New Teacher Academy Handbook

New Teacher
Table of Contents
Introduction........................................................................................................................................................... 1
Becoming Familiar with Your School ................................................................................................................. 3
Becoming Familiar with Your School: Getting to Know Your Support Staff ....................................................... 5
Becoming Familiar with Your School: ................................................................................................................... 7
Getting to Know Your Co-Workers........................................................................................................................ 7
Important Building Information.............................................................................................................................. 9
Building Information Checklist ............................................................................................................................ 10
Navigating Administrative Paperwork ................................................................................................................. 12
Planning For Your First Day of School ............................................................................................................ 14
The First Days of School Checklist ...................................................................................................................... 15
Goals for the first Day........................................................................................................................................... 16
Your First Day of School...................................................................................................................................... 17
Creating Your Syllabus......................................................................................................................................... 18
Geometry Syllabus................................................................................................................................................ 19
Establishing Routines and Procedures .................................................................................................................. 23
Creating Classroom Rules..................................................................................................................................... 24
Procedure Checklist .............................................................................................................................................. 25
Personal Assessment: Establishing and Teaching Rules for a Classroom Learning Community ........................ 28
Student Questionnaires and Surveys..................................................................................................................... 29
Student Survey ...................................................................................................................................................... 30
Student Inventory (for Elementary Students) ....................................................................................................... 33
Student Inventory (for Middle School Students) .................................................................................................. 35
Student Inventory (for Secondary Students)......................................................................................................... 37
10 Ice-Breaker Activities ...................................................................................................................................... 39
General Sponge Activities All About Me............................................................................................................. 40
Interest Inventory .................................................................................................................................................. 43
Student Assessment: How Well Do You Study?................................................................................................. 44
Classroom Climate: Create a productive environment for learning .................................................................... 45
Establishing a Positive Classroom Climate; Teacher Advice............................................................................... 48
Room Arrangements ............................................................................................................................................. 49
Classroom Climate................................................................................................................................................ 50
Beat the Bulletin Blues ......................................................................................................................................... 51
Bulletin Boards ..................................................................................................................................................... 52
Purchasing Classroom Supplies............................................................................................................................ 53
Teacher’s Back-to-School Supply List ................................................................................................................. 54
Creating Useful and Detailed Lesson Plans.......................................................................................................... 56
10 Tips to Making Lesson Planning Easier .......................................................................................................... 57
Writing Lesson Plans ............................................................................................................................................ 58
Questions to Ask For Lesson Planning................................................................................................................. 59
Common Problems in Lesson Planning................................................................................................................ 60
Did You Care Today? ........................................................................................................................................... 61
Tips from Classroom Veterans ............................................................................................................................. 62
I Don't Know What I Need to Know!!.................................................................................................................. 63
Taking Care of Personal Business ........................................................................................................................ 64
Time Saving Tips.................................................................................................................................................. 65
Your First Year of Teaching at a Glance.......................................................................................................... 67
The Care and Feeding of Your Mentor................................................................................................................. 68
Parent Teacher Conferences ................................................................................................................................. 70
Table of Contents
Watch What You Say! .......................................................................................................................................... 73
Parent Conference-- What would you do if. . . ..................................................................................................... 74
7 Conference Don’ts ............................................................................................................................................. 75
Parent/Teacher Conferences ................................................................................................................................. 76
Sample Letter: Open House Invitation ................................................................................................................ 78
Meet the Teacher Night ........................................................................................................................................ 79
Creating Your Individual Development Plan (IDP) ............................................................................................. 80
Teacher Evaluation Procedures............................................................................................................................. 83
How Observers Will Evaluate You....................................................................................................................... 84
Evaluate Yourself as An Observer Might............................................................................................................. 86
Taking Attendance and Inputting Grades ............................................................................................................. 87
CLASSxp for Teachers ......................................................................................................................................... 88
Making the Grade ............................................................................................................................................... 108
Evaluating Students ............................................................................................................................................ 109
Reporting of Evaluations .................................................................................................................................... 110
What is Tenure and how do you get it? .............................................................................................................. 111
Important Information Regarding Your Union................................................................................................... 112
Making Health Care Choices .............................................................................................................................. 113
Planning for Your Absence From School........................................................................................................... 114
Tips for Substitutes ............................................................................................................................................. 115
Substitute Teacher Information........................................................................................................................... 116
Substitute Teacher Information........................................................................................................................... 117
Class List............................................................................................................................................................. 118
Substitute Plans................................................................................................................................................... 119
Daily Routine ...................................................................................................................................................... 123
Planning for a Classroom Field Trip................................................................................................................... 124
Preparing for a Guest Speaker ............................................................................................................................ 125
Creating Positive Relationships With Parents ............................................................................................... 126
Introduction Letter .............................................................................................................................................. 127
Sample Letter Introducing Yourself ................................................................................................................... 128
Student Information ............................................................................................................................................ 131
Communicating Student Progress....................................................................................................................... 133
Communicating with Parents: Tips and Suggestions From Veteran Teachers................................................. 135
Effective Communication ................................................................................................................................... 136
Home-School Communications .......................................................................................................................... 137
Missing Assignments .......................................................................................................................................... 140
Progress Notification Form................................................................................................................................. 141
Reporting Positive Student Progress................................................................................................................... 143
Encouraging Parent Involvement in the Classroom............................................................................................ 145
Student Self Evaluation and Progress Surveys ................................................................................................... 148
Student Self-Evaluation ...................................................................................................................................... 149
Sample Survey To Send Home To Parents......................................................................................................... 150
Parent Contact Log ............................................................................................................................................. 151
Student Disciplinary Record ............................................................................................................................... 152
Sample Parent Contact Log ................................................................................................................................ 153
Documentation Record: Contact Log ................................................................................................................ 154
Keeping Administration Informed...................................................................................................................... 157
Effectively Handling a Disgruntled Parent ......................................................................................................... 158
Creating Positive Relationships with Students .............................................................................................. 159
Table of Contents
Creating Positive Relationships With Students Enforcing Fair and Consistent Classroom Rules ..................... 160
Personal Assessment: Establishing and Teaching Rules for a Classroom Learning Community ..................... 162
Assisting First Year Teachers with Classroom Management ............................................................................. 163
Implementing the Management System.............................................................................................................. 164
Classroom Management Principles..................................................................................................................... 165
Tips for Effective Discipline............................................................................................................................... 166
Guidelines for Effective Discipline .................................................................................................................... 167
Fifteen Ways to Earn Your Students’ Respect ................................................................................................... 177
Ten Ways to Create a Student- Centered Classroom.......................................................................................... 178
Effectively Communicating Ideas of Excitement, Concern, and Disappointment ............................................. 179
Recognizing Positive Student Contributions to the Classroom .......................................................................... 181
Responsive Classroom Strategies ....................................................................................................................... 189
Twenty-Five Discipline Don’ts........................................................................................................................... 192
Teachers, Start Your Engines: Management Tips from the Pit Crew................................................................ 193
Defusing/Breaking Up Fights Between Students ............................................................................................... 196
Building Student Self-Esteem............................................................................................................................. 197
Creating a Positive Work Environment ......................................................................................................... 199
Creating a Positive Work Environment Becoming a Team Player in Your School ........................................... 200
Journal Entries to Help You Become a Valuable Team Player .......................................................................... 201
On-the-Job Courtesy – New Teacher Etiquette .................................................................................................. 202
Working Well With Your Supervisors ............................................................................................................... 203
Exhibiting Professional Behavior at Staff Meetings........................................................................................... 204
The Teacher’s Lounge ........................................................................................................................................ 205
Maintaining a Private Social Life ....................................................................................................................... 206
Diversity in the Workplace ................................................................................................................................. 208
Collaborating with Special Education Teachers ................................................................................................. 209
Working Successfully with Paraeducators.......................................................................................................... 210
Knowing the Role of Counselors in Your School .............................................................................................. 211
Professional Tips................................................................................................................................................. 212
Creating Balance How to Effectively do Your Job and Have a Personal Life............................................ 213
20 Strategies for an Educator’s Tough Times..................................................................................................... 214
Get Control of Your Time................................................................................................................................... 215
Take Some Time for Yourself ............................................................................................................................ 216
Advice for First-Year Teachers -- from the 'Sophomores' Who Survived Last Year! ...................................... 217
Escape the Homework Trap................................................................................................................................ 220
When All Else Fails-Try This!............................................................................................................................ 221
How can I make the most of my first year of teaching? ..................................................................................... 222
What can I offer schools as a beginning teacher?............................................................................................... 225
Growing Professionally ...................................................................................................................................... 226
Reaching Out For Support............................................................................................................................... 228
Reaching Out for Support Resources.................................................................................................................. 229
Teacher Supplies and Discounts ......................................................................................................................... 229
Websites and Book Resources ............................................................................................................................ 230
You Still Have Rights as a Non-tenured Teacher!.............................................................................................. 236
How to Use Technology and Avoid Copyright Violations................................................................................. 238
Knowing the Role of Counselors in Your School .............................................................................................. 239
Child and Teen Suicide Awareness! ................................................................................................................... 240
Signs of Depression in Teens.............................................................................................................................. 241
Warning Signs of Drug Abuse............................................................................................................................ 242
Table of Contents
New Teacher Academy....................................................................................................................................... 244
Effective Teachers .............................................................................................................................................. 246
Educational labels ............................................................................................................................................... 247
Only a teacher!.................................................................................................................................................... 248
15 Time Management Tips for Students............................................................................................................. 249
Bibliography ....................................................................................................................................................... 250
Congratulations on becoming a part of one of the most noble and rewarding occupations on Earth:
TEACHING! This handbook was designed in hopes of providing persons new to the teaching field with
helpful and informational resources as you proceed through your first year of teaching.
Enclosed in this handbook you will find checklists, guidelines, resources, tools and many examples that
you will be able to utilize as you begin to plan the climate of your classroom. It is our hope that you will
be able to find supportive resources that will not only reassure and prepare you for your first day of
school, but will serve as a manual throughout your first year of teaching.
Again, congratulations on your new position! You have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to
change the life of a child; we hope that this handbook will help you begin a successful career in
Rebecca Akins, Fitzgerald Public Schools
Emily Bennett, Fitzgerald, Public Schools
Melissa Calice, Warren Woods Public Schools
Shannon Sabo, Warren Woods Public Schools
Kristen Winstead, Warren Woods Public Schools
Dr. Laurie VanSteenkiste, Macomb Intermediate School District, New Teacher Academy Director
Update Fall 2008
Macomb Intermediate School District:
Service, Support and Leadership
We are the Macomb Intermediate School District.
We provide quality service to special education and general education students, instructional and
technical support to school staff, and cutting-edge educational leadership in Macomb County.
We are committed to all the students of Macomb County. To serve them well, we are resolute in
involving parents, school personnel, and the community at large, including business, government, and
civic organizations as active partners in planning, delivering and evaluating our services.
We work directly with individuals with disabilities who reside in Macomb County School Districts. We
serve students of all ages, from newborns to adults, meeting their unique learning needs and supporting
their families all along the way.
Within the twenty-one local districts and public charter schools, we focus our efforts on building
capacity with school staff. Through quality training and instructional support, we increase their
knowledge, skills and abilities, so all students receive a rigorous and effective educational experience.
We promote all aspects of the educational process through our development and support of technology.
We provide training in the use of essential technology tools that enhance curricular, instructional and
administrative services in our schools and, as a result, opportunities are expanded for all.
We work collaboratively with colleges and universities and are leaders in state and national programs.
We anticipate needs and opportunities, all with the single purpose of identifying, developing and
implementing programs and practices that, through education, improve the quality of life in Macomb
Macomb Intermediate School District
Board of Education
John A. Bozymowski, President
Max D. McCullough, Vice President
Charles C. Milonas, D.D.S., Treasurer
Theresa J. Genest, Secretary
Edward V. Farley, Trustee
Michael R. DeVault, Superintendent
Macomb Intermediate School District
44001Garfield Road
Clinton Township, MI 48038-1100
It is the policy of the MISD that no person, on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, sex,
height, weight, marital status, or disability shall be discriminated against, excluded from participation in, denied the
benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in any program or activity for which it is responsible.
Becoming Familiar with Your School
Congratulations, you have successfully achieved a position in the world of education! You have dreamt
about walking into your very own classroom on the first day of school and being the most prepared,
organized, and effective teacher in the world. Suddenly your dream subsides as you realize you feel just
like you did your freshman year of High School: overwhelmed by the task at hand and unsure of what to
accomplish next.
Like most first year teachers planning for their first days of school, the range of emotions that you will
encounter often include excitement, anticipation and anxiety over a new beginning in your life. During
this transitional time it is important for you to remember to set small goals for yourself and to gain as
much knowledge about your situation as you possibly can.
This section of the handbook is designed to give you a starting place in becoming familiar with your
surroundings of your new position. Understanding who your administration and co-workers are and their
roles in making the school function smoothly are invaluable tools that will help you transition into your
new job. Much like an incoming freshman to a new high school, seeking information and becoming
familiar with your surroundings will prove helpful as you begin to embark on a successful first year of
Becoming Familiar with Your School:
Getting to Know Your Administration
At the helm of your school’s vehicle towards success is your administration. The administration of a
building sets the tone of the school environment and is there to support its teaching staff in any way
possible. It is important for you to maintain an open relationship with your administrators; getting to
know your administrators expectations of you and your students will be an invaluable tool during your
first year of teaching.
Below you will find a table for you to utilize as an organizational tool as you meet the members of your
administration team. Understanding which administrator is responsible for certain tasks around the
building and where to locate them will prove to be very helpful in the future!
Building Responsibilities:
Assistant Principal:
Asst. Principal
Assistant Principal:
Assistant Principal
Becoming Familiar with Your School:
Getting to Know Your Support Staff
Understanding who the following people are and where they can be found in your building will be a
very helpful tool during your first year of teaching. Keep in mind as you fill out this table and meet new
people that some of these special services personnel may only be in your building part time. Be sure you
jot down the dates and times that these special services may be available to your students.
