LESSONS WORTH LEARNING! Be prepared!! Organize for a class and a half. In your first year of teaching, it is normal for you to want every single minute of your class time filled. Consequently, you will go through material much faster than you are planning. Here are two very important items to address:
1. Create a lesson EVERYDAY that is worth learning. Relate it to the students. If it is boring to you, then it will be boring to them. If you feel that your lesson is not getting through, do not be afraid to try something new, or to try modifying or completely changing your approach. If, after the first period, you think of something that you could change or add to help the next class’s lesson, do it. Be flexible and receptive!
Teach everyday! Some teachers only teach when they are being evaluated. Students respect teachers that give it their all everyday!
In your first year of teaching, you will feel like you prep continuously. Each successive year that you teach, the preparation will get easier and easier. Teachers do not hit their stride until their third year in the classroom!
2. It is not possible to overstate how important it is for you to have plans in place for the elimination of free time. DO NOT tell students to “just visit” until the bell rings. This will quickly become their favorite activity, and unless you are teaching “visitation”, you will regret having ever made this suggestion. Provide fun little reviews for the end of the class, especially designed to last 10 minutes and less. Here is a fun one for students:
‘Do or Die’ Activity:
Use this any time you finish a lesson as a fun review or group competition. Each student gets one question. (You create this question from the unit or lesson that they have been covering.) If they answer the question correctly, they get 2-5 bonus points added to a daily grade, and the class will clap their hands twice in unison. IF they miss the question, or if the allotted answering time runs out, the class gives them a very sad ‘ahhhhhhhhhh’, and they get no points. The question moves to the next student. It is important to move quickly from one student to the next. Be positive, and have fun with this activity.