, from different sections), making them punctuate titles correctly, incorporate quotes into their commentary, etc.  Ask your school librarian about it. 

5. Make copies of good and bad examples of student writing (anonymously, of course–scratch out any visible names) that you’ve corrected, and use them in class to show how papers should be edited.  Students love this, and it’s a powerful, practical lesson (also, a good routine).  Make transparency copies, or see if your school has those new projectors that display normal papers.

6.  When a student starts slacking off or avoiding work, intervene as if you’re a peer: pull them aside and express concern for them, in a friendly tone, not as a lecture.  Ask them what’s going on.  Be firm, though: tell them that the behavior can’t continue, and–this is the most important part–tell them that you need their help to make the whole class successful.  That almost always gets real results; kids love thinking that we’re partners.

7.  When students have the option of missing your class for a club activity or field trip, etc., but it’s at your discretion, usually don’t let them go.  Your class is the most important thing in the world.  Of course, exceptions for student merit or activity importance may come up, but in general you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches–and do the students more good–when you reinforce the value of being in class.  If they must miss an activity (or, conversely, a class assignment), they have to learn to make choices based on priorities.  Beware: student government kids are the most susceptible to feeling like they’re entitled to miss class.

8. Be careful about missing days of work.  Any plans you leave for a sub will probably be ruined, and if you purposely leave busy work to avoid that problem, it’s still a wasted day for the class.  You being there even if your heart isn’t in it on a certain day will still do the students far more good than being with any sub.  Students can tell when you’re taking days off for no good reason, and it changes their view of the class for the worse.  Luckily, the converse is also true: teachers who are always there have more serious classes.  Besides, using fewer absences might accrue more vacation days in the future.  That’s how it works in my school district.  All that being said, I recommend taking a free day off in May.  You’ll have earned it, and everybody should get to enjoy a lazy Tuesday morning in May, after they’ve worked hard all year.

9. Learn about the 403(b).  As a teacher, this will augment your retirement plan and be invaluable to you later on.  This doesn’t have to be your top priority right away–lesson plans and classroom management will be more pressing–but when you feel you’re in a good place, ask the veterans on campus about who to set up a good 403(b) with.  Certainly look into this by the end of your second year.

10.  Also, be sure you know the requirements for licensure in your district–when you have to renew, any tests or classes you have to take.  Again, this doesn’t have to be priority #1, but you do want to plan ahead for anything you need to work on.  Your supervisor or their secretary, or your department chair, can explain this all to you when you have a minute to catch your breath.

11.  Don’t offer extra credit to students for bringing in things.  If your school doesn’t offer tissues as a standard supply, for example, or if it’s too hard to actually get some from the office, bring some rolls of toilet paper into your room from the staff restroom.  It works great, and kids think it’s funny.

12.  Make it a rule that students have to keep back packs and purses on the floor.  Do not let them keep them in their laps; they’ll just use them as shields to hide things like cell phones. 

13.  Don’t try to “convert” your students to a love of reading, or any other aspect of your subject.  They are almost certain to come into your class with deeply set prejudices about academic activities, prejudices that you’re not likely to impact.  Yes, give them opportunities to experience the joy of your subject, and show them your enthusiasm for it (that’ll be valuable for those who do have open minds), but don’t be afraid to assign reading, writing, and any other kind of assignment as a chore.  Your best shot for reaching kids with any kind of meaningful seriousness about most things will be to honestly tell them that whether or not they like it, it’s important and necessary.  They’ll groan and whine, but at least you can dispense with the cheerleading and get down to some real content.  Ultimately, that’ll reward everybody.

14.  Assemble a class library of titles relevant to your subject area.  No matter what you teach, reading in that field is very important.  You should have your classes spend time independently reading such titles during class time regularly, after which they might fill out a reading log (date-author-title-pages read-summary paragraph with direct quote-commentary paragraph).  Students should be encouraged to bring in books from the school or public library from within the call numbers for that subject (such as NA for art, D for history, etc.), or from a list of novels that are related to your subject (every student of physics should read Einstein’s Dreams, for example).  You know the classics of your field–recommend them!  But many students will never bring a book.  They’ll use your class library.  Collect books from what your school and public libraries discard, and from what anyone is giving away (retiring members of your department are a gold mine).  Don’t let them browse during class time–they’ll just dawdle.  Assign them out, and if they don’t like it, that’ll be that much more incentive to bring a library book of their own next time.

