This is a great resource for new, prospective, and overwhelmed teachers, as well as administrators, academic coaches, education professors, mentor teachers, and anyone else who works with new teachers!
When I graduated college, I felt confident in my teaching abilities. I knew that middle school students needed boundaries and procedures, feedback was an essential component of student growth, and engaging lessons would prevent negative behaviors. In short, I had a lot of knowledge, but when I walked into my first classroom and was hit with the daunting task of setting it up, I felt lost. I saw other teachers coming in and moving with purpose around their rooms - setting up bulletin boards, arranging desks, and organizing materials. But, as I examined the desks stacked in the middle of the room, I realized I had no idea where to start.
While everything I learned in college and student teaching gave me critical information I needed, what I was missing out on was the practical stuff. Like, what was I going to do on the first day of school? How should I introduce myself to my students? What are all of these forms I’m supposed to hand out and what the heck am I supposed to do with them? I didn’t realize all the things I didn’t know until I was standing in my first classroom, and I want to help you avoid this feeling as much as possible!
The goal of this guide is simple: to provide prospective teachers, new teachers, and teachers, who might be feeling a little overwhelmed, with specific questions they can ask of other teachers in order to receive tangible, practical resources to use in their classrooms.
Knowing the right questions to ask is essential for learning. If you’re trying to find the title of a book, the cute town you drove through on a road trip, or the name of that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, you have to start typing queries into Google. Often, it takes a few tries before you hit upon the right question that leads you to the information you need. Gaining practical knowledge to help you excel as a teacher is no different. If you observe a teacher and you want to know how they built such a strong classroom community or how they came up with such an engaging lesson, you have to ask the right questions in order to walk away with the information you need to begin implementing these practices in your own classroom.
This resource is by no means exhaustive, but it is comprehensive. It gives you a place to start and the questions to ask of the educators you admire most so that you walk away with practical resources to use in your classroom. Reading through these questions will solidify what you know and what you don’t know. Then, you know exactly what you need to ask in order to get the help you need.