School Nurse:
Building Responsibilities:
Custodial Staff:
District Office
Personnel Director:
Resource Director:
Speech Therapist:
EEL Teacher:
Reading Specialist:
Music Teacher:
Art Teacher:
PE Teacher:
Career Center:
Building Responsibilities:
Becoming Familiar with Your School:
Getting to Know Your Co-Workers
As you embark upon your teaching career is it important to make an effort to get to know the people you
will be working with. Understanding where your co-workers are coming from is an important piece in
creating workplace harmony. Although teaching can be a demanding and time consuming job, many of
your co-workers have taken on additional responsibilities throughout the school. As you meet your new
colleagues, an easy conversation starter is to ask what other roles the person has in the building. Do they
coach a sport, sponsor a student club or activity, hold an executive position in the teachers union, or are
they a department chairperson? Such a question shows the person you are speaking with that you are
interested in their contributions to the school and allows you to better understand the leadership
positions your colleagues are in.
As you meet your co-workers and begin to discuss with them their additional roles in the school, take a
moment to jot down their room number and leadership positions within the school. Not only will this
help you to remember where people are located in the building, but it will provide you with the contact
information for the person to talk with should you be interested in helping out with an extracurricular
NCA Chairperson:
Building Responsibilities:
Union President:
Improvement Team
Math Department
Science Department
English Department
Social Studies
Department Chair:
Department Chair:
Arts Department
Football Coach:
Cross Country
Tennis Coach:
Swimming Coach:
Soccer Coach:
Building Responsibilities:
Basketball Coach:
Volleyball Coach:
Wrestling Coach:
Baseball Coach:
Softball Coach:
Track Coach:
NHS Advisor:
Student Council
Ski Club Advisor:
Foreign Language
Club Advisor:
Important Building Information
Because each school operates differently from others around it, it is important for you to complete this
section as you complete your new teacher training. As you are given information pertaining to the list
given to you below, be sure that you add it immediately to this section of the handbook. This will not
only ensure that you have a safe place for this important information to go, but it will also provide you
with a comprehensive handbook that is customized for your individual building.
The following information should be inputted behind this sheet
as you acquire them prior to your first school day.
Daily schedule of classroom hours
School year calendar
Campus maps with important locations highlighted:
o Main office
o Counseling
o Copy Machines
o Teacher workrooms
o Mentor teacher location
Student Code of Conduct
Student Dress Code
Staff Dress Code
Technology rules and regulations
Grading and homework policies
School discipline procedures – chain of command
Planning for school emergencies:
o Fire drill procedures
o Tornado drill procedures
o Code red/Code red secure procedures
o Student health emergency classroom procedures
o Silent fan out procedures
Don’t be caught off guard –
Ask questions and plan for
the future!!
Building Information Checklist
Here are some things to think about before the school year to help organize your first days.
Do you have keys to your classroom or other
rooms you may need access to?
Do you have the necessary furniture for your
What are the “school rules” and policies you will
need to present to students?
Are aids available and, if so, on what schedule?
What are the procedures for obtaining classroom
books for checking them out to the students?
What expendable supplies are available, and
what are the procedures for obtaining them?
What audio-visual materials and equipment are
available, and what are the procedures for
obtaining them?
What is the required paperwork for the first day
of school, everyday attendance, and the lunch
What is the procedure for the arrival of students
on the first day of school; for every day after
that? (See #13 and #18)
What is your class roster? Do you have any
special education or resource students? Do they,
or any other students, leave your room during the
day? If so, what are their schedules?
What time will your class have music, recess,
P.E., lunch or library?
Are there any special events or assemblies you
need to be aware of the first week of school?
How do students leave at the end of the day? Do
you have any bus riders and do they leave early?
What are your school’s policies about rules and
consequences, suspension, and keeping students
after school for either make-up work or
detention? Do parents need to be notified?
What duplication materials are available and
what are the procedures?
How do you get assistance from the office for
emergencies, illness or discipline problems?
Do you have a “buddy” teacher who you could
call in case of an emergency?
What are the procedures for early dismissal and
late arrivals?
When is the principal available, and about what
should he/she be consulted?
When is the school nurse available and what are
appropriate reasons for making a referral?
Is a counselor available and what types of
referrals does he/she want?
What resources are available in the district for
help in diagnosing or working with students with
severe learning or behavior problems?
What janitorial services are available for your
room and what should you do if they are
Are you familiar with the parts of the building to
which you may send students (library, restroom,
etc.) and do you know the procedures to follow?
Have you prepared a handout for students or a
bulletin board display of rules, major class
procedures, and course requirements?
Do you know the bell schedule?
Are your lesson plans for the first few days of
school ready for each class?
Have you prepared time fillers* to use if needed?
Do you know if any of your students have some
handicapping condition that should be
accommodated in your room arrangement or
Do you have a district and school calendar?
Where are student files kept and what is
procedure to access them?
Navigating Administrative Paperwork
Understanding administrative paperwork can often become a daunting task for a first year teacher as the
number of different forms and their respective turn in locations often are very numerous. Combine this
with the fact that each school has different policies and procedures for having equipment fixed,
partitioning for a field trips, use of school facilities, and many other staff requests.
As you begin to understand your school’s policies and procedures, it’s important to keep a file of the
different forms you may need to use during the year in this space in your handbook. A good suggestion
for understanding the use of each administrative form is to collect a copy of each form available in the
main office or counseling center, hole punch them into this binder and then complete the table below.
It’s important for you to ask a trusted colleague or secretary what each form is for and how they are used
so that you can keep this table as a quick reference during the school year.
Form Title:
Form Purpose:
Turn in Form To:
Classroom supply
requisition form
Request for time off
for personal business
Sick leave or personal
affair record
Regular teacher
substitute assignment
Property loss report
Break in or vandalism
Employee report of
injury form
Accident report form
Reimbursement of
mileage form
Staff development
activity request
Trip request for
teacher travel
Request for activity
date for calendar
Permission slip for
field trip
Grade change form
Technology service
requisition form
Form Title:
Form Purpose:
Turn in Form To:
Request for multilith
Personal long distance
telephone calls log
Check request for
Planning For Your First Day of School
Preparing for your first day of teaching has many similarities to planning for your move to college; you
are excited about the new beginning in your life yet anxious for the uncertainties that may lie ahead.
While these feelings are not uncommon in first year teachers, there are many techniques you can
implement to decrease your anxiety about your first day of school. Perhaps the best step you can take in
your preparation for school to begin is to become as familiar with your new surroundings as possible.
Not only will this provide you with an immediate boost of confidence but it will help you to make an
organized and professional first impression on your administrators, co-workers, and students.
In this section of the handbook you will find suggestions, check lists, and other sources of information
pertaining to preparing not only yourself, but your classroom as well for the first day of school. It is our
hope that you will find comfort in knowing what to expect in your first day on the job, how to handle
minor problems that may arise, and how to create a positive classroom learning environment for your
The First Days of School Checklist
The first days of school are very important in establishing yourself as a respectable educator to your
students. These first days of school are the foundation of a successful first year of teaching. With that
said, it is crucial to your school year that the first day of school runs smoothly. Do not feel pressured to
know how you will account for every second of the next 180 days, but rather concentrate on the
organization of the first few days and weeks.
Preparations for the first day of school begin long before the actual day. You do not have the advantage
of prior experience to fall back on, so it is best to start planning and visualizing what you want to happen
well in advance. This is the time to ask questions, read thoroughly and takes lots of notes.
To Do During the Summer
• Hit the back to school sales for supplies.
• Make sure your wardrobe reflects your new professional status. Make sure you check with your
district about wardrobe requirement, and always dress conservatively.
• Pick up your curriculum guides to review on the beach.
• Pick up school calendar.
• Create your professional goals.
• Create course overview for the year.
• Create semester plans.
• Think about resources and any field trips used for each unit.
To Do Before the First Day of School
• Memorize your daily schedule. Know when your classes begin and end and what each bell mean.
Know what your duty assignment is.
• Write out plans for the first few weeks and assemble the resources you will need.
• Handouts used immediately are already should be copied.
• If you are going to send home a parent letter, write, revise and re-read before copying the final
• Check your calendar against the district calendar. Make sure all lessons are scheduled around
important holidays and special events.
• Read faculty handbook.
• Complete sub folder, including class roster and seating chart.
• You know what to do in an emergency: fire, tornado, lockdown drill.
• You filed away copies of the forms you will need: attendance, lunch forms, parent forms,
syllabus, discipline, etc...
• You should recognize the key people in the building, your principal, vice-principal, secretaries,
technology and media specialist, and especially your custodian. Make best friends with the
school secretaries and your custodian!
• Know how you will keep your grades and attendance. Be diligent and keep both up to date.
• Your classroom is decorated.
• You have enough copies of textbooks for everyone.
• You have the teachers’ edition and any resource materials you will need.
• You know where your mentor’s room is and the phone number.
• You personal life is in order to accommodate for the upcoming whirlwind you are about to
• Exercise, eat well, get enough rest and take vitamins.
Goals for the first Day
When establishing your classroom expectations, it’s important for you to remember that the goal is to
help students become more responsible. The intent for administering rules and procedures is to help
students learn appropriate and productive life skills within a comfortable environment. Also, keep in
mind that your responsibility goes beyond content information. Teaching and developing student
behavior is a critical part of your job as a teacher.
The activities of the first days of school (examples listed below) should lead to some specific goals.
These goals might fit into three categories.
The teacher getting to know the students.
The students getting to know the teacher and each other.
Classroom organization and management.
1. The Teacher getting to know the students.
• Review the diagnostic activities, both formal (testing) and informal.
• Maintain a whole-group focus in instruction and review.
• Monitor student activities, both academic and social.
• Actively engage all student sin learning activities.
2. The students getting to know the teacher and each other.
• Teacher greets students, demonstrates personal interest.
• Students introduce themselves to each other.
• Design activities to make students feel unique and successful. Keep activities simple but
meaningful. Hands-on activities resulting in a product or sense of productivity are beneficial.
• Establish an accepting climate.
• Student self-assessment activities.
3. Classroom organization and management.
• Acquaint students with room and materials they will use (supplies, texts, building).
• Teach appropriate behavior, rules, procedures, consequences, attention signal.
• Explain homework.
• Demonstrate that teacher is well-prepared and purposeful.
• Provide an overview of curriculum to be studied.
• Preview curriculum as motivation device.
Your First Day of School
You’ve spent the last few weeks getting your classroom set up; you’ve mapped out key spots like the
parking lot and the restrooms; you’ve purchased and organized classroom materials and you’ve planned
enough lessons to last well beyond the first day.
And now it’s your first day as a teacher! Consider incorporating these activities into your first day’s
lesson plan:
• Get to school early on the first morning. Leave time to ask any last-minute questions, review your
plans and just simply catch your breath before students arrive.
• Greet your students. Whether you’re standing at the classroom door or in the room, greet students with
a smile and a “Good morning!” Write your name on the chalkboard. Encourage students to take their
seats and be ready for their first class.
• Make a good impression. Let the class see that you are well-organized, prepared and you know what
you’re doing.
• Introduce yourself to give students an idea of who you are that goes beyond your resume. You never
know when a student may find something that the two of you have in common. Such a positive start can
contribute to a positive learning experience.
• Go over the rules. Start off by establishing class rules or norms from the beginning. Don’t set more
than five rules and let students have a part in establishing how the class will function. Write down the
rules and post them in the classroom.
• Start the learning. Make the first day of school a real one. Accomplish some constructive learning with
your students.
• Your first open house may coincide with your first day. As an assignment, consider having students
write a letter to parents and leave it on their desks for them to read at Open House. Parents can write an
“I’m proud of you” note for their child to read the next day.
• Even though you may find the first day of school intimidating. Don’t be discouraged. While first
impressions are important, you have an entire school year to develop and polish your professional
Creating Your Syllabus
A Syllabus is a published lesson plan; you can probably recall the advantages of using a syllabus from
the classes you have taken to prepare for your teaching career. You students and their parents will also
appreciate a syllabus. It can help them stay organized while it promotes self-discipline. Students who
know what they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it are much more likely to succeed
than those students who report to class every day awaiting to hear what you have planned. Those
students miss out on the big picture of what they are learning. Of course, not every student is old enough
to handle the independence of a syllabus. You will have to determine the readiness of your students.
While there are many things you can add to a syllabus to make it useful for your classes, some items that
every syllabus should include are:
• Dates of tests and quizzes
• Spaces for students to record their grades
• Classroom assignments
• Homework assignments
• Due dates for projects
• Class objectives
You will have to make a syllabus part of the culture of your class. But first, you will have to teach your
students how to use a syllabus, particularly if they are young, and you’ll have to be patient and persistent
with their attempts to learn to check their syllabus for homework assignments instead of just asking you.
Don’t be afraid to change your syllabus if you find that you’ve scheduled more work than your students
can complete because of unexpected events such as a snow day. When you show students that you are
willing to work with them to adjust schedules, you are modeling responsible time management skills as
well as good planning.
Sample Syllabus Format
Class: English
Period: 4
Teacher: Ms. Wallace
Classroom Activity Homework
Students will
identify short
story plot
Students will
identify short
story plot
Students will
identify short
story plot
Discussion of the
plot of “The TellTake Heart”
Worksheet on
story elements
Review for
diagrams/discussions quiz
Quiz on plot
Geometry Syllabus
You are expected to:
Come prepared for class everyday
Participate in class everyday
Do the daily homework when assigned
Work together cooperatively in your groups
Formulate and ask questions
Have some fun
Expect some difficulty
The Teacher is expected to:
Come prepared to teach everyday
Help students learn the concepts of Geometry
Be available outside of class for questions
Give students timely feedback
Have some fun
Be stumped by a few questions
You have the right to:
Be treated with respect by everyone in the class
Work in a learning environment
Professional instruction from teacher name
The Teacher has the right to:
Teach in a learning environment
Enforce all school and classroom policies
Expect the most from each and every student in her classroom
Classroom Policies and Procedures:
Each student should bring the following with them everyday to class: covered textbook, pencil,
binder, and agenda. Each student is expected to have the above materials with them before the bell
rings. There will be no passes issued to retrieve any material.
Daily practice is necessary in mathematics so expect homework nearly every night. Homework is
due at the beginning of the period on the next day after it has been assigned. You will receive a ~ for
any assignment that is turned in late or incomplete. Assignments will include reading, writing, and
problem solving.