15.  When making copies of articles, stories, or other things for use as a class set, make a lot more than your current class sizes require.  You need to consider that classes may be larger in the future, and regardless of your best efforts, some copies may be lost or destroyed each year.  You don’t want to constantly have to replenish your collection by making more copies.  I recommend at least forty packets to a set.  Fifty is better.

16.  Tell students they’re not allowed to decorate or draw on their papers.  Otherwise, you’ll get a lot of papers turned in with graffiti-style tagging in the margins, illuminated brand names, etc.  When such things do get turned in, return them and say the assignment must be done over, that you don’t accept “tagged” work. 

17.  Don’t volunteer to be an adviser for any clubs, activities, or teams your first year.  These are a lot of work.  Schools like to take advantage of new teachers and sell them on running things, but you need to focus on your classroom before investing time in other stuff.  I knew one guy who went to a bad school his first year and was given the yearbook and the student newspaper to do.  That was a ton of work, and it nearly smothered him.  If you have an activity or sport you love, feel free to throw your hat in the ring to run it…your second year teaching.

18.  When students come into your room before or after school, the first thing you need to do is prop the door open.

19.  Experiment with playing soft music quietly in the background as students are working, especially when they’re reading.  I recommend the Evergreen channel at www.king.org

20.  There are valid, differing opinions about teacher dress.  A shirt and tie may not be required every day, but in general, more professional is better than less.  Definitely start off the year dressing formally, and start relaxing a little as time passes if appropriate.  Still, you can’t go wrong with business dress.

21.  Make it your goal to give at least three grades to each student each week.  This will help you ensure rigor in the class, and help students to have sufficient practice with and attention to their own learning.  These grades can include participation in discussions and notebook checks, etc., if that helps. 

22.  Never give “free days.”  If your plans fall through, or if an emergency comes up, have simple emergency plans ready: sets of puzzles related to your class content, for example.  Have them take notes on a documentary.  Let them review their grades in your class and make up / redo old work as needed.  Have them make study guides for your class exams and pair up to quiz each other or make note cards.  Anything is better than just letting them sit around and do whatever they want. 

23.  My favorite “emergency plan” is to tape the annual Jeopardy! College Tournament each Spring.  I keep that tape in my class the following school year and play a couple of episodes if a circumstance comes up (a few times a year I’ll have the majority–but not all–of a class out for testing or other activities) and I need to fill an odd day.  The College Tournament is easy enough for smart teens to participate in, but hard enough that they’ll learn plenty, and it’s a good plug for quality colleges. 

24.  When a male teacher sees a female student obnoxiously out of dress code, he needs to ask a female colleague to talk to her and take the appropriate action.  Men, do not approach this yourself and open yourself up to potential problems or accusations by “noticing” a tube top or short shorts or whatever.  Women, please don’t resent having to pick up the slack on this.  Actually, you’ll have a better chance of impressing better choices for appearance on these girls than any man would, anyway. 

25.  Before the year starts, find out from your administrative supervisor and/or department chair what their requirements are for your specific subject or grade level.  Does every teacher need to assign a book report or research paper first quarter?  Do all junior English classes need to read a certain book during first semester?  You’d think they’d be sure to communicate these to you, but sometimes it doesn’t get done and you’ll find out too late what all your colleagues knew.  Write down these items and work them into your year plan (see #29 on last year’s list).

26.  Go to some of your school’s games.  They should be free for you, so they’re a cheap date or family outing, and it will make a big difference in your classroom if the kids have seen you outside of work and supporting the school.  Also, it’s fun. 

27.  If your room has an intercom or speakers for the school to ring bells or make announcements, see if you can muffle them by taping some foam or padding over them.  Those things get loud and they’re irritating.

28.  Be sure to arrange the desks, shelves, and cabinets in your room so that every part is visible from your desk.  Do not leave any corners or niches out of your view.  These would become havens for littering or worse. 

