Sunday, March 22, 2009
If Next Year is Your First Year
I tried to comment on MissCalQL8's post, here, but her commenting really doesn't like me, or my browser, or something, I couldn't make it stick. But I know there are other preservice teachers who read me from time to time, so anyway. Not that I'm some great expert, I'm just talking to you from the other side of the first few years.
If next year is your first year...
There are lots of things you will only learn with experience. That's ok. Be prepared to make mistakes, learn from them, and make adjustments. It doesn't matter if this is your first career or your fifth. You are probably not going to be great right away. The Wongs wrote a helpful book, but their way is not the only way. You will find what works for you. It will take a few years.
Join NCTM, but also join any local teachers' associations you can find. Your state almost certainly has one, and your county might, too. Visit their websites, forums, and join their listserves, if they exist. Go to any conferences that interest you and you are able to get to. Take every opportunity to meet teachers in the districts where you want to work.
I wouldn't try to buy supplies for your classroom. You will likely be able to place a supply order with your school, or they will give you an allowance to spend. You also don't know what will be already available for you in the classroom you inherit or as castoffs/extras from other teachers. You could certainly start building a professional wardrobe, if you need to. It will be less painful if you get a little at a time. Now is a good time to find winter clothes on clearance. Don't forget about shoes. Check out discount places like Marshall's.
If you don't already, start taking good care of yourself. Get plenty of exercise, rest, water, and vegetables. Make it a habit and a routine now so that you don't have to spend mental energy on it when you are busy teaching.
Those are the most helpful things I can think of. Veterans? Anything I missed?