Every student is expected to come to class on a daily basis. Geometry builds on itself throughout the
semester so if a student misses an abundant number of days their success may suffer. There is an
assigned seat for every student in the class. Each person is expected to sit in the assigned seat
everyday when they enter the classroom. I take attendance from the seating chart so any student not
in their assigned seat will be marked absent. THE PROCEDURE OUTLINED IN THE
If students are not in their assigned seats when the bell rings they will be marked tardy. THE
Make-up Policy:
Tests can be made up by appointment only. The time allowed to make up homework or tests is twice
the number of consecutive days absent. Retrieving missed work is the student's responsibility! There
is a monthly calendar posted in the classroom stating what was given for homework everyday of the
week. Any worksheets handed out will be in the front of the absent folder.
Extra Credit Lizards:
Extra Credit will generally not be available in the form of an extra assignment.
Students will have the opportunity to earn Extra Credit Lizards everyday for doing the following:
• Answering questions during discussion
• Asking questions during a presentation
• Passing out papers
• Being helpful to a fellow student
• Being polite and respectful to others in the classroom
• Coming in before/after school for extra help
• Variety of other methods for showing good classroom citizenship
Each lizard is worth one extra credit point towards your overall grade at the end of each semester. You
are responsible for keeping track of your Lizards and putting your name on the back of every one you
earn. Your teacher is not responsible for lost, stolen, or forgotten money on collection day.
You will be graded on tests/quizzes, presentations, projects, group work, homework, and class work.
Percentage Scale:
98 -100+ = A+
83 -86.9 = B
70 -72.9 = C 93- 97.9 = A
80- 82.9 = B67- 69.9 = D +
90- 92.9 = A77- 79.9 = C +
63- 66.9 = D
87- 89.9 = B +
73- 76.9 = C
60- 62.9 = D 0- 59.9 = F
At the end of the marking period, I will add your total points up and divide by the total possible points in
the class. The percent will then be converted to your grade using the scale above. The two-quarter
grades are 40% each and final exam will be worth 20% of your semester grade. ****Any student
receiving a grade below 70% will receive a progress report to take home and have signed by a
parent or guardian or will receive one in the mail.
Extra Help:
I am always willing to meet with any student before or after school, however I ask you to please
check with me the day you want to get extra help. I am involved in some extracurricular activities
and I commute between the main and technology buildings. I encourage you to come and get help at
the first sign of difficulty. Please do not wait. The longer you wait the further you will fall behind, so
don't be afraid to come and talk to me.
Responsibilities for each student everyday:
A. Treat people like you would want to be treated.
B. Stay in your seats until I dismiss you.
C. The use of negative words which includes swearing or any words that degrade any person or groups
of people are not allowed.
D. No item(s) should be used as a flying object this includes any trash.
E. Hall passes are allowed if you have your agenda and a Spartan pass.
F. Each student will receive three Spartan passes for the semester.
G. Food, drink, candy, etc. are allowed in the classroom, however if I find any wrappers or containers
then I will ban them. I am not your maid so please clean up after yourself this includes gum. Gum
should be placed in the trashcan or anywhere else in the classroom.
H. The Fitzgerald High School's Code of Conduct is in effect and enforced at all times, this includes
hats, coats, and headphones. All of these should be left in your locker or at home.
Students who conduct themselves inappropriately will have the following consequences:
A verbal warning
An after school detention with me. The length of the detention will depend on the
The student will be sent to an administrator.
Students who do not show up for a detention will double the length of time and I will call
home. If the student proceeds to not show up administration will be notified.
Establishing Routines and Procedures
All students have some characteristics in common. One is the need for a structured and safe
environment. Students need these routines and procedures in their day to keep them on track. Students
will know what to expect from you and what is expected from them.
The following are classroom routines and procedures that you should decide how to handle before class
Beginning class
Tardies, absences and make-up work
Going to the locker, restroom, counseling,
nurse or office
Materials needed for class every day, and
what to do if these don’t make it to class
Handing in work
Class interruptions
Formats for written work
Class discussion
Asking questions
Coming to attention
Emergencies and drills
Testing procedures
Keeping work area neat and clean
Taking attendance
Ending class
Creating Classroom Rules
Rules will protect your right to teach and your student’s right to learn not only because they let limits for
student behavior; but also because they provide guidelines for what is acceptable and what is not. When
you create a set of classroom rules for your students, you establish a common language for the
expectations that you have for good behavior.
Rules also send the message that good behavior is important and that you expect students to work
productively. Even though your students may try to convince you that rules are not necessary, they
really do not want nor do they need total free establishing a tone of manual respect and cooperation.
In creating rules for your classroom, you can take the following step-by-step approach.
Step 1: Determine what areas your rules need to cover. Begin by asking yourself these questions.
• What are some behaviors that make it possible for students to succeed?
• What are some behaviors that make it difficult for students to succeed?
• What limits can I set to guarantee that all students have the right to learn?
Step 2: Draft a rough set of rules. After you have determined the areas that you want your rules to cover,
write a rough draft. At this point, you may want to show your rules to a colleague to make sure they are
in line with the school rules and that they are appropriate for the age and ability of the students.
Step 3: State classroom rules positively. Take your rough draft and change the wording so the rules are
stated in positive terms, conveying a tone of mutual respect and consideration.
Step 4: state the rules so that they are easy to remember. Can you combine any of your rules so that they
cover a general range of student behavior? For example, you could combine “bring your textbook every
day” and “you will need paper and pens in this class” to read “be sure to bring the materials you will
need for class.
Step 5: Determine if your rules will be successful. In order for class rules to be successful, they should
• Stated in positive terms
• General enough to cover a broad range of student activity
• Easy to remember
To determine if your rules are working for your class, ask yourself these two questions:
1. Do all students understand the rules or is it too vague?
2. Do students understand the rationale for importance of this rule?
If you are still not sure that your classroom rules will work, here are some the experienced teachers have
found successful. Adapt them to meet the needs of your students.
Use class time wisely.
Do your work.
Treat other people with respect.
Follow school rules.
Bring your materials to class every day.
Taken from Julie G. Thompson’s The First Year Teachers Manual
Procedure Checklist
It is important to plan for routines and procedures that happen daily or frequently in the classroom.
These procedures should not only be explained, but taught just like a content material. You might also
like to use the following Procedure Checklist to help determine procedure in your classroom.
What is my procedure?
Roll call, absentees, students who leave early.
Tardy students.
Behavior during PA announcements.
Distributing supplies and materials.
Student movement within the room.
Headings for papers.
Degree of student talk during seat work.
What students do when they are finished.
Putting away supplies and equipment.
Dismissing the class.
Cues or signals for getting student attention.
Make-up work.
Fountain, sink, bathroom, pencil sharpener.
Lining up procedures.
Fire and disaster drills.
Lunch procedures.
Hall movement.
What to do when there is an interruption.
Personal Assessment: Establishing and Teaching Rules for a Classroom
Learning Community
A teacher's rules constitute the class; the question is whether those rules are productive and worthy of
student support.
Establishing and teaching rules for a classroom learning community.
Rule by rule:
Without Probably
Can I say clearly and confidently that the
rule is necessary, and reasonable for
learning, safety, and mutual respect, and so
deserves respect and support by students?
Can I say clearly and confidently that the
rule is consistent both with learning goals
and with what we know about how human
beings learn?
Can I say clearly and confidently that the
rule is consistent with school rules? Will I
be acting consistently with my colleagues
in the faculty?
Rules must be enforced; will enforcing this
rule get me into fruitless conflicts that
erode my relationships with my students?
Can I say clearly and confidently that I can
and do act on the rules both reasonably and
Can I say confidently that the rule is clear
and understandable? Can I teach it and
enforce it without confusion?
Have I taught the rule? That is, stated,
explained why it is necessary and
reasonable, discussed how it applies to
situations, and talked about examples with
my students?
Adapted from Carol Simon Weinstein and Andrew J. Mignano (2003). Elementary/Secondary Classroom Management: Lessons from Research and
Practice. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Student Questionnaires and Surveys
Start the beginning of the year with a student questionnaire or survey. Student Questionnaires and
surveys are very useful tools to provide you with up-to-date information on their family life, interests,
and expectations of the class. Questionnaires and surveys help provide a smooth transition into
establishing school appropriate behavior on the first day, sitting, and writing reflections.
The information gathered on the survey can also be used throughout the school year. This information
provides parent contact information, demographics of the student, and general student interests.
Questionnaires should alphabetically organized and filed away for further use. It is suggested that you
attach a sheet such as the student disciplinary log or parent contact sheet found in this section. This will
be helpful in recording all parent – teacher contact throughout the year, or any student misbehavior.
Student Survey
Welcome To Ms. Classroom! Please fill out the following questions so that we can
get better acquainted. Please use the most accurate information possible.
1.) Student Name:_______________________________________________________________
2.) What name would you like to be called in class? ____________________________________
3.) What is your home address?____________________________________________________
4.) What is your home telephone number?____________________________________________
5.) What is your Mother/Guardian's Name?___________________________________________
6.) What is your Father/Guardian's Name?____________________________________________
7.) What is your Mother/Guardian's Address?_________________________________________
8.) What is .your Father/Guardian's Address?_________________________________________
9.) What is your Mother/Guardian's Home Phone?______________________________________
10.) What is your Mother/Guardian's Work Phone?_____________________________________
11.) What is your Father/Guardian’s Home Phone?_____________________________________
12.) What is your Father/Guardian s Work Phone?_____________________________________
13.) Do you have any allergies? If Yes, what are they?__________________________________
14.) What are your hobbies or interests?_____________________________________________
15.) What is your favorite food?____________________________________________________
16.) What is your favorite candy? __________________________________________________
17.) What after school activities, clubs, or sports do you participate in?_____________________
18.) What was the best thing you did/best place you went this past summer?_________________
19.) Do you have any pets at home? If so, what kind?___________________________________
20.) What are you most interested in learning about in this class?__________________________
21.) What types of things would you like to do in this class? (projects, etc) _________________
22.) How do you learn best? (watching a demo, listening to teacher, doing a lab/activity , reading
by yourself, etc)____________________________________________________________
23.) What is the one thing I can do this year to help you learn better?_______________________
24.) What is the worst thing I could do this year in our classroom? (giving homework is not an
25.) .List four characteristics of a good teacher in your opinion. Complete the phrase: A good
teacher is/does:___________________________________________________________
26.) Typically, as a student, what percent of homework assignments do you normally complete
on time? Why?_____________________________________________________________
27.) How do you typically study for a test or a quiz? ___________________________________
28.) What are five rules you think our classroom should always abide by?
4.) _______________________________________________________________________
29.) What do you plan on doing after graduation? _____________________________________
30.) What job do you want to have as an adult?________________________________________
Student Inventory (for Elementary Students)
Name________________________________________________ Date___________________
My birthday is________________________________________________________________
My family members are
When I grow up I want to be _____________________________________________________
My favorite things to do at home are________________________________________________
My special friends are ___________________________________________________________
My favorite things to do at school are_______________________________________________
The subjects I do best in are_______________________________________________________
The subjects I need help in are_____________________________________________________
If I could change anything about school, it would be____________________________________
This year I am looking forward to learning about______________________________________
I like it when my teachers_________________________________________________________
I would like to know more about___________________________________________________
I am happiest when I am__________________________________________________________
Taken from Julia G. Thompson's First Year Teacher's Survival Kit
Student Inventory (for Middle School Students)
Name________________________________________________ Date___________________
My birthday is________________________________________________________________
My family members are
When I grow up I want to be _____________________________________________________
My closest friends are___________________________________________________________
My favorite things to do are_______________________________________________________
Here are my favorites
Radio stations________________________ Magazines__________________________
Sports______________________________ Hobbies_____________________________
Books _____________________________ Movies______________________________
Music _____________________________ Clothes _____________________________
One thing people don't know about me is_____________________________________________
A skill I have is ________________________________________________________________
A person I admire is ______________________________________________because________
Something I would like to learn to do better is________________________________________
I appreciate it when a teacher_____________________________________________________
My previous teachers would tell you this about me____________________________________
I am proud of myself when I______________________________________________________
Taken from Julia G. Thompson's First Year Teacher's Survival Kit
Student Inventory (for Secondary Students)
Name________________________________________________ Date___________________
My birthday is________________________________________________________________
My family members are
After graduation I plan to_________________________________________________________
My greatest asset is______________________________________________________________
I am an expert on________________________________________________________________
One thing people don't know about me is_____________________________________________
My teachers last year will tell you that I am___________________________________________
I have trouble dealing with________________________________________________________
My favorite class is ________________________________________because_______________
The most influential person in my life is __________________________________because_____
It was difficult for me to learn_____________________________________________________
It was easy for me to learn________________________________________________________
I want to know more about________________________________________________________
Three words that describe my personality are._________________________________________
One lesson I had to learn the hard way is_____________________________________________
Taken from Julia G. Thompson's First Year Teacher's Survival Kit
10 Ice-Breaker Activities
Have students work in pairs or triads to fill out an information form for each other. Include
questions that will cause them to learn interesting and unusual details about each other. For
example, having students list their favorite performer or a pet peeve would make a good
conversation starter.
Try playing a silly chain game where students try to recite everyone’s last name without having
to stop to think. You can even offer a small reward for the first student who is able to do this.
Pass around a large calendar for students to mark their birthdays or pass around a map for
students to mark their hometowns.
Create a class newsletter during the first week of class. Have students share a variety of ideas
as they interview each other for articles in the newsletter. You can include almost anything you
and your students would enjoy, including interviews with parents or administrators,
predictions, advice, cartoons and study skill tips.
Create a duty roster for the classroom tasks that students can manage well. This will encourage
students to work together to take ownership of the class.
Take photographs of your students and post them. Ask students to bring photographs from
when they were much younger and post these.
Make it a point to focus on your students’ strength by asking them to reveal what they do well.
Share these with the class when appropriate.
Put students in groups to determine just what they have in common, beyond the obvious to
focus on mental traits, goals and successful attitudes.
Have each student research a quotation about school success and bring it in. Post these around
your classroom to inspire all of your students.
Don’t forget that as your students are learning about each other that they need to learn a bit
about you, too. While you should not be overly personal, they need to see that you have a
human side.
General Sponge Activities
All About Me
Write your answers now. Then, do it again in the spring.
1. Date
2. Full name
3. Favorite dinner
4. My favorite color
5. My best friend
6. My favorite singer
7. My favorite sport
8. I like to
9. My favorite game
10. My favorite TV show
11. When I grow up, I'll
12. I like to spend time
General Sponge Activities
Hunt for someone who can say "yes" to one of these questions. Have this person sign his/her name. Can
you find a different person for each line?