29.  Take each class to the school library at least once a year, for research or to find books to read individually, but be sure they have specfific instructions and assignments when there.  Do not just give them free time there.  When I take students for research, I have them take notes on the librarian’s orientation first, then fill in specific outlines for their research as they go, which is due for a grade when we leave.  Libraries do not follow the “make sure every area is visible” rule, so be sure to circulate a lot and monitor.

30.  Don’t let anyone scare you about copyright laws when you want to make copies.  In a million years, you will never actually get in trouble for making a class set of an essay or article to use in your class. 

31.  If you suspect a student cheated on something they wrote, don’t bother with any fancy Web sites for detecting cheaters.  Just Google the first sentence of the paper.  If they copied it, 99 times out of 100 you’ll find the source that way immediately. 

32.  Don’t be a gum Nazi.  It isn’t worth it.  Yes, this means there’s a slightly higher chance that some will end up under desks or even on the floor, but that risk just doesn’t justify constant vigilance on your part.  You have too much else to do.  Yes, get on their case if they blow bubbles or play with it, but the vast majority of kids never will.  That being said, you definitely do need to be a cell phone Nazi.  Those things are much more pervasive, and present a much greater threat to your class and your students’ education.

33.  Find a few good online resources for your subject to use with students.  Some will have good illustrations, others will have quizzes to use for practice as a whole group, and others will have short video clips you can show.  If your school doesn’t provide projectors for your computer, try to find one.  Maybe they can be checked out of the library.  Two sources I recommend for everybody are the Official SAT Question of the Day, and your local PBS station’s Web site.  Judicious and cautious use of Wikipedia may be helpful.  I bet someone in your department has a whole list of online goodies like these. 

34.  Your old lesson plan books will never be that helpful (not that I think lesson plans in general are very useful), but your old grade books are gold.  Keep a printout of all the assignments you graded in every class, every year.  These will tell you what you assigned, when, how much you made it worth, and when you did it.  Such a concise summary of this information will be priceless as you plan and revise next year.

35.  PC Myth #6: “Multiculturalism is important.”  No it isn’t.  Maybe minority cultures play an important role in your subject, or a certain part of it, and maybe not.  Whichever way happens to be the truth, your subject is what it is.  Don’t warp it to suit anyone’s agenda. 

36.  Good students that you’ve known for a while make great babysitters.  Be sure to meet their parents first.

37.  Teach students that after they’re absent, they need to see you before or after school about the instruction they missed and make up work.  You should all be too busy during class to do it then.  Do not just have a pile of papers for them to look through to get caught up; if someone can keep up with your class just by looking at a handout or two, your class is too easy. 

38.  As each year starts, get a big desk blotter calendar for your desk.  Make it your master calendar, and use it to record your upcoming parent conferences, department meetings, and due dates for major assignments in your classes.  These are dirt cheap at any office supply store or Wal Mart, but my school’s ROTC gives them away for free. 

39.  Consider having students submit work to you via email or using an online site for that purpose, such as TeacherSites.  It’ll leave you with fewer papers to keep track of, and makes it much easier to save and document student work permanently.   

40.  When you send students home at the beginning of the year with your course expectations for their parent or guardian to sign, make a space for parents to fill out their cell phone numbers and email addresses.  Do the same thing with your sign in sheet at open house.  This will give you much more reliable information than in the school’s records.  Parents love email, and it gets results.

41.  When you call a parent or send a student to the office, record their name, the date, and the reason in a single place for quick reference.  A small notebook is great.  Maybe your desk calendar would work. 

42.  Grade some assignments in class.  If the answers are simple, concrete things–like multiple choice questions, fill in the blank answers, or spelling words–pass papers back out to other students and have them write their name at the bottom of the one they’re grading.  Give everybody a few nominal points for grading the paper right.  If someone doesn’t, make to call them out on it.  This isn’t to teach following directions or even to save you time, though; it’s to review material as a class. 

43.  Always write grades on things as a fraction.  When a student gets a paper back and it just says “-4,” that will mean nothing to most of them.  “16/20” is much better.  If they ask what grade that works out to, tell them to do the math: 16 divided by 20. 

