The summer before your first year of teaching can be an anxious time. You try to prepare but you’re not sure where to go or what your priorities should be. This list should help.
The first priority for many new teachers is setting up their classroom. The ideas about what works best for a learning space has changed quite a bit over the last few years. Edutopia has a great page devoted to designing learning environments that will give you a lot to think about.
Once you’ve figured out what you want in your classroom, you have to figure out ways to get it. The stock closet at your school may not be as bountiful as you hope. There is, of course, the Classroom Direct online store, where you can find everything you could ever want for your classroom. Check out their Teacher Favorites and quickly find over a thousand items that routinely top teachers’ lists. If you have this dream project that requires some big ticket items, think about starting a crowdfunding campaign throughDonorsChoose, or AdoptAClassroom.org lets you make a shopping list and good Samaritan donors pick up the tab.
Pinterest might be the most popular social network for teachers. They share all of the great nuggets they find online. This board is built just for new teachers and covers a lot of generalities. This board is about organization and all of the little tricks that will keep your classroom neat. Just run a search in Pinterest and you’ll find more tips that you’ll know what to do with. Follow Classroom Direct on Pinterest while you’re there!
Perhaps your most favorite part of the task ahead of you is geeking out with technology. There are so many great instructional ideas out there—and many more waiting to be discovered—that sorting through them seems daunting. Don’t let this stop you from experimenting and then sharing your findings. These are some places to start, but there are many, many more places to visit on your ed tech journey.
Google runs its own site for educators that can help you come up with ways to use their products. Tech & Learning is the leading resource for educational technology in terms of publications. YouTube has organized their own page for education content. Finally, The Teacher’s Guide To Twitter on Edudemic is a great way to learn what that network can do for you both in the classroom and professionally.
It’s never too early to start making yourself a better teacher. TeacherTube is like an online television channel made just for teachers. Learner.org takes is mission as to promote quality teaching through an easy-to-use site. Finally, to get a better idea of what you’re going to be facing, TEACH is a documentary about four new teachers in tough schools.