1. can whistle
2. has freckles
3. has red hair
4. is wearing yellow
5. loves math
6. is new to our school this year
7. enjoys reading
8. worked on a computer this summer
9. lost a tooth this summer
10. watched or played baseball this summer
11. made a sandcastle this summer
12. has ridden a horse
13. had a birthday in July
14. has a birthday in October
15. wants to be a business owner
16. got sunburned this summer
17. can swim
18. has a pet cat
19. has an aquarium
20. loves yogurt
21. is left-handed
22. has brown eyes
23. likes pizza
24. wants to be a writer
25. has a cheese sandwich packed for lunch
26. has flown in an airplane
27. likes dancing better than school
28. has a great-grandfather
29. plays the piano
30. likes to rap
Interest Inventory
Name______________________________ Grade_________ Date ________________________
1. If you could not watch television at home, what would you most like to do?
2. If your parents told you that you could do anything that you wanted to do this weekend, what would
you choose?
3. What is your favorite subject in school?____________________________________________
4. What subject is most difficult for you in school?_____________________________________
5. If you could learn about anything you wanted to learn about, what would you choose?
6. What is your favorite television show?_____________________________________________
7. What book or story have you read recently that was really exciting for you?
8. Other than watching television what is the most fun thing to do indoors?
9. Do you like to do your work best in groups or alone?_________________________________
10. Do you do your best work in groups or when you work alone?
11. Would your rather read a book or watch a movie if you had ~o learn something?
12. Who are your two best friends in this class?
Student Assessment: How Well Do You Study?
Rank each statement as it applies to you by putting the appropriate number in the blank beside each of
these excellent study strategies. If you can't mark “Always" beside a strategy, it is one you can improve!
4 = Always
3 = Sometimes
2 = Seldom
1 = Never
I use these study strategies:
1. _______Take planned study breaks
13. _______Create my own study guides
2. _______Have a quiet place to study at home
14. _______Have someone quiz me
3. _______Tape record my notes
15. _______Have enough supplies
4. _______Focus my attention in class
16. _______Use a planner to schedule my work
5. _______Take time to proofread
17. _______Do difficult homework first
6. _______Rewrite notes into my own words
18. _______Ask for help
7. _______Make up missing work on time
19. _______Use colored pens to review notes
8. _______Spend enough time studying for tests 20. _______Take good notes during lectures
9. _______Study with a friend or group
21. _______Take good notes while reading
l0. _______Plan what I need to study
22. _______Have a plan for taking tests
11. _______Finish my homework
23. _______Skim material before reading
12. _______Write neatly
24. _______Work towards a goal
25. _______Keep an organized notebook
Classroom Climate: Create a productive environment for learning
Students who feel safe, comfortable, and engaged in your classroom are better able to meet educational
objectives. The following tips will help you create this type of classroom climate.
Physical attributes:
Seat children so they can see all parts of the room.
Arrange students so you can maintain eye contact with every child.
Maintain an appropriate physical environment. Provide proper temperature and ventilation. Keep
noises and other distractions to a minimum.
Have a place for everything and insist that all classroom objects be kept in their proper places
when not in use.
Leave the front middle desk unassigned. Use this as a ‘hot seat’ for the immediate alleviation of
discipline problems.
Get right to business with the bell. Make sure students have work to do immediately. Establish
an opening routine and make it a habit for your students.
Create an attractive and inviting room that reflects your goals, values, and classroom curriculum.
Emotional climate:
Greet students with a smile and verbal acknowledgment when they come into the classroom.
Remain in emotional control; you are a model for your students.
Be consistent; if students know what to expect from you, the class will run more smoothly.
Treat students the way you want to be treated.
Leave problems at home; always go into the classroom fresh and ready to work.
Don’t carry things over from the previous day; start each day with a clean slate (unless, of
course, you need to address student misbehavior with a substitute!)
Prevent problems by careful planning and a positive attitude.
Laugh with students, not at them.
Speak softly; it is rarely necessary to yell.
Maintain your sense of humor. A lighthearted response can defuse tense situations.
Teach and model effective conflict resolution strategies and expect students to use them.
Be confident in your methods, abilities, and authority. Children can sense when someone does
not believe in these.
Talk with each of your students individually to foster feelings of inclusion and individualize
student programs.
Be fair, firm, and honest with students.
Know your own strengths and weaknesses and work to improve yourself. Model these behaviors
for your students.
Never belittle another teacher or the principal in front of students; if you do it to others, they will
believe you will do it to them.
Keep a calm attitude; a stressed or agitated teacher makes an excitable classroom.
Responsive teaching:
Try to be aware of what motivates each of your students.
Provide opportunities for students to learn and participate auditorally, visually and
Incorporate and alternate active and passive activities.
Don’t hesitate to change your way of teaching if you see your method isn’t working.
Stop a lesson if you need to gather students’ attention.
When you make an error, admit it; don’t try to cover up.
Take initiative from students; use their ideas for topics and incorporate their interests into the
Give students opportunities to make decisions in planning some of the structure of classroom
Be flexible. Plan thoroughly, but don’t be chained to your lesson plans or discipline methods.
Don’t be afraid to take two lessons to successfully teach what you planned to take one lesson.
Try to provide varied and unusual experiences for your students.
Share class projects to allow students to show off their work.
Provide opportunities for students to explore, experiment, initiate, invent, and gain self esteem.
Look at a situation from the student’s point of view. Try to see how it looks to him, what his
reasons and motivations for acting a certain way were.
Classroom Discipline:
Be consistent in punishment and rewards--avoid biases and favorites.
Be willing to change your way of disciplining if you see your method isn’t working.
Be aware--try to stop trouble before it starts.
Study current theories and methods of discipline; adopt those that fit your goals and beliefs.
State rules in a positive way (ex. ‘we listen to others’ rather than ‘don’t interrupt’)
Make your behavior standards clear to students; don’t expect them to intuit appropriate behavior
in your classroom.
Believe students can improve on inappropriate behaviors and help them find ways to do so.
Document in writing all severe or extreme behavior problems with students; make phone calls to
parents from the beginning to keep them informed of both the problem and your plans for
dealing with it. Provide periodic updates on progress.
When a child misbehaves, target the behavior, don’t reject the child.
Think of discipline in terms of building bridges between yourself and your students; don’t erect
Let students help discuss and create classroom rules.
Engage students in productive meaningful work in your classroom to set the stage for orderly
Examine the conditions under which discipline problems occur. Are there times when you may
be making it difficult for students?
When a student is angry or upset, be calm.
Try silence as a means of checking a misbehavior in an otherwise well-disciplined group. Stop
dramatically in the middle of a sentence and wait for the group to sense the reason for your
pause; then go on without comment. This alone is sometimes sufficient.
Avoid all punishment that hurts or humiliates a child.
Taken from ASSIST Beginning Teacher’s website
Establishing a Positive Classroom Climate; Teacher Advice
At a recent behavior-management workshop, teachers shared their best ideas for managing student
behaviors in the classroom. Here are six tips that they offered:
1. Set firm but fair behavioral standards at the start of the school year. Teachers who set firm,
reasonable expectations for student behaviors send the message from day one that they expect the
classroom to be a place of respect, civility, and learning. As one instructor noted, "First impressions
are everything. Students need to know the behavioral boundaries in the classroom-and they can only
know them if you show them!"
2. If you teach with others, make sure that all members of the instructional team use consistent
discipline practices. Nothing confuses students more than having various members of a teaching
team impose different behavioral expectations and consequences. When teachers on a team are
inconsistent in how they respond to student misbehavior, the result can be angry and frustrated
students. Be proactive. Hold team planning meetings early in the school year to reach agreement on
what kinds of negative student misbehavior warrant consequences and what those consequences
should be. Write up the results of that discussion as behavior management guidelines. Then monitor
to ensure that team members follow the plan consistently! (You may want to go a step further and
share your behavioral guidelines with your students.)
3. Classroom rules: Keep them short and sweet. Classroom rules tend to be most effective when they
are few in number (e.g., 3-5) and stated in positive terms whenever possible (e.g., "Work quietly at
your desk" rather than "Don't disturb other students!"). Teachers also find that students are more
respectful of rules when they have had a voice in coming up with them. Finally, remember to post
rules prominently and review them occasionally to 'remind' students that you really do value
appropriate behaviors!
4. Get to know your students from the beginning. Students are less likely to misbehave or act
disrespectfully toward the teacher if they have a positive relationship with him or her. Teachers can
get a jumpstart on getting to know their class as individuals by making up a simple survey for
students to complete at the start of the school year. By asking students to answer items such as
"What privileges or rewards do you prefer?", "List some learning activities that you enjoy", and
"What instructional topics really interest you?", teachers can get interesting insights into their
students as well as discover what topics, activities, or rewards are likely to motivate them.
5. Be a role model. Teachers should never forget that they are powerful behavioral role models for
their students. Because they shape student behaviors by their own example, teachers should hold
themselves to the same standards for civility and respect that they expect of their students. If a
classroom rule states, for example, that "In this classroom, we use a respectful tone of voice", the
rule applies equally to students and teachers. To quote one teacher with whom we talked, "In the
classroom, teachers should aim to treat others consistently, fairly, and respectfully. We are mirrors
for our students!"
6. Put together a classroom crisis plan. No teacher likes to imagine that a crisis will occur in his or her
classroom, for example, a student suddenly becoming physically threatening. However, instructors
who plan their responses to possible crisis situations are much more able to respond quickly and
appropriately if and when such events occur. You can take charge of crisis planning by becoming
familiar with your school's crisis plan, talking with staff whose rooms are near yours about how you
can mutually help one another out in the event of a crisis, and teaching your students how they
should respond (e.g., by evacuating the classroom in an orderly fashion) if a crisis situation occurs.
Taken from Intervention Central website
Room Arrangements
Keys to good room arrangements
A. High traffic areas should be free of congestion.
• Pencil sharpener
• A Teacher's desk
• Trash cans
• Learning centers
• Supply areas
B. Students should always be visible to the teacher
C. Frequently used materials need to be readily accessible
Projection screens, outlets
File cabinets
Every day supplies (paper, paste)
D. Students need a designated area for personal belongings (hats, coats, shoes, lunches, etc.)
Tips for arranging furniture
Consider placing student desks in rows facing the major instructional areas at the beginning of the year
to minimize distractions. As you begin to know your students, you may want to change the environment
to facilitate better learning.
A. Keep in mind possible distractions such as:
• Windows and doors
• Animals and other interesting displays
• Small group work areas
B. Note where electrical outlets are located before you place equipment.
Possible room arrangements are found on the following pages. After the first few days or weeks of
school you may find you need adjustments for crowd control or better movement. You might want to
reassess the room arrangement then.
Classroom Climate
Seating Arrangements
A Traditional Classroom often is set up with the
desks in rows, the teacher's desk or table somewhere in front of
the room, and student desks moved far enough apart to prevent
easy wandering of eyes during tests. This arrangement packs
desks into the room efficiently and lets student have easy access
to their seats, but it certainly does not have to be the default room
arrangement. The learning environment should be designed
according to learning objectives and desired outcomes not just
habit or a janitor's best guess. However, this arrangement is
probably the best for preventing cheating on traditional testing
days. The role of the teacher here seems that of a cop.
Discussions & Debates and many other interactive
classroom activities, where the whole class is looking and
listening and contributing, probably work better if the students'
seats are somehow facing each other. Some teachers find this
arrangement of two sides with an isle down the middle (like
Congress) works well. Put the teacher's desk in the back of the
room to get it out of the way. It's still within easy access to grab a
stack of handouts, etc. The role of the teacher here is kind of
like Speaker of the House.
A variation on the bicameral (two sides) arrangement is
the Horseshoe. Remember, though, every arrangement
should be made based on what you want the lesson to
accomplish. Both the bicameral and horseshoe arrangements
work well for handing out stuff. The role of the teacher seems
to be coordinator and collaborator in these classrooms.
Lastly, here's an arrangement for Group
Here the teacher's role is facilitator.
Taken from the Huntington University Website
Beat the Bulletin Blues
Thinking about the fall and the start of school may be the last thing on your mind, but the more
preparation you do now; the smoother things will go in the fall.
This past year, decorating a bulletin board probably took a back seat to simply surviving your first year
of teaching. Be prepared for next year by following some of these tips:
Effective bulletin boards should be:
o Simple
o Attractive
o Functional
o Appropriate
o Changed frequently
Use commercial bulletin board books to give you ideas. Visit your nearest teacher store for
If you can afford commercial bulletin board materials, use them.
Students love to see their work displayed. Use their papers and projects to help design a bulletin
Use a file box with 3x5 index cards arranged alphabetically. Jot down bulletin board ideas and
file them for future use.
Taking down and storing bulletin board material can be as challenging as putting it up. Set up a
filing system. You can use guidelines like school months or events, holidays and subjects.
Store bulletin board letters in plastic shoe boxes.
Don't throw sets of letters away. You can use them again for the same bulletin board.
Avoid using orange and yellow because these colors tend to overly excite students. Blues, greens
and pastels are calming. Pale pink and peach are especially soothing. There probably is no
comparison but these colors are used in prisons!
If you are decorating the top third of the wall for a bulletin board, use it for large letters, murals,
borders or pictures.
The lower two-thirds of the wall should be used for anything that has small details like student
Taken from the Michigan Education Association website
Bulletin Boards
Helpful hints
A. If possible, have boards / displays completed before school starts.
B. If you are doing child initiated boards, have ideas ready.
C. Background for bulletin boards may be done with neutral colors, fadeless paper, fabric,
D. Take a picture of your bulletin boards for future reference.
E. Try to use re-useable
or laminated letters which can be made at the Macomb Intermediate School District Teachers
Workshop, 44001 Garfield Road, Clinton Township, MI, 48038
F. If you need ideas, ask to look at some other rooms around your school.
G. Display shelves or boxes work just as well as boards.
Bulletin board ideas
Guess who? Baby pictures
Things done over the summer
Information board
Birthday board
Number line
Student name board
Child of the week and / or teacher of the week
Reading board (book covers)
Weekly schedules
Famous people
Assignment board
Student – created bulletin boards by project or theme
Student work display
Purchasing Classroom Supplies
In an ideal world teachers would easily receive all the classroom supplies they could possibly need.
