Monday, January 2, 2012
This experience was really rewarding. I learned many things that have helped me in my first year of teaching. Here are a few things that I took away from the training that I have found to be the most helpful.
1 PROCEDURES - Ohhh my. This is so important! After I read the book by Harry Wong, The First Days of School, it became apparent to me that this was a key in an effective classroom. I took a lot of time thinking about how I wanted the classroom to operate, where we would turn in papers, how I would grade, where they would sit, how class would begin, how it would end, the list goes on an on. Preparing this way was certainly crucial to smooth operation and ensuring that the kids can function and be prepared to learn. During my observation time I had the chance to look in on the classroom of another first year teacher, and not to be rude but she definitely needed to read that book!
2. The entire presentation from Sam Nix - The whole idea that if the kids are not understanding then you should reevaluate your instruction was terrific. I will have to admit that the first 6 weeks in class was bumpy. There were a few kids that just weren't getting it. So, one weekend I spent a lot of time in my classroom thinking of new ways to present the material. For me the solution was presenting the same material in multiple ways. I post the most important information on the board at the beginning of a chapter and everyday at the beginning of class we review what we already know but I try to ask the questions differently every day, then I preview what we will learn that day. It is a history class so this is effective for me, I don't reveal the answer on the board list I just write something like "George Washington", and everyday I ask what are we supposed to be remembering about him?
3. Legal Issues - This is ultra important, particularly when talking about special populations. I have referred to the book (the one given at the ECAP training) more than once for information regarding special education.
4. Parent Conferencing - The tips given about how to make a parent conference, or even phone conversation, productive and cooperative are invaluable.