A Guide for Beginning Elementary Teachers: Getting Hired and Staying Inspired

A Guide for Beginning Elementary Teachers: Getting Hired and Staying Inspired

A Guide for Beginning Elementary Teachers: Getting Hired and Staying Inspired

A Guide for Beginning Elementary Teachers: Getting Hired and Staying Inspired


Confused about how to start on your journey as an educator? This ultimate guide to getting hired and staying inspired is a must-purchase for any beginning elementary school teacher. Donna M. Donoghue and her coauthors have done the legwork for you and provide great tips, strategies, and tactics for getting your foot in the door and beginning a successful career as an elementary school teacher. Included here is information that every first-time teacher needs, including how to find the right job for you, how to start the school year successfully, and how to effectively conference and work with parents. There are also tips on planning, discipline and management, and meeting current curriculum standards.


You've just signed your contract, and you're excited! There are so many ideas popping into your head about your classroom, its centers, your teaching techniques, and so on. Your mind seems to be going a hundred miles an hour. You are probably asking yourself, [What do I do now, and how do I get started?] If you are an organized person, you might like to get a jump on the upcoming school year by laying some groundwork over the summer.

If possible, visit your school to familiarize yourself with its layout. Check out your classroom and see how many bulletin boards, walls, and windows it has. This will give you an idea of what you have to work around so that you can use each space to its full potential. If you have a lot of bulletin boards, you could have one for writing, another for math, and so forth. You might make your bulletin boards into learning tools. For example, one could be a center for writing. You could have several activities planned for different times of the year (see Chapter 3 for center ideas).

If you know what you would like to do, work on it over the summer when you have some time. You might even ask your principal if it would be possible to get into your classroom early to put some of your bulletin boards up. When the teachers report for their first week, you may be shocked by the number of meetings held regarding policies, curriculum, and scheduling. You may be hard-pressed to get a lot done in your room. If you can organize over the summer what you want to do and have it up or ready to put up, you will be in good shape. Then you can pace yourself accordingly.

Check the layout of furniture in your classroom. This will help you plan your seating and center arrangement. You might consider having your students sit in rows or in groups. Until you have established your routine, you might want to consider keeping desks in rows. The classroom layout also gives you some ideas for placing bookcases, project tables, textbooks, and media and computer centers, as well as your desk and personal planning area.

Getting to Know Your Principal and Support Staff

The first thing you should do as a new teacher is get to know your principal. It is important to have a principal with whom you can talk and who will support you when a problem arises in your classroom.

Learn a few things about your principal's personal likes, dislikes, and family. This small talk enables you to have a brief, friendly conversation about everyday life and helps you establish a positive rapport and develop a good relationship with your principal. Mutual trust and understanding between a principal and a teacher is essential for a successful working relationship.

Most likely the principal will introduce you to the office staff. Make sure you become friends with the secretary, who is very important to the operation of the school. The secretary can almost instantly . . .

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