Unfortunately, many schools do not provide teachers with enough money to pay for necessary classroom
supplies. Teachers everywhere have adjusted to tough economic times by recycling, asking parents and
community businesses to donate, and making good choices with the supplies that you have.
It is inevitable that all teachers spend some of their own money on their classroom. Part of making a safe
and comfortable environment to learn in is to make it esthetically pleasing. You will end up buying
posters, curtains, borders, magnets, special pens, paper, plants, so on and so forth. Luckily, teachers can
claim $250.00 on their taxes (see resource section for a more detailed explanation of the Educator’s Tax
credit) to offset some of these additional expenses.
What the school should provide and what you should purchase?
This will depend on your district and your budget. For the most part, all books and the majority of
school supplies will be supplied by the school itself. If you want anything special for example,
magazines, glue, paper, scissors or pens, you will have to provide them yourself.
Developing Student supply list
It is accepted in most districts to send home a list of supplies to bring to school, as long as it is labeled as
“recommended”. See the following examples of supply lists. Your supply list should be dependent on
the age and needs of your students.
Teacher’s Back-to-School Supply List
Planning to begin your first teaching job is somewhat like planning to move into a new house for the
first time. As you begin to make a list of the utensils, furniture, and supplies you will need for each new
room of your house you realize that your list keeps growing and growing! Unfortunately for first year
teachers, planning a purchase list for your classroom supplies often occurs in the same way. In an effort
to save you some precious time, the following list of suggested supplies has been created for you:
• Large sheets of paper and borders- this will help you to create your bulletin boards. If you are not
interested in changing them each season then get black or white paper and a season neutral border.
Check to see if you school already has the large rolls of paper.
• Chalk- in case your classroom doesn’t have any.
• Muli-colored chalk- for underscoring any main points
• Dry Erase Markers- in case you are blessed with a white board.
• Rubber Bands- in case you need to band something together. Keep these out of the hands of your
• Pads of sticky notes- you will use these so much!
• A mechanical lead pen- they are always sharp, don’t require a pencil sharpener and are fine, clear and
• Press-on white labels- these can be address label size or one-line width labels. So you can white out or
label anything. They can be especially useful for re-using old manila folders.
• Black ink ballpoint pen- form making carbon copies or for writing that is better reproducible by a
copier than a blue ink pen.
• A package of 3 X 5 cards- for class participations exercises, sort-able notes, hall passes, etc…
• A yellow highlighter pen- to highlight points in your lesson that you inadvertently omitted, need to
highlight, need to review.
• A red pen- to write evaluative notes on student’s tests, homework. An alternative to the classic red pen
is a green pen. Green ink is a little gentler and doesn’t carry the stigma of red marks on a paper.
• Loose-leaf reinforcements- to keep pages from falling out of your binder
• Wet-wash pads- for quick cleanups
• Stain-stick pads- you will spill coffee on your shirt
• A single-edged razor blade (instead of bulky scissors) - for cutting out magazine articles, pictures…
they can be found in a secure plastic casing.
• Aspirin- for headaches
• Mints- for fresh breath
• Some large and small paper clips- to clip together homework or test papers from particular class
• A piece of carbon paper- incase you handwrite a note and need a copy for documentation
• A see-through plastic pencil case- for organizational purposes
• An appointment book- this will be handy as far as keeping track of weekly assignments, things to do…
• A cell phone
• A grade book- for taking attendance, checking homework, giving credit for class participation
• A pad of newsprint- rolled up. This is to take notes on; especially useful when you’ll teach the same
lesson more than once…in different rooms.
• A magic marker or two- to make notes with, mark different surfaces…
• A stapler- for securing posting items on a bulletin board, attaching papers. Mark this stapler with your
• A small can of machine oil- in case a squeaky seat or door distracts students.
• A fan- you may or not have air conditioning. Those first few weeks of the school year could be
• Check this list over before school starts and add to it so who will know what you need for next year.
Taken from the National Education Association website
Creating Useful and Detailed Lesson Plans
Lesson planning is one of the most important tasks that you face as a first-year teacher, as a second-year
teacher and as a third-year teacher and it will be just as important when you are a thirty-year teacher.
Planning effective lessons is simply the blueprint for success in your classroom and ultimately, the
success of your career.
Successful teachers think very carefully about what they are going to do. There can be no substitute for
this process. Successful teachers plan every lesson every day.
Internet Solutions
Taken from Julie G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Handbook
10 Tips to Making Lesson Planning Easier
Beginning the planning process by creating an overview of that year, of each semester and of each
unit. Try to do this before school begins so that you will have a clear picture of what you want
your students to achieve.
Schedule a block of uninterrupted time each week to write your daily plans.
Create a lesson plan format that is easy to use for writing your daily plans.
If you don’t use a computer to write you plans, use a pencil so that you can quickly make
Use the school calendar that your districts supplies at the start of the term to schedule you lessons
around holiday or other events that may affect how your students will perform.
Keep your lesson plans in a binder with you and other important school materials so that you can
quickly check them each day.
Plan you lessons around the objectives that your state and district have determined for your grade
level or subject. Objectives reflect the outcomes that you want for your students. Teach to those
Always plan more work that you believe your students will finish. You can always use the extra
plans for remediation and enrichment.
Write the final assessment of each unit of study before you begin planning lessons. If you do this,
you will know what material your students will need to learn as you teach each unit.
Never allow yourself to get behind in your lessons planning. It is almost impossible to catch up
once you fall behind.
Taken from Julie G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Handbook
Writing Lesson Plans
Teachers' Roles
A traditional view of the teacher is of someone who dispenses knowledge:
someone who Lectures, tells, feeds, disseminates, covers material,
teaches the subject matter more than the students. The students sit passively
while the teacher is on show. Desks in rows and a blackboard and podium up
front are an arrangement designed for this role of a teacher. However, lectures
are effective for giving short sets of instructions, background information,
guidelines, or other information that is needed in a short time frame (e.g.,
before doing a class project, lab, or group activity).
Demonstrations, on the other hand, allow students to experience
more fully the information and concepts the teacher wants to impart during the
lesson. Although the teacher is still the center of the action and the dispenser of
knowledge, students can more easily see what they need to know and more
efficiently link it to prior knowledge in their own ways. Students remember
much better what they have both heard and seen (or even touched, smelled, or
Listening is a very important teacher role, something that we don't
usually think of in connection with the lecturer role, however. Listening is
crucial for assessment of learning (checking comprehension and appropriate
challenge level), for collaboration between teachers and students (coaching
instead of just judging), and for giving students a real sense of ownership of
classroom activities as well as for allowing students to articulate and internalize
the learning processes. Teachers who listen can turn around and provide very
effective support structures to guide students on to the next level of challenge.
Empowering is really what teaching is all about. Ironically, though,
many teachers act as if empowering student’s means weakening themselves-their authority as both a classroom disciplinarian and a subject-matter
authority. But maybe power is like love: the more you give, the more you get.
Obviously, teachers wear many hats: friend, counselor, and mentor--hundreds of roles and different roles
for different classes, students, and extra curricular duties. The above animations, however, are meant to
show the different effects on students of different teacher behaviors.
Taken from the Huntington University website
Questions to Ask For Lesson Planning
Although your written plans may become less and less formal, you may still want to spend some time
thinking about the following questions before you teach a lesson.
Will the lesson serve the student learning goals?
How will I start?
What will I do during the lesson? Why?
What do I want the students to do? Why?
What do I expect them to say or do in response to the task I set?
How much time will I spend on various parts of the lesson?
What materials will I need? How will I organize them ahead of time to minimize wasted time
during the lesson?
What directions will I give?
What will the final product look like? If there is no product, how will I know the lesson is
What rules, routines or procedures will be important during this lesson?
Taken from ASSIST Beginning Teachers Website
Common Problems in Lesson Planning
While it is true that all teachers may have problems with planning effective lessons at some time, there
are some problems that seem to be especially prevalent during the first few years of teaching.
As a new teacher the biggest problem that you may face in creating lesson plans is that you don’t have a
wealth of tried and true lesson plans and materials to draw on. Every lesson plan you write your first
year is an experiment. No matter how hard you work or how much effort you put into your plans, a
lesson can fail simply because it has drawbacks that you aren’t aware of yet. But you can reduce the
likelihood of an unsuccessful lesson by paying attention to some of the incorrect ideas that you might
have about writing your plans. Here are just a few of the problems concerning lesson plans that many
first-year teachers share.
Rushing to cover materials instead of teaching your students
Spending a disproportionate amount of time on a certain unit
Failing to connect current learning to previous learning
Focusing instruction on the knowledge level of thinking skills instead of the critical thinking
Not allowing for differences in learning styles
Failing to assess students’ prior knowledge before starting new instruction.
Failing to successfully motivate students to want to learn new material
Pacing a unit of study incorrectly
Neglecting to provide an anticipatory set for each day’s lesson
Neglecting to provide closure for each day’s lesson
Testing students on material that they have not adequately mastered
Failing to provide the correct amount of practice
Failing to provide enough “checkpoint” assessments before a final test
Mistaking a list of activities for a lesson plan
Not planning for the year, the semester, the unit and each day
Taken from Julie G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Handbook
Did You Care Today?
If you haven't realized it already, you've chosen a profession that makes a difference in lives. That's
important to remember when you've had a particularly lousy day. If you cared for your students that day,
it was a successful day!
To establish the rapport you need with students and to help manage your classroom, keep these ideas in
Get to know your students' names as soon as possible.
Go over the daily schedule with students.
Post a copy of the class rules for everyone to see.
Find out if there is a "dress code" for teachers in your school district and/or building. Dress
Remember-you can't out scream 30 or more students. The louder you get, the louder your
classroom becomes. Learn to moderate your voice.
Be yourself. Don't take on mannerisms that compromise who you really are.
Keep humor in your teaching. You chose a profession that cries for joy and laughter just to keep
your sanity.
Don't prejudge any student, no matter what you hear about him/her in the staff lounge.
Be sensitive to gender differences; avoid sexism.
Respect your students' religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Reward and praise-- sincerely and frequently.
Create a safe environment where your students know you will try to protect them from physical
or verbal harm.
Be a good role model. Be confident and positive.
Taken from the Michigan Education Association Website
Tips from Classroom Veterans
When the National Education Association (NEA) asked veteran teachers what advice they could give
new teachers, the following Top 10 list was created.
1. Take your vitamin C. You’ll find yourself sick all the time but it will give new meaning to the phrase,
“sick of your job.”
2. Stock up on antibacterial waterless hand soap and disinfectant sprays. See tip number one.
3. Children are brutally honest. They believe they are doing you a favor when they announce to the class
that your shirt or pants are unbuttoned.
4. Keep a journal of the funny things your students say. Not only will it keep your job in perspective but
it could also make you rich when your journal becomes a best-seller.
5. Invest in good comfortable shoes. This is no time to be suffering for fashion.
6. Practice not going to the bathroom for hours at a time. This probably isn’t something you learned in
any of your education courses but it’s an important skill to master.
7. Practice eating your lunch in three minutes or less. See tip number 6.
8. Have a stash of chocolate in your desk—you’ll need it some days. Enough said.
9. When shopping at grocery stores, don’t snap your fingers at other people’s children who are
misbehaving. It’s hard to resist the temptation but this is not your classroom.
10. Try not to treat your significant other or friends as though they are in third grade—not unless you
want third grade behavior in return.
Taken from the Michigan Teachers Association Website
I Don't Know What I Need to Know!!
Mentors and association reps sometimes forget to tell you the basics. It's information that they simply
take for granted. So, if you already know where to park and you have your grade book in hand, here are
some more things to know and have.
Your school hours
Your classroom and curriculum duties and responsibilities
Additional duties and responsibilities such as bus, hall and lunch duties
The district's and/or school's policy on:
Dispensing medication
Referrals to special programs
E-mail and Internet usage
Fire drills and lockdowns
Field trips
How to handle a sick day, personal leave day or an emergency
Who to contact in case of a classroom or school emergency
When faculty, team or other regular meetings are held
Where and how to get classroom supplies
How to communicate with parents
How to fill out school forms
How and when you are paid; payroll deductions
What insurance coverage you have
When is open house and what is the policy or procedure for it
Required district forms such as W-2, insurance enrollment, teaching license, contract
Grade book or other student record forms
A copy of the student handbook
Forms you will need during the first week: hall passes, detention forms, etc
Taken from the Michigan Education Association Website
Taking Care of Personal Business
As you begin to prepare for your first day of school, it is important not to be overcome by the emotions
you may be experiencing. Many first year teachers feel overwhelmed at accomplishing the tasks of
setting up their classroom climate and syllabus yet forget to organize their personal business decisions.
A beginning teacher needs to set up a personal file to ensure they maintain an organized copy of all
professional documents, personal health insurance and investment options, teacher evaluations, and
other professional necessities. The following is a check list of suggested items to keep in your personal
business file:
Health care information
Information on purchasing service credit, also known as “Buying Years”
Retirement Fund
Important personal documents
Copy of your contract
Explanation of employee benefits
Copy of current resume and teaching certificate
Copies of all evaluations throughout the year
Student injury reports and records
Records of professional development workshops and conferences
This is also a good time to start your reflective professional journal. Purchasing a small notebook,
perhaps with a lock on it and taking it home with you every night can be a useful tool in tracking your
professional progress throughout the year. When you look back a year from now you will not believe
how far you’ve come and the professional growth your reflections exhibit!
Time Saving Tips
Make a “to do” list every morning. Check off tasks as they are completed.
Teach students procedures to hand papers in, right side up, with their names at the top, into your
completed work basket. Have a basket for each subject or class so papers are sorted for you.
Assign each student a partner. When a student is absent, his or her partner can gather notes,
handouts and assignments that the absent student has missed.
When students check each other’s papers, have the checker sign their name at the bottom.
Students are more careful when their names are on the checked papers. CHECK TO SEE IF
When you put student(s) names in your grade book, number the names in consecutive order.
Have students write their name and number on their papers. You (or a student) can quickly put
papers in order. You can easily see which papers are missing and, when they’re corrected, they
will be in the correct order to put into your grade book.
Use an answer column along the right margin of the paper when doing math assignments from
textbooks or short answer assignments. Have students transfer answers from the problem to the
answer column. You can correct half a dozen papers at a time by looking at several answer
columns. (Learning to copy answers into an answer column carefully is an important skill,
especially for taking standardized tests.