44.  Trail mix, nuts, granola bars, and bottled water are your friends.  Keep a stash in your desk. 

45.  Greet students at the door as they come in.  Stand in the doorway and check for open drinks or snacks (and have them get rid of them before coming in), and make sure they have materials for class–their texts and notebooks (and send them to their locker to get them if they don’t).  Maybe make sure their iPods are put away and cell phones are turned off, too.  Then step aside and let them in.

46.  Avoid or be very strict about student presentations using PowerPoint.  I know “technology is the wave of the future,” but most of these presentations are mind numbingly dull.  Students come to rely on clip art animation and just read text from the screen. 

47.  Don’t sweat open house or parent’s night.  It will make very little difference in the operation of your class, regardless what you do.  Just summarize your plan for the class this year, communicate your high expectations for students, review procedures, and exchange contact information.  Do take their questions and answer them, though, but not about individual students.  Tell them to set up a parent conference for that.

48.  PC Myth #7: “Students must be having fun to learn.”  Nope.  True, intense hatred for a class will probably restrict effective learning, but fun, especially as a priority, is overrated.  Yes, novelty and humor enhance learning, and do have their place, but too much novelty isn’t novelty anymore; it just makes for a fluffy class.  The majority of class time should be serious and focused on students working independently.  That’s where the best learning will happen. 

49.  Don’t forget to erase the examples and notes on your board and cover any posters that may have answers on them before giving a test.  I think every teacher makes this mistake at least once. 

50.  Take all advice with a grain of salt.  Though there are simple, established things that are more effective than others (read Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works), teaching is still more of an art than a science.  Everybody thinks they’re a good teacher, but not everybody’s right.  Be skeptical about all experts and even “research” (which is rarely as objective as proponents would like you to think).  Yes, this includes my lists.  All fifty (or 100 total) of these things will not work for everybody.  But many will.  Your only two sure guides are common sense and experience.  Take good notes, always be open to change, be flexible to responding to the needs of specific classes, and pay attention to everything.  You’ll do great.

Advertisements

27 comments on “50 More Things New Teachers Need To Know

  1. And for a little added perspective on the value of what you teachers are doing, I invite you to check out this brief video — ahamoment.com/pg/moments/view/4654 — it’s one teacher’s “aha moment” when the impact and importance of her efforts were recognized in a very special way. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    Thanks,
    jack@ahamoment.com

  2. Jack, thanks for the inspiration. I wonder what exactly this teacher did that enabled her students so strongly. I also wonder what exactly she wrote in this girl’s yearbook that was so memorable! I usually just write something silly like, “Thanks for your help kidnapping all those llamas in France this year.” Also, I wonder why everybody seems to think that the comment section of blogs are the perfect place for shameless self promotion!

  3. 5. Make copies of good and bad examples of student writing (anonymously, of course–scratch out any visible names) that you’ve corrected, and use them in class to show how papers should be edited. Students love this, and it’s a powerful, practical lesson (also, a good routine). Make transparency copies, or see if your school has those new projectors that display normal papers.

    I don’t mean to complain (since it may just be my own personal experience), but whenever a teacher did this in an english class (or elsewhere), I utterly hated, loathed, and despised it! We would all figure out who wrote what immediately, so the “bad examples” were laughed at, and the “good examples” were stared down as suck-ups. Frankly I think the only time a teacher should do this is if the class is told, when the paper is assigned, that it will be shared before the entire class.
    I don’t know about you, but I got extremely, extremely embarrassed whenever a teacher would praise or criticize my work in front of everyone, even if no one knew it was me. I guess this is just something to watch out for, it may just have been simply my neurotic high-school self :)

  4. Good bits of advice, however the students contempt for school in my area render most classroom procedures you mentioned useless. For example, being a cell phone Nazi means 4/5ths of the class will inevitably end up in the office.

  5. BYU Fallopian Fellowship, you know your non-patriarchal patronage and estrogen-enhanced endorsements are always appreciated!

    Brian, good point. When we do this, we definitely need to be careful–I had a teacher do this in a class in school once, and it was obvious who wrote what. Examples need to be cherry-picked and edited to cover for this. The best thing to do, though, is just to use examples from different classes. The point of this at all is to show how papers should be edited and revised (I don’t use “clean” student copies, I use the ones I’ve already graded), and how things should be formatted. Actual writing tips can be done here, but are secondary. I’ve used copies of college papers with high school classes before–they love that!

