Have all of your school supplies ready for the first day of school. Your room needs to be warm and inviting, but not over stimulating. Having too much on the walls will do nothing but distract your students while you are trying to teach. Rules need to be posted at the front of the classroom where all can see. It is also a good idea to have the bell schedule posted somewhere in the room so students are not constantly asking when class is over.
On the first day, greet your students and show them that you do have a good side. Let them know a little bit about yourself, but they do not need to know your whole life story. If there is a dicipline problem, you must be firm right off the bat. Refer to the posted rules at the front of the classroom and tell the student the consiquence of their action. If you allow a dicipline problem to go unresolved on the first day, the students will try to run all over you for the rest of the school year.
The first step when you are being evlauted is not to get nervous. Plan ahead of time and come to school prepared. Make sure that you have copies of everything including your paperwork, lesson plans, unit plans, and the work sheets that the sutdents will use(if applicable) to give to the evaluator. Have pens and pencils ready for the evaluator and a place for them to sit where they can see you interact with the students. Finally, don't rush through the lesson. Just pretend that it is a normal day and that the evaluator isn't even there.
Have a portfolio with examples of each of your student's work. This will come in handy during parent/teacher conferences. Many students claim to be doing "just fine" to their parents, but their grades do not reflect their claims. Having a portfolio available to show parents/gaurdians will let the them see exactly how and what their child is doing. Seeing actual student work has more of an impact than simply showing grades from a gradebook.
Child toy storage is essential when getting school furniture for any early learning classroom environment. Choose child storage bins that are color coded, and make large labels for them. That way, your class will not only learn the good habit of cleaning up after themselves, but will learn colors, words and sorting skills while they are doing it. Assign partners, and you'll be can add teaching cooperation to the list.
Home schooled children have an advantage when it comes to home school furniture. Why? Because you don't necessarily need that much. And your own home furniture can serve for certain functions as well. Whether or not you invest in traditional school furniture is a matter of personal preference. If you are teaching more than one child, you might benefit from setting up a formal space in your home where your kids learn. Separating play time from learning time will help put them in the right frame of reference. You can control the distractions and temptations of their surroundings.
An organized classroom is one where learning takes precedent. Clearing the clutter, being able to find things when you need them, and taking the time to put things away are not only good life habits, but good learning habits. To put and keep everything in its place, you have to have organized storage. Take stock of what you need to store, and then choose whatever types of bins, chests, cases and files that fit your space and style. Making colorful selections, and ones with small cubbies and spaces will increase the likelihood that keeping the class organized will be less onerous.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|