Make a stencil from which you can cut out the answers to check multiple choice answer sheets.
Put answers on transparency to have students check homework while you take attendance.
Ask for clerical help from parents. Choose tasks for parents to do at home on a weekly or
monthly basis. Ideas include: typing newsletters, preparing teaching materials, preparing book
club orders, etc.
For short warm-up activities, cut worksheets into mini-strips containing 4 or 5 items. This miniworksheet can be done in a few minutes and helps to prepare the students for the lesson to come.
Designate one spot on the chalkboard where you write what students should do as soon as they
enter your classroom. Teach students to look there and begin without wasting time. It will give
an orderly beginning to your classes. (Good time to use a min-worksheet – see above).
Write frequently used direction on a chart instead of the chalkboard. When needed, hang the
chart on the chalkboard. Good ideas for: assignment guidelines, book report outline, paper
heading, studying for test, many others.
If you classroom is far away from the office or teacher workroom, keep a supply box “hidden”
somewhere. Include: pens, pencils, scissors, class list with student phone numbers, tape, etc.
Save time by designing your own lesson plan book on the computer. Take a page from your
book and put in room numbers, times, subjects, special classes and any other constant features.
Duplicate this page and, when you make your lesson plans weekly, you’ll only need to add the
lessons for the week.
Place extra copies of worksheets in a “homework box”. Students can help themselves for extra
credit or extra practice.
Identify your supplies (pencils, scissors, markers, etc.) with a masking or colored tape strip.
Use an overhead projector and transparency to write class notes and presentations instead of
chalkboard. This way you can date and save them, use them again, give them to an absent
student, or review them on another day.
Make a poster to keep a daily list of assignments for students who are absent.
Ideas for “floating” teachers: Make a box or use an AV cart to keep your “desk” materials with
you as you travel from room to room.
Instead of collecting and checking homework every day, have students keep homework in a
folder and collect once a week for recording.
Designate one day a week to send student work home to parents.
Re-file your materials as soon as possi8ble so you can find them later.
Have a bulletin board that includes special class schedules announcements, lunch menu or
important things you or your substitute might need.
Use one calendar to keep track of future important events – pocket calendar, desk calendar,
lesson plan book, etc.
Make two blank copies of student worksheets – on to use, one to file for future reference or to
make copies for an answer key.
Teach students to do as many clerical tasks (attendance, lunch count, etc.) as possible.
Laminate often used materials for reuse in subsequent years.
Have a personal care kit at school, which might include aspirin, needle and thread, etc.
Your First Year of Teaching at a Glance
Now that you have a fundamental understanding of what you will encounter in your first days of
teaching it’s time to look forward into your first year of teaching. While you will encounter many
different situations that will test your patience, understanding, and knowledge of teacher etiquette, this
section is devoted to providing you with information regarding common situations that all first year
teachers will encounter.
In this section of the handbook we will discuss suggestions for creating your Individualized
Development Plan, surviving the teacher evaluation process, taking attendance, and evaluating student
progress in your classroom. In reading this section of the handbook you will gain knowledge about
common situations you will find yourself in such as reporting your absence from school and preparing
for field trips and speakers.
The Care and Feeding of Your Mentor
It's the Law! You may feel secure and confident enough to think that you don't really need a mentor but
The Revised School Code (380.1526) states,
"For the first 3 years of his or her employment in classroom teaching, a teacher shall be assigned by the
school in which he or she teaches to 1 or more master teachers, or college professors or retired master
teachers, who shall act as a mentor or mentors to the teacher."
Consider these tips for building a positive relationship with your mentor.
If we lived in a perfect world, you would have a chance to meet your mentor before school starts.
But many times, the reality is that you are meeting him/her on the first day of school. Get to
know your mentor.
Mentors aren't mind readers.
Don't always expect your mentor to
come to you. It's a two-way relationship.
They aren't mind readers and can't
anticipate all of your issues and
concerns. If possible, set up a regular
daily meeting time with your mentor.
Mentors aren't mind readers.
Ask to visit your mentor's classroom to see other approaches to teaching. Invite your mentor to
your classroom. Ask for feedback on your techniques and style.
Don't reinvent the wheel. Before you begin developing a unit, find out what materials or thoughts
your mentor has.
Let your mentor know that his/her help is appreciated.
Hopefully not, but if the relationship between you and your assigned mentor is not all you had
hoped it would be, let your association rep know. Mentoring is part of the School Code and
many local contracts address the issue because an ineffective mentor relationship hurts everyone.
With the help of the association, you may be able to set up a mentor relationship with another
colleague who better matches your philosophy and style. Get your association rep's advice on
who might be a good match for you.
Keep an open mind. You may learn a lot from your mentor and at the same time your mentor can
be learning from you.
Do what you say you will do. Let your mentor know if you can't follow through on a promise.
Suggest an alternative.
When your mentor offers some information or opinion, make sure you fully understand the
information before going on to another topic. Ask questions for clarification.
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Even though you may not always agree with them, acknowledge, understand and respect your
mentor's feelings and ideas.
Avoid making assumptions about your mentor's plans and expectations. If you're in doubt, ask.
Ask for feedback from your mentor as a way to improve your teaching. Receive the feedback
Identify teachers other than your mentor that you would like to observe. Get permission to set up
an appointment. Focus on a particular aspect or skill when you go in to observe a classroom.
Withhold judgment on what you’ve observed until you've had the opportunity to reflect on the
observation and talk to the teacher.
Understand that you have the responsibility to ask for help. Identify and deal with the most
pressing need-to-know items first.
Share your progress with your mentor.
If there isn't a discussion and support group for you and your fellow new teachers, organize one.
Take informed risks. Don't take a risk until you've considered all the consequences and you've
talked with your mentor.
Pay attention to the results of your decisions. What have you learned from them?
Share your enthusiasm for teaching and learning with your more experienced colleagues. They
could use a breath of fresh air and a new idea every once in a while.
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Parent Teacher Conferences
A parent-teacher conference can be one of the most effective tools in your teaching tool kit when it
comes to communicating with parents. To keep the conference from becoming a discouraging waste of
time for everyone or an unpleasant confrontation, you need to do some preparation. The first place to
start is by checking with your mentor, colleagues and the association for their suggestions and to learn if
there are any district policies in place. After that, try some of these strategies to make conferences a
celebration--not a catastrophe.
Invite both parents whenever possible. You can sometimes gauge the kind of parental support a
student has if both parents are able to come.
Make contact early with a letter or memo telling parents when the conferences will be held. Don't
rely on the district to do that. Be aware of parents' work schedules.
Plan ahead. Be ready to answer specific questions parents may have. You should have your grade
book, samples of the child's work and any other important data you may need right at your
Greet parents at the door and be sure to get their names right.
Try to arrange comfortable, informal seating for you and the parents. Don't sit behind your desk and
have parents sit in student desks. It may bring up unpleasant school memories for them.
Set out the agenda of the conference right away. You have very little time, so make sure everyone is
clear on why you're meeting. Remember! Parents may have their own agenda. Be flexible.
Start on a positive note no matter how difficult that may be. Every child has some redeeming
qualities and you don't want parents on the defensive immediately.
Don't do all the talking. Listen to what parents have to say. Ask for their advice and opinions.
Be specific in your comments. "He doesn't accept responsibility," doesn't translate well to parents.
Give examples.
Stress collaboration. You both are talking about the same child. Explain clearly how parents can help
you with their child's education.
Summarize the discussion you have had and decide what you and the parents will do next.
Schedule another time to meet if you need to. If the conference is not going well, a cooling-off
period may be needed.
Try to end up on a positive note. Save at least one final encouraging comment for parents about their
child. Be sure to thank parents for their interest and support.
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Keep a record of the conference. Try to take notes as you meet with parents. Highlight specific
things you and the parents have agreed to do so that you can follow up on them.
Whether you think the conference went well or not, review the experience with your mentor. This
isn't brain surgery. No one will die if you make a mistake. You'll have another chance in the spring.
Educating Parents about Conferences
Many times parents are as nervous about a conference with their child's teacher as you are with the
child's parents. You've read the tips you need for a successful conference. Consider some of these ways
that parents can prepare themselves for a conference with you. Include these ideas in your letter inviting
parents to the conference.
Talk to your child so that he/she understands that you and the teacher are working together.
Ask if your child is having any problems in any specific classes or subjects.
Find out which are your child's favorite classes and why.
Make a list of questions you want to ask the teacher and any information you would like to share.
Take notes during the conference.
Ask questions to clarify anything you don't understand.
Share your insights about your child's talents, skills, study habits, or concerns.
Discuss any change in your child's behavior that might help in understanding your child better.
Ask how you can help your child at home.
Make it clear if you think your child needs help. Try to be specific in what you think the school
can do for your child.
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Watch What You Say!
While it's always important to choose your words carefully when talking about students and their
behavior, it's even more important when you are talking with parents about their child who is perfect in
every way in their eyes. The following positive expressions were taken from "Conference Time,"
produced by the National Education Association.
Can do more when s/he tries
Disturbs the class
Depends on others to do his work
Working at his own level
Insists on having his own way
Not challenged
Could make better use of his/her time
Difficulty in getting along with others
Uses unbecoming language
Tries to get attention
Inconsiderate of others
Has a chance of passing, if
Achieving below his ability level
Can do better work with help
Poor habits
Failed to meet requirements
Trouble maker
Below average
Wastes time
Shows off
Will fail
Poor grade of work
Time and again
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Parent Conference-- What would you do if. . .
Of course you want parent conferences to be positive experiences where you can strengthen the bond
between home and school. Realistically, however, you may find some parent behaviors to be as
unpredictable as those of their children in the classroom.
How would you handle the following situations? Talk to your mentor and colleagues for advice. What
would you do if the parent(s). . .
Don't speak English?
Become verbally abusive? Physically abusive?
Want to include the student(s) in the conference?
Will not attend the conference and won't reschedule an appointment?
Want to compare their child with their siblings or with other students in the class?
Refuse to acknowledge any weaknesses in their child?
Start an argument with each other?
Want to discuss unrelated topics?
Ask for your home phone number?
Want to discuss other teachers or the administration?
Want you to offer medical, parenting or counseling advice?
Invite you to their home to get to know you better?
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
7 Conference Don’ts
1. Don’t put parents on the defensive by becoming angry or by asking questions that are too
2. Don’t talk about other students or compare their child to theirs.
3. Don’t try to outtalk parents. You may make your point, but the parents (may) not listen to you.
Do not give in to the temptation to interrupt.
4. Don’t forget to document the conference and to file your notes.
5. Don’t neglect to follow through on the decisions that you and the parents made.
6. Don’t divulge any confidential information that you have learned.
When Parents or Guardians Are Uncooperative
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, parents or guardians will not be as cooperative as you would
like. Sometimes this will be a result of your interactions with them, and at other times, the lack of
cooperation will have nothing to do with you. Regardless of the reason, it is unpleasant to deal with
uncooperative parents or guardians.
The best way to avoid this situation is to prevent it by intervening early, following procedures and rules,
maintaining accurate records, presenting yourself as a professional, and by making sure that parents are
kept informed about their child’s progress from the beginning of the year onward.
If you find yourself in a confrontation with a hostile parent, it is up to you to assume control of the
situation. The following are some steps that you can take to accomplish this successfully so meetings
with parents will result in productive outcomes instead of heated words.
Listen to what angry parents or guardians have to say without trying to interrupt or correct them.
Don’t try to present your side of the disagreement until they have had an opportunity to express
Show your interest by asking questions about specific details. Often a misunderstanding is the
cause of the problem. Find out exactly what is bothering the parents.
Make sure that you restate the problem so that the other person can be reassured that you do
understand. Try, “I think you’re saying….”
Explain the problem from your viewpoint as objectively as you can. Be specific about what was
expected of the child, what the child did that was not appropriate, and how you responded.
Make it clear throughout the confrontation that you want to work together for the child’s welfare.
Remain calm throughout the confrontation. It can only harm you in the eyes of the parents and
your supervisors if you act upon your natural desire to justify your actions in a loud tone or by
returning insults.
You do not have to accept threats or abuse from a parent. If, after you have sincerely tried to
solve a problem, the parent or guardians remain upset, suggest that you call in an administrator.
If you suspect that a parent plans to contact your administrator, you should make the contact
first. It is never wise to surprise your supervisors with bad news. Instead, see an administrator;
present your point of view, and ask for assistance.
Parent/Teacher Conferences
Tips and suggestions for parent conferences:
Make clear the four purposes of a conference
a. Information getting
b. Information giving
c. Joint problem-solving
d. Development of mutual interest
Let parents see first-hand how their child is doing. Come prepared with a computer print-out or
grade book, reports, papers, a copy of the textbook, grading policy, course objectives anything
else that might enhance parents understanding of their child’s progress. Parents are impressed
wit teachers who are organized. Remember to protect student confidentiality when opening your
grade book.
Sit in an arrangement where you are not behind your desk.
Establish a positive rapport by making your first statement about the student a positive one –
even if you really have to dig for one.
When you are scheduling conferences (elementary), first call those who need the conference the
most so that they have the widest range of times to choose from. You want them to come!
Don’t assume the adult’s relationship to the child is the natural parent (many step-parents and
guardian situations occur).
Try to get a realistic picture of the home situation before you make any suggestions. Often your
perspective is changed when you understand what the student has gone through.
Ask the parents for their perception of the child’s strengths and weaknesses before offering
yours. Thank them for their helpful insights and seek their input. Be positive!
Do NOT compare the student with a sister, brother or friend. Do NOT refer to the whole class in
a negative way. Do NOT offer outside services (resource people, tutoring) that you can’t
guarantee will be available. Do NOT forget what you promised to do, and do it promptly.
Don’t let a parent berate you. If a parent becomes verbally abusive, simply say that you do not
think that the objectives of the conference are being met and that you believe another time would
prove to be more beneficial. The next conference should be in the office with an administrator
and/or union representative.
Try to end every conference on a happy note. If some hostility was shown, document it by
making a brief written evaluation of what transpired and keep it for future reference. You might
want to inform your principal to expect a possible call.
Stick to your schedule on conference day/night. If the parent seems reluctant to respond to your
lead, schedule another time and date to finish up loose ends.