    Nathan, I understand. All we can do is whatever is possible–if a certain level of success isn’t possible, just shoot for whatever is possible, however meager it might be. All advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and adapted as necessary to the needs of a specific class. That’s also a reason why the increasing standardization/mechanization of education is a bad idea–students aren’t widgets.

  6. These are great – a lot I learned (and some the hard way…not following #17 majorly kicked my butt) during my first year.

    I love #43 – I started feeling guilty this year for not writing percentages on my kids’ papers so I made up cheat sheets for every point range I used and dutifully recorded the percentage and corresponding grade on the papers. Next year? I’m totally going to make them do the math and write it on there themselves!

    I disagree with #35, though – I believe multiculturalism IS important if you want kids to believe that your subject is relevant to their lives. That means that if you teach math, word problems shouldn’t only include names like Connor and Molly, but also Maria, Carlos, An, and Ebony. Sure, plenty of names are common in many cultures, but not all are, and I think it helps kids to see themselves reflected in their classwork.

    Nonetheless, I will definitely be sharing this list with new colleagues!

  7. Teachin’, I appreciate dissenting views, and intelligent people can agree to disagree, but your example for the value of mutliculturalism is pretty spurious, don’t you think? “Nice” intentions aside, does including minority names in word problems actually help students learn math? No, it doesn’t. The old canard about “making things relevant” to kids is another myth–trying to connect math to rap or video games or skateboarding doesn’t improve student comprehension; it actually distracts and confuses them (this is covered in the new book Why Don’t Students Like School?).

    When I assign kids to memorize short speeches from Shakespeare, sometimes they ask to rap it. When I say no, they’re shocked and offended. They’ve been trained their whole lives to expect to be able to adpat the curriculum to whatever interest they have, even if it means mangling the material–a rapped Shakespeare may have its place, but it shouldn’t come before much less substitute for a solid grounding in traditional recitation. Besides, if we really value diversity, then aren’t I promoting it by providing an experience different from all the other teachers who do let kids have “fun” projects?

    As Allan Bloom noted in The Closing of the American Mind:

    There is an enormous difference between saying, as teachers once did, “You must learn to see the world as Homer and Shakespeare did,” and saying, as teachers now do, “Homer and Shakespeare had some of the same concerns you do and can enrich your vision of the world.” In the former approach students are challenged to discover new experiences and reassess old; in the latter, they are free to use the books in any way they please.

    Which, Bloom implies, will almost always lead to them not being used very well at all. Let’s all remember, education by its very nature asserts that we are not good enough and that we need to change. After all, what’s the point of all these years of school if our students’ current interests and views are perfectly adequate?

  8. As a teacher, I had my administrator visit me in the hospital. As a teacher, I’ve helped teachers move into their homes, I’ve gone to funerals with them, and I’ve done everything I can to live the belief that if we want our teachers to care about kids, we must then realize that our job is to care about the teachers.

    There are many principals who miss the classroom every day, but who went into administration because we saw a need. I became an administrator for the same reason I became a teacher — it was where I thought I could do the most good.

    One of the things I would tell new teachers is this — be willing to see the best in people — in your students, in your colleagues and even *gasp* in your administrators.

  9. Administrator, clearly, you disagree with my point #3, but I want to thank you for not losing your cool, though. I’ve also known plenty of fine administrators, and I’d agree with your advice to tell new teachers to be willing to see the best in people, but if you’re as experienced as you sound, then you’ve also seen other administrators whose top concern was clawing their way to the top of the campus, and were happy to throw the occasional trusting young teacher under the bus in order to make the way smoother for them. It’s not common, but too many new teachers think their supervisor will be their best friend, and learn the hard way that when push comes to shove, it’s a business where few people will be willing to get out of their comfort zones much less make waves in order to support a new guy. Caveat “lecturer”: let the teacher beware.

  10. Great lists – both of them. My guess is that most new teachers are running around treating everything like it is the most important thing on their list – so the cool head of a professional who has figured out how to prioritize the drill so he doesn’t lose his mind every September is greatly appreciated. The best teachers I know are the ones with the smoothest routine.