After the conference is over, you may want to ask yourself the following questions?
√ How well prepared was I?
√ How well did I use time?
√ Did I start on a positive note?
√ Did I listen attentively?
√ Did I involve the parents?
√ Were follow-up plans made, if needed?
√ Did I gain any insights?
√ What needs to be changed?
Many parents do not have time or the opportunity to get as involved in their child’s school as they would
like. However, they still desire a quality education. We should let all parents know how much we value
and encourage their support and participation in this important aspect of their child’s life. We know they
should and probably will respond in a positive way in any way they can. Once we have reached out to
them, exchanged our expectations of each other, encouraged them to keep us abreast of important
happenings in their child’s life, we can look forward to a great partnership and a rewarding year.
Suggestions for parent/teacher conferences
Teaches, like most professionals, have developed their own special language. There are many
expressions which we use that may leave a false or undesirable impression. Here is a list of expressions
which may leave a negative impression, when a kinder, more positive, phrase might be used:
Negative Expression
Trouble maker
Never does the right thing
Below average
Wastes time
Incurred failure
Time and again
Poor grade of work
Will fail him
Positive Expression
Can do more when he tries
Disturbs the class
Should learn to work with others
Depend on others to do his work
Can do better work with help
Can learn to do the right thing
Working at his own level
Absent without permission
Without permission
Poor habits
Capable of doing better
Lost opportunity
Complacent, not challenged
Invest in
Insists on having his own way
Tendency to stretch the truth
Could make better use of his time
Could do neater work
Failed to meet requirements
Difficulty in getting along with others
Achieving below their apparent ability level
Not physically well coordinated
Uses unbecoming language
Seldom shares with others
Inconsiderate of others
Tries to get attention
Has a chance of passing, if…
Taken from Conference Time, National Education Association
Sample Letter: Open House Invitation
Dear Parents or Guardians,
Our school’s annual Open House will be held this year on Thursday. September 22 from 7:00
until 8:30 p.m. We will meet first in the auditorium for a brief PTA meeting and then will adjourn to the
I am looking forward to visiting with you and sharing some of our class’s routines and activities.
Please attend if you can possibly do so.
Please let me know if you plan to attend by signing the appropriate note at the bottom of this
I am looking forward to our visit!
Ms. Thompson
________ I plan to attend Open House on Thursday, September 22 from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m.
________ I do not plan to attend Open House on Thursday, September 22 from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m.
Parent or Guardian Signature___________________________________________________________
Sample Letter: Conference Confirmation
(Although you have probably arranged a conference over the phone, it is polite to send home a letter as a
reminder with special information that may make the parent or guardian more at ease.)
Dear __________________________________,
Our conference will be Wednesday, May 13, at #15 in Room 16. You will find plenty of visitor
parking places in the parking lot directly in front of the school at that time. Please stop by the front
office and pick up a visitor’s pass.
The office staff will call me and I will come and escort you to the classroom. I look forward to
meeting with you.
Ms. Thompson
Meet the Teacher Night
The first formal introduction to parents will usually be in the form of some sort of “Meet the Teacher”
activity. This may have different names, but usually is a time to introduce yourself and your curriculum.
All about parents
You will want to talk to colleagues to find out what parents expect from this session. You should
also seek information regarding the demography of the parent population.
All about you
As a first year teacher, many parents will be coming to “check you out.” Be prepared to instill
confidence regarding your instructional abilities. Communicate about your relevant experiences
(camp counselor, club sponsor, etc.) Let your enthusiasm show!
All about your classroom
You might consider discussing the following:
• Rules and operating procedures
• The subject(s)
• Goals of the curriculum
• Expectations for students
• Instructional materials
Your presentation
You will want to be well prepared fir this session. Some of the following techniques may be
• Handouts of curriculum, grading procedures, homework criteria, etc.
• Use of overhead
• Sample lesson
• Outline f what you are going to address (watch your timing to be sure you hit all relevant
Working together
This is a good opportunity for you to identify how home and school can work together:
• Inform parents of when, where and how you can be reached.
• Discuss how parents can best support their child’s learning out of school.
Cautionary notes
• Don’t let one parent monopolize the discussion or sidetrack you.
• Have a conference sign-up sheet available.
• Don’t get caught in a student conference situation. This is not the intent of the session.
Creating Your Individual Development Plan (IDP)
Tenure laws require a four-year probation period for teachers who have never earned tenure in
Michigan. Teachers who have earned tenure in Michigan and who move to another Michigan district are
subject to a two-year probationary period. While on probation, teachers must be provided with an
Individualized Development Plan. This plan must be developed by the probationary teacher in
consultation with the administrator.
Requirements for an Individual Development Plan vary from school district to school district. Check
with your mentor or administrator. There is an example following this section.
Teacher Evaluation Procedures
Just like other professionals, teachers are evaluated on a variety of criteria every year. There are several
components to the evaluation process. First, you can expect one of your supervisors to talk to you in a
pre-observation conference where you will discuss your goals and progress so far that year. This is a
good time to mention any particular problems that you are having and to solicit advice.
Some time after your pre-observation conference, your evaluator will make a planned classroom
observation. At this point, the evaluator will be looking for your strengths and weakness as an educator.
You will probably just want to get through this nerve-racking time without forgetting your own name.
After the observation, you will meet with your evaluator again in a post-observation conference. At this
conference, the evaluator will talk with you about the lesson that you taught and about your strengths
and weaknesses as a teacher. There will be other observations in the course of the year, also. The
number varies from school district to school district. Expect to have many informal visits from
administrators over the course of your career, but especially during your first few years when you don’t
yet have tenure.
At some point near the end of the school year, you will have a final evaluation conference. This
conference will involve more than just the formal classroom observations that you have had throughout
the course of the year. It will address your overall effectiveness as an educator. There should be no
surprises with regard to your final evaluation. If your supervisors believe that you are not an effective
teacher, you would certainly receive some indication of that before the final meeting.
Preparing for an Observation
In many ways, the informal visits that evaluators make are much easier to get through than the planned,
formal observations. You don’t have time to worry and build up anxiety about an unannounced visit,
whereas knowing that an administrator is going to observe you in a few days leaves plenty of time to
worry about everything that could go wrong. Taking steps to prepare for the observation can help you
feel confident, both before and during the observation.
5 Steps You Can Take to Prepare for an Observation
9 Step1: Be proactive. Make sure you ask for a copy of the observation form if a copy is not in your
faculty manual. In fact, you should do this as early in the term as you can. Study the form so that you
know what the observer will be looking for as you teach.
9 Step 2: Clean your room. This will give you a psychological boost as well as a positive mark on
your form.
9 Step 3: Plan a lesson that is interesting and not very complicated. Do not plan a test or a video. The
observer wants to see you and your students interacting. Keep your lesson simple so that you can do
it well. Experimenting with a class skit or a first time collaborative grouping are not activities that
will showcase your confidence and skill early in your first-year.
9 Step 4: Write out your lesson and collect a copy of all handouts, textbooks, or materials that you
need for this lesson. Select a non-intrusive place for your visitor and place this material there. Be
ready to show all of your lesson plan books as well as your grade book.
9 Step 5: Now, prepare to take the most important step in your preparation: getting control of your
anxiety. If you are prepared, and have a well, planned lesson, you do not have to worry. Expect to be
nervous and to feel stressed, but also expect to do well. Have confidence in yourself!
How Observers Will Evaluate You
When you are evaluated during a classroom observation, your observer will make note on a form that
has been approved by your school district and that should be available to all employees. While these
forms vary from district to district, there are certain items that are common to most of them. These
Demonstrating that you follow the district’s curriculum
Having an objective for the lesson
Making the objective of the lesson clear to students
Delivering accurate and appropriate information
Showing a depth of understanding of the material
Making use of all available class time
Keeping students on task
Providing for transition times between activities
Using a variety of teaching strategies
Demonstrating effective questioning skills
Creating a student assessment instrument for the lesson you are teaching
Motivating students to succeed
Establishing the relevance of the lesson
Providing timely feedback
Monitoring students effectively
Encouraging and assisting students
Interacting in a positive way with students
Maintaining an orderly classroom
Minimizing and disruptions that might occur
Giving preferential seating to student who require it
Incorporating critical thinking activities in assignments
Having classroom rules posted
Enforcing classroom rules
Demonstrating that procedures for routine tasks are in place
Delivering clear instructions
Projecting a professional image
Make Evaluations Work For You
Evaluations throughout the year can either be of enormous benefit to you or they can turn you into a
nervous wreck. The difference is in your attitude. If you want to grow as a teacher, then adopt the
attitude that your evaluators can only offer you suggestions and advice in areas that you need to
improve that you had not yet thought about. And remember: No teacher is perfect, and every teacher
has areas of performance that can be improved. On way to identify those areas is through
evaluations. You can suffer through the process or you can benefit from it. The choice is yours.
Turn Criticism Into A Positive Experience
Hearing negative things about yourself is never pleasant. Hearing them from your supervisor is even
less so. The following are a few things you can do as a first-year teacher that will help you turn the
inevitable criticism that you will hear into a positive experience instead of a negative one.
¾ Go into your post-observation conference or any other evaluation conference with paper, pen,
and an open mind. Be prepared to hear negative as well as positive comments about yourself.
¾ Listen objectively. Most of the criticism is likely be about issues that you are already aware
of and have already started to address yourself. Before you allow yourself to become
defensive, stop and make the effort to remain objective.
¾ Listen more than you speak. During an evaluation conference, ask for advice and suggestions
for improvement, then listen carefully, write them down, and follow them.
¾ Ask a mentor for suggestions regarding how you can handle a specific criticism.
¾ Release your negative emotions in your teacher’s journal and not in the lounge.
¾ After the conference, when you have had an opportunity to correct some of your weaknesses,
keep the administrator up-to-date on your progress in following his or her suggestions.
The Importance Of Self-Evaluation
If you are already in the habit of evaluating yourself there will be few surprises for you when an
observer is in your classroom. Many experienced teachers do this on a daily basis in a variety of
informal ways. Here are three techniques you can use to develop this habit.
1. Use your teacher journal to reflect on your day. Pay attention to what went wrong and what went
well and exactly what you did to cause both outcomes.
2. Elicit feedback from your students. This does not have to be a lengthy or elaborate process to be
effective. Many teachers have found that simply asking students to jot down what they liked
about class at the end of the day is a useful indicator.
3. Videotape yourself in class, then watch the tape with the evaluation form that follows near at
hand. If taping yourself is too distracting to your class, complete the form based on your
recollection of the class. Try to fill out the form as soon as you can after the class you targeted is
over so that you can have accurate information.
Evaluate Yourself as An Observer Might
Rate your performance on each of these positive qualities by circling the number that best fits your
assessment of your own skills in teaching a particular class. Use this scale:
1= I had no problems.
2= I only have a few problems.
3= I really need to work on this skill.
I followed the district’s curriculum
I had objectives for the lesson
I made to purpose of the lesson clear to my students.
I delivered accurate and appropriate information
I showed a depth of understanding of the material
I made use of all available class time
I kept all of my students on task
I provided for transition times between activities
I used a variety of teaching strategies
I demonstrated effective questioning skills
I had an assessment instrument for the lesson
I motivated my students to succeed
I established the relevance of the lesson
I provided timely feedback
I monitored my students effectively
I encouraged and assisted students
I interacted in a positive way with my students
I maintained an orderly classroom
I minimized any disruptions
I gave preferential seating to my students who require it
I incorporated critical thinking activities in today’s assignment
I had classroom rules posted
I enforced classroom rules
I made sure that procedures for routine tasks are in place
I delivered clear instructions
I projected a professional image
Taking Attendance and Inputting Grades
Every district within Macomb County uses SASIxp to compile attendance records and Integrade Pro to
maintain student performance records. Within the SASIxp program you can access your class lists, make
seating charts, find demographic information of each of your students, and hourly attendance. Within
Integrade Pro you can create spreadsheets that display student grades and classroom assignments, create
individual student progress reports, and generate graphical analysis of student academic progress.
Following this section is a packet of information for SASIxp. Most likely during new teacher training
you will receive a packet of instructions on how to use Intergrade Pro. Please feel free to hole punch and
place the instructions into this binder.
CLASSxp for Teachers
Prepared By:
Course Description
SASIxp Classroom provides classroom teachers with an introduction to the basic concepts and operation
of the SASIxp Classroom module. It includes login/logout procedures, accessing classes and student
information, adding dropping and moving students on the seating chart, taking attendance, and assigning
academic and citizenship grades and comments.
Expected Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:
Start SASIxp Classroom.
Access classes taught.
Add new students to the seating chart.
Remove dropped students from the seating chart.
Move students onto, and within, the seating chart.
Take attendance.
View a student’s attendance record.
View a student’s supplemental data forms.
View a student’s grades and standardized test records.
Using SASIxp Classroom
Classroom is a SASIxp module created especially for teachers. Designed around an on-screen seating chart complete
with student photos, it provides a class management system you can use to quickly perform administrative tasks right
at a classroom workstation (Macintosh or Windows).
Just by clicking photos in seating charts and selecting functions from menus, you can instantly locate the student data
you need in the classroom. You work directly from seating charts to take attendance and view student demographic
Starting and Logging In to SASIxp Classroom
Both teachers and administrators can start SASIxp Classroom by double-clicking the Classxp icon from the
Macintosh desktop or from Windows (you must be connected to the network first). You then log in from the
Welcome Window that displays.
Your User ID determines your User setup. Your setup identifies whether you are a teacher or an administrator
(Security Officer) and which SASIxp folders and atoms (if any) have been assigned to you.
If you are a teacher, you have access to your own classes and to SASIxp Classroom features. You also have access to
any SASIxp folders and atoms that have been assigned to you.
User IDs and passwords are assigned initially by an administrator. Unless the administrator assigns a special password,
it is the same as your user ID. You can change your password using the Change Password function that is available
from the Welcome window and from the lockout screen.
To log in to SASIxp Classroom:
1. Double-click the CLASSxp icon. The Welcome window displays.
2. In the User ID field, type you SASIxp Classroom User ID.
3. In the Password field, type your password. (For security reasons, asterisks display instead of your password).
4. Click Login (or press Enter).
If you have only one class, the SASixp desktop displays with the seating chart for your class. In addition, the
message “Loading students, please wait” displays in the message center.