    Mostly, it’s common sense, but whenever someone is stressed even the most basic things can go out the window and it’s good to have a flight-check list of what works to remind you until it’s ingrained in your nature.

    As for the commentary on using student writing examples – I think it’s an excellent idea – but I think it works best if the examples are generated by students from another year or class. Recognition is awkward – no matter which end of the bell curve your writing sits on. I will be teaching art – where there is even less anonymity – and self and peer critique while showing one’s work is crucial.

  11. 35. PC Myth #6: “Multiculturalism is important.” No it isn’t. Maybe minority cultures play an important role in your subject, or a certain part of it, and maybe not. Whichever way happens to be the truth, your subject is what it is. Don’t warp it to suit anyone’s agenda.

    This is a comment that can only be made by someone in the culture of power, teaching mainly to students in a culture of power. If something is not culturally relevant to a student, the student sees no application, and the education gap widens. If students are exposed to elements of a subject that connect directly to their experiences, lineages, or culture, the investment gained will last the entire year. The assertion that there are is no benefit to multiculturalism, or that there may be a subject taught with no reference to cultures other than anglo-european is racist at best.

    https://webfiles.uci.edu/mcbrown/display/faces.html
    http://www.infoplease.com/spot/hhmbio4.html
    http://www.factmonster.com/spot/asianbios7.html
    http://www.the-aps.org/education/expl/weblinks.htm
    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/List_of_Arab_scientists_and_scholars

    – that is just for science. I teach language arts, and the curriculum widens even more.

  12. Thanks for calling me a racist, Aaron. Good to see that your broad minded tolerance doesn’t actually extend to people who, you know, are different from you.

    When did I say that no curriculum should go outside “anglo-European” cultures? If you’re teaching Shakespeare, then that would dominate. If you’re teaching the Chinese language, or a course on Egyptian history, then probably not so much.

    You remind me of the attitude satirized by humorist Dave Barry in his pseudo-history book, Dave Barry Slept Here. Barry writes a history of the United States where, at one point, an “editor” breaks in to announce that this book is too heavy on dead white men, and needs to mention the contributions of women and minorities. From that point on, the book stops every several pages to say, “Meanwhile, many significant contributions were being made by women and minorities.” Is that how education should go, Aaron? Not according to essential knowledge or skills, but warped to fit around an agenda that pats kids on the head and says, “Your skin color defines you and that’s why you should learn math?”

    At any rate, your links are just to biographies and politicized manifestoes. Where does research show that “making connections to students’ own cultural heritage” improves learning? Isn’t that itself pandering to racism? Besides, aren’t math and science, for example, universal? Or should different ethnicities be taught their times tables differently? And why?

    Your politically correct language about “cultures of power” and “education gaps” only infantilizes minorities, telling them that they can’t succeed without special coddling, and that their own success or failure is essentially out of their own control. That, my friend, is racist.

  13. Huston, I’m just stumbling upon your post (hence my ‘year later’ response) and thought that the majority of it was true to form, but #35 didn’t rest well with me (and I see a few others).

    I am a minority teacher, who happens to teach predominantly minority children. I don’t push multiculturalism down their throats; quite frankly we have too many testing deadlines to get that far off the curriculum (thank you NCLB). What I do incorporate/discuss is their culures’ contributions to society as it appropriately fits in the curriculum. If we’re dicussing the develop of our government, I do discuss slavery and the conflict that arose when including the number of slaves in a state’s population as it would increase the number of representatives in the House. However, if I’m discussing how light refracts and reflects in Science I don’t purposely find a minority scientist to highlight for the day!

    Like a previous poster mentioned, I too change the names on worksheets to fit more with my students’ culture. Why? Am I just making them believe that everything will be changed to suit their needs? No, I’m teaching them that they are JUST as important, powerful, intelligent as Becky or Connor. Will it help them know their 9 tables (I teach elementary school) faster? Heavens, no! But trust me, they do take notice. Just like they may notice when they are not included in history or literature, but silently sit, not knowing how to confront their teacher who feels that teaching multiculturism is not important.

    This may be something you simply don’t understand and possibly never will. As I never can comprehend a day living as a man despite the fact, with all my best intentions, I may think I know all it takes.

  14. CMR, actually, I’d gladly agree with you on a lot of this. I don’t know that I consider changing a few names in stories to be the most insidious kind of poltiical correctness! I’m happy that you care about results and that you get them. Though I don’t really know very many kids named Becky or Connor! :)

    I’m also heartened that you appear to teach the slave-counting controversy in the Constitution for what it really was–a fight over representation in the government–and not just as another generic manifestation of racism.

    As for what it’s like to be a man, just imagine normal life, but with more body odor and an insatiable appetite for bacon. That’s about it.

  15. This post is very eye-opening for a pre-service teacher. I am in my second year of college in a teacher-education program. I am very excited to finally be a teacher. However, in my program, I feel like they are too worried about standards and theories and don’t teach us about the realities of teaching. I know that most of my training will be on-the-job. I am going to save this post to my computer so I can use this advice when I get my first classroom.

  16. Wow, I can tell you that as an English Major/Education Minor, I really learned a lot from setting aside fifteen minutes to read “50 Things New Teachers Need to Know” and “50 More Things.” I will be saving each of these suggestions and putting them aside for when I start teaching. I know that my experience will be a much better one now that I have some good, substantial advice. Thanks so much!

  17. I’m actually a bit skeptical about #7. I feel that hey, you live once, and if a kid is going to miss one class to go on a field trip and enjoy life, why not? But other than that, these past two lists were extremely helpful and informative, thanks! :)

  18. Thanks, Taylor. Re: #7, “one” class? Few indeed are the kids who expect to get our of just one class a year. We’ve definitely, as a community, taught kids that academic classes are just one more little entree to sample in the big buffet of their lives, somewhere between the clubs and the social networking. I’ve actually been drafting a post about how we need to do a better job of teaching young people about choice and accountability.

  19. When this Old World starts getting you down. From Pollution the cost of OIL, Heating Fuel,The Fuel you put in your Vehicles, You Electric Bills from cooling air conditioners and lights not to speak of the Evil. The TAX that all Governments Federal, State, County and City put on everything they can thing of. They are supposed to serve us. Not put a burden on its people. That they are elected to serve all the people you, not their own Pocket Books.

    The Wicked keep putting higher taxes on everything. Making it a Heavy Burden on many that are already struggling just to put food on the table. Too many Americans have lost their home to the tax collector or to foreclosures from the unjust bankers greed. More are out of work and lost their homes then in the GREAT DEPRESSION,in the last ten years. All Americans and many Nations need good jobs and more of them. Not more TAXES.

    There is a Industry that will employ workers and is growing by more then 50% every year. There is a clear way for all up on the roof the Sun Light is free fuel from GOD. Some wicked in Government have been backing Coal, Oil, Gas and the Nuclear industries for too many years. These kickbacks to them were called Subsidizing Industry Technology. Most all Wise Men and smart Economist and Environmentalists call this padding their pockets and subsidizing back to the Stone Age.

    This might even been funny in the 1960?s. If it were a Fred Flintstones and Barny Rubble Movie. About How to aggressively systematically work with the rich to Pollute Ground Water quality to the point it is unsafe to drink or use. So to they make a law you can only buy water from their pipe line. And to make the air we breath full of Toxic Gases, Sulfur Dioxide and more Radioactive and Acid Rain. Injuring all living things on Earth.

    With Fred Flintstones to the Rescue. To help create a Healthier Environment. For all Future Generations. By spotlighting Renewable Energy and Free Energy like Wind and Solar. On his and his neighbor Barny Rubble’s roof. Even though the greedy wicked would do everything to stop or slow them down.

    Just imagine a dream that a 100 years ago one of the smartest man to ever live had. A dream after working with Sun Light. That all on Earth would use Free Energy Solar Energy. That Dream also shared by a man that dreamed this over 2,250 years ago. Both These men showed the world in their days. That this dream of Free Energy Solar Energy World wide was very possible. Both of these two wise men had first hand worked and researched their experiments for not just days, weeks put for many years. One of these men used chalk on Black Board the others board was a black stone table or floor covered with white sand and used a stick. One of these two Brilliant men had Kings from all most every Kingdom on Earth come to him for advice. The other went to almost every nation on Earth. Freely on his own dime Teaching All that had ears to hear. He would win the Nobel Prize for doing so. For his work on Solar Energy. Only after years of doing research and when most Scientist on Earth would not take the nomination for the Nobel Prize in 1921 this Brilliant scientist was awarded it in 1922 for the 1921 year.

    Now if this was just a Pretend TV Show or a Movie from a dream. This would be a great Sci Fi Story Line. In the 1960?s or even better to day. Sci Fi story Movie or dream No. All that i Have told you did actually really happen. Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for what? When Government leaders asked him to go on stage. To address the Scientific Community and the World. About what he was given the Nobel Prize for. When Albert Einstein Had done so. He addressed them with his other accomplishments.

    For years most Governments did not have a ear for Einstein’s Dream. Archimedes around 250 B.C. was know most of the World over as a great Mathematician. One of the first Scientist and Inventor of many things. Even the first Laser Ray from the Sun’s Energy. Science Fiction is what you would have though you were seeing if you could go back in time, it was real. To day we call it The LASER, Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission. Back then it was just called Amplification of the SUN Archimedes Death Ray. Thousand of years later it would be a Laser. That Albert Einstein help make possible. That would unlock one of the first books on Earth. The METHOD written by Archimedes. Then over more then 250 years later. When well Faded was cut from a scroll and put into a book form, to be easier to hide from the Romans by St. Paul. This book sold for over 2 million dollars. In New york at Christie’s Auction House.

    These two are at the top of the list of the World’s Greatest Scientists, Viewed by Scientist around the World. Sad that for the last 25 years or so of every teacher asked no matter what Grade k through 16. 80% of them did not know Archimedes. Even sadder 90% of them could not tell you what one of the most Brilliant Scientist to ever live on Earth. Won the Nobel Prize for. It was for the work Albert Einstein did to show the World it could get Free Energy, Electric from the SUN. PHOTOVOLTAICS You ask this question to any Military general 95% of them will get it right. Even more surprising 99% of them will know more about Archimedes then most Teachers on Earth.

    Generals know Energy is the key to Winning. At almost one thousand to one Archimedes always won against what all knew was impossible odds. Archimedes home town city of Syracuse was victorious against the greatest Kingdoms Armies on earth many times. Syracuse once was one of the most powerful cities in the World. I can only ask you to please look into Solar Energy, Solar Power, Solar Panels and Solar array on the internet under Images. To see and explore for your self then you be the JURY. More then 10 years ago the Internet became most of the World’s Universities Learning Platform. A Modern Day Archimedes Resource Center.

    The Solar Energy Industry in the year 2010 has leaped ahead farther and faster then any other industry on Earth. The Solar Industry in the United States of America alone, has grown by more then 50% in 2010 and it looks like that number will go up even higher this year 2011. The strong benefits of Solar Energy is Clear Clean Air viewed in major cities as improving air quality. Clean Cities. By all that use there brain for good . View it as protecting the environment and Freedom from OIL.

    While the Federal Government has eased the Tax on Renewable Energy till the end of this year 2011. Some cities in the states that these Legislators come from have worked against these tax credits. By doing so they are showing their true objectives. That they have stock in some power plants and do not want to lose all that Money they have been taking out of your pocket books for too many years. By taxing you on your Energy Bills. They want to Control Power and Tax Everything they can. Not let People be free to get their own power from the top of their own roofs. By adding their own taxes to them. These wicked leaders think that this will take away the incentives to harvest the Free Energy from the Sun.

    The Public ability and awareness for all on Earth to use the Natural Solar Energy, is Contributing to Production of Solar Energy Products. Making the Solar Energy Industry the fastest growing on Earth. A Wealth of Free Energy From The SUN. The more the wicked try to slow the Solar Energy Industry down, it only Enhances involvement and the efforts of the Good at Heart.

    GOD Bless you for reading this.

    The Lord’s little Helper

    Paul Felix Schott

    PS

    through out History Many have tried to wipe the good from our history books. Read the Bible Jesus will Bless you more then i can.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s