If your school uses schedules and you have more than one class, the system displays the Class selection
5. Select a class from the Class Selection window (if your class is not displayed already) by double-clicking the name
of the class (or click the class name once then press Enter).
To change your password:
1. Double-click the CLASSxp icon. The Welcome window displays.
2. In the User ID field, type your SASIxp Classroom User ID.
3. In the Password field, type your SASIxp Classroom password. (For security reasons, asterisks display instead of
your password).
4. Click Change Password. The system displays the User Password window.
5. In the Enter your new password field, type a new password.
6. In the Enter your new password again field, re-type your new password.
7. Click Change to record your password and return to the Welcome window.
8. Click Login to log on to SASIxp Classroom using your new password. (You can also click Cancel to save your
password and close the Welcome window (or click Exit to quit SASIxp Classroom).
Using the Class Selection Window
You can select the classes that you want to work with in SASIxp Classroom from the Class Selection
window. This window displays the current date, the teacher, the default term, the period, and the
course title for each class assigned to the teacher for the selected term.
If you have only one class, the system bypasses the Class Selection window and automatically
displays the seating chart for your class.
To open one class:
From the Class Selection window, double-click the line for the class (or click once to highlight it then
click OK). You may need to use the scroll bar through the list of classes.
To display classes for a different term:
1. In the Term field, display the pop-up list of terms by clicking the arrow.
2. Highlight the term that you want. When you release the mouse button, the new term displays in the Term field, and
the system displays classes for the selected term.
To quit SASIxp Classroom:
From the File menu, select the Quit option (Command/Control Q) to exit completely from the SASIxp system and
return to the Macintosh desktop or Windows. Before quitting, the system saves your desktop arrangement including
any open folders.
To log out of SASIxp Classroom:
From the Class menu, select the Logout option. You will not exit completely from the SASIxp system. The Welcome
window displays so that another user can log into the system. This feature is handy when two or more teachers share a
To close a Class:
Use the Close Class function when you want to exit from the current class (or classes) and return to the Class Selection
window to choose another class to open.
Things to keep in mind:
If you are a teacher and you click Cancel instead of selecting another class, the Welcome window
displays. From this window, you can either log in again or click Cancel to exit from SASIxp Classroom.
If you are a teacher with only one class, selecting Close Class displays the Welcome window. From here,
you can either log in again or click Cancel to exit from SASIxp Classroom.
A Look at Classroom Features
When you open a class, the SASIxp Classroom seating chart for that class displays on the desktop. Classroom
menus become available on the menu bar, and other Classroom features become available for use in the
SASIxp environment. (The SASIxp environment includes the toolbar, message center, menu bar, SASI
Modules Globe, and more).
The main features of SASIxp Classroom are:
Seating Chart---Displays the names and photos of the students in the selected class or classes. When you
select one or more photos in a seating chart, the data forms that you select from SASIxp Classroom menus
are for those selected students.
Class Information Window---Displays basic information for the selected class including date, period,
term, teacher, course title, student name, total students in class, and total number of students who are
present, absent, or tardy.
Student and Class Data Forms---Contain data for individual students or for an entire class. To display data
forms, you select them from the three SASIxp Classroom menus.
Class, Personal, and Performance Menus---List of SASIxp Classroom functions. These display in the
menu bar next to the File, Edit, Windows, and Data menus available for SASIxp.
Class Information Window
The Class Information window displays basic information on one selected class. From the Class menu, select the Class
Info option to open the Class Information window. You can tell the system to display Class Information automatically
each time you locate a class. From the Class menu, select this as a preference from Teacher Preferences. The Class
Information window remains open until you click the Close box
Working with Data Forms
Data forms display records for individual students or for an entire class. The data comes from the school’s central
SASIxp files, and almost all displayed data has been entered by school staff members in various SASIxp atoms.
The exceptions are attendance data and grading data. Teachers can enter attendance data using the Take Attendance
function on the Class menu in SASIxp Classroom. Depending on the update rights assigned to all Classroom users,
you can update attendance in Class Attendance, Period Attendance or Daily Attendance records. Teachers can enter
grading data in Class Grades, Grades, and Progress records.
The data forms used for SASIxp Classroom are the same as the corresponding forms used for SASIxp classroom
menus instead of launching them from atoms.
Available Data Forms
--Class Schedule
--Student Attendance
--Period Attendance
--Student Grades
--Student Progress
--Student Course History
--Student Test Scores
--Data Forms for an Entire Class
--Class Attendance
--Class Grades
SASIxp Classroom Menus
Most selections on the SASIxp Classroom menus enable you to display forms or to perform functions such as taking
attendance. Available menu items display in black, and unavailable menu items
display in gray. Functions for
individual students become available only when you select one or more students in the seating chart.
Class Menu Functions
The Class menu is SASIxp Classroom consists of these functions:
Class Info
Opens the Class Information window.
Take Attendance
Enables you to take attendance for the current day or period.
Show Class Att.
Displays year-to-date attendance for an entire class.
Show Student
Displays a list of all students in the selected class including students not displayed in the List
seating chart.
Show Readmits
Displays a list of students who need readmit slips.
Show Stu Enter
Displays a list of students being added to the selected class.
Show Stu Leav
Displays a list of students being dropped from the selected class.
Use Seating Charts Displays a submenu listing the default seating charts (Alphabetical and Chart 1) and any charts
you create using the Seating Charts function. You can display the selected class in one of these
charts by selecting it from the list.
Seating Charts
Enables you to create up to seven seating charts. You can also use this function to remove any
charts you create.
Print Report
Displays a submenu listing three reports:
1. Class Roster---Not currently implemented.
2. Seating Chart ---Not currently implemented.
3. Class Attendance---Indicated the types of absences and absence type totals for each student
during the specified week for both daily and period attendance schools.
Displays a submenu listing Teacher Preferences. Selecting these open windows where you can set
preferences for a variety of system features.
Close Class
Closes the currently selected class and returns you to the Class Selection window. If you area
teacher with only one class, selecting Close Class displays the Welcome window.
Logs you out of SASIxp Classroom and displays the Welcome window. This enables another
teacher sharing the same workstation to log in to the system. (To completely exit from SASIxp,
select Quit from the File menu.)
Personal Menu Functions
The Personal menu in SASIxp Classroom consists of these functions:
Displays the student form for a selected student.
Class Schedule
Displays the class schedule for a selected student.
Stu Attendance
Displays the daily attendance record for a selected student.
Per Attendance
Displays the period attendance record for a selected student.
Displays the parent/guardian record for a selected student.
Displays the emergency record for a selected student.
Displays the health record for a selected student.
Displays the discipline record for a selected student.
Displays a form for viewing and entering notes about a selected student.
Full Student
Displays multiple information forms for a selected student. (It may take some time to display
Data all the forms.)
Performance Menu Functions
The Performance menu in SASIxp Classroom consists of these functions:
Class Grades
Displays the grade reporting record for an entire class.
Student Grades
Displays the grade reporting record for a selected student.
Student Progress
Displays the progress reporting record for a selected student.
Stu Crs History
Displays the course history record for a selected student.
Stu Test Scores
Displays the test scores to date for a selected student.
Show the Student List Function
From the Class menu, select the Show Student List function (or use Command/Control L) to view a list of all students
in the current class or classes. You can use the list as a reference or as an aid in setting up seating charts. The Student
List consists of two sections:
Students in Chart (those who display in the seating chart). A scroll bar displays when the section contains more than
six students.
Students Out of Chart (those who are enrolled in the class but do not display in the seating chart). A scroll bar displays
when the section contains more than five students.
Setting Preferences
SASIxp Classroom enables you to choose default settings for a variety of system features. From the Class menu, you
can access Preferences that display the Teacher Preferences window and the Class Preferences window.
Teacher Preferences Window
Teacher Preference Window Fields
Open form on
Determines which student information form opens automatically when you double-click a doubleclick student in the seating chart. You can select another form from the pop-up list.
Show Class Info
Determines whether Class Information displays automatically.
Show Readmits
Determines whether readmits display automatically after you take attendance. Not currently aft
tkg attend implemented.
Finder Active
Determines whether the Macintosh finder (available only on Macintosh computers) remain active.
If this is active, you can run other applications on the Macintosh desktop without quitting SASIxp
Classroom. If the finder is not active, you cannot access the Macintosh desktop until you quit
SASIxp Classroom.
Hide Student
This option determines if you want to hide students’ last names so that only their first names Last
Names display in the seating charts.
Default Term
Determines what term is used as the default in the Class Selection window. Classes are listed for
that term when the window first displays. You can select another term from the pop-up list.
How Many
Determines whether one form or multiple forms can be open at the same time. If you choose
Forms one form, SASIxp Classroom automatically chloses any form currently displayed when
you open another. Not currently implemented.
Multiple Class
Determines how students are sorted when more than one class is selected. Not currently View
Alphabetical---Combines all classes and puts students in alphabetical order.
By Class---Groups classes separately and puts students in seating chart order.
Class Preferences Window
Class Preferences Window Fields
Maximum Seating
Enables you to set your own defaults for the maximum seating chart size for the Chart Size
selected class. System defaults are six rows and seven columns (which accommodates 42
students). You can customize the seating chart size.
To display a preference window:
From the Class menu, select the Preferences option. The system displays a submenu. From the submenu,
select Teacher Preferences or Class preferences to display the Teacher Preferences window or the Class
Preferences window.
To select preferences:
Specify among the available preferences in either the Teacher Preferences window or the Class Preferences
To save preferences:
Click Save or press Enter to save preferences. To restore previous settings before you exit from the window,
click Close.
If you change the seating chart size in the Class Preferences window, you must close then re-open the class for
the new seating chart size to become effective.
To set rows and columns in Class Preferences:
1. In the Rows field, type a new number for rows in the seating chart.
2. In the Columns field, type a new number for columns in the seating chart.
3. Click Save to save the new seating chart size. (Close class then re-open to display new chart size.)
Working with Seating Charts
The first time you select a class, the seating chart displays in alphabetical order by student with the chart name Chart
1. You can rearrange Chart 1 by moving students to different seats. You can create up to six new seating-charts using
the Seating Charts function on the Class menu. To display a class in any of the available arrangements, go to the Class
menu and select the Use Seating Chart function.
The system also comes with an alphabetical seating chart entitled Alphabetical. The Alphabetical chart cannot be
rearranged or removed.
Things to Keep in mind:
If you want to move a student to a seat that is beyond the edge of the chart, you can resize the chart or use the
scroll bars to display more of the seating chart. You can also drag the student’s photo to the edge of the chart
and continue to hold it as the window scrolls to the seat you want. When the seat you want displays, release
the mouse to drop the student photo onto the seat.
You can scroll through student photos on a seating chart by clicking the vertical and horizontal scroll bars.
The system saves any changes you make to a seating chart under the title of the current seating chart.
You can work from the Student List on the Class menu to move students in and out of seating charts.
Seating Charts Window
Seating Charts Window Fields
Chart Name
Displays the name of the chart selected in the list of available charts. You can use this field to
enter new seating chart titles or change existing titles.
Available Seating
Lists all user-created charts as well as Chart 1 (the default chart) in which each Charts
class first displays. The system accommodates up to seven chart titles. To change the default
seating chart, click another chart name and drag it to the first position. The way charts are
ordered here is the way they display when you select the Use Seating Charts option. To
display a class in one of the charts, click the class name.
Add Button
Enables you to add a blank seating chart. Adding a seating chart in the Seating Charts window
also adds that chart to the list displayed by the Use Seating Chart option.
Remove Button
Enables you to remove a seating chart. Removing a seating chart in the Seating Charts
window also removes that chart from the list displayed by the Use Seating Chart option.
Change Button
Enables you to change the name of an existing seating chart.
Duplicate Button
Enables you to create a new seating chart by duplicating an existing chart. You can perform
modifications to the new chart.
Student List Button
Enables you to display the student list from the Seating Charts window. You can then add
students to, or remove students from, seating charts.
Displaying Seating Charts
The Use Seating Chart function on the Class menu enables you to display a class in any seating chart that exists for the
selected class. Seated charts may vary among classes.
The Use Seating Chart function displays the list of existing seating charts as well as the Alphabetical chart defined by the system
for each class. The list includes Chart 1 if you have not renamed it. The first seating chart in the list is the default chart for the
selected class, and the class opens in that seating chart until you move another seating chart to the top of the list.
To display a chart:
1. From the Class menu, select the Use Seating Chart function. The system displays a submenu of all existing seating charts
for the class.
2. Select the chart that you want. The class displays in the seating chart arrangement that you use. The system also places a
check mark next to the selected seating chart arrangement.
Creating Seating Charts
Use the Seating Charts function on the Class menu to create seating chart arrangements. The system displays the
Seating Charts window.
To create a seating chart, you use the Seating Charts function on the Class menu. This brings up the Seating Charts
function on the Class menu. This brings up the Seating Charts window. You can create up to six different seating
arrangements for each class. You supply the name for each seating arrangement that you define, and you can change
the names of any existing seating chart titles. You can also change or delete existing seating chart arrangements.
Things to keep in mind:
• When you add a new seating chart, the chart remains blank until you add students to it.
• The most efficient way to create a seating chart is to duplicate an existing chart. That way you can work
from a chart with an existing student population, and add or delete students as required without having to
add all new students.
• If you rearrange an existing seating chart, the new arrangement is saved automatically under the old chart’s
• You cannot remove the alphabetical seating chart that comes with SASIxp Classroom.
• You cannot remove the last seating chart in the Seating Charts window if only one chart is listed.
• You can remove Chart 1 (which is the default seating chart that displays initially for each class) as long as
it’s not the only seating chart listed in the Seating Charts window.
To Create a new seating chart:
1. From the Class menu, select the Seating Charts option.
2. In the Chart Name field, type a name for the new chart.
3. Click Add. The system displays a blank seating chart. (The new seating chart is now available from the Seating
Charts and the Use Seating Charts functions).
4. Click Student List to display the list of students currently enrolled in the class.
5. In the Student Out of Chart section of the student list, click student names than drag and drop them into seats on
the chart. The system displays student photos in the seats on the charts and adds the students’ names to the Student
in Chart section of the student list.
6. Close the student list. (Click once on the Close box for Macintosh or double-click the Control menu box in the
upper left corner or click on the X upper right corner for Windows).
7. Chose the Seating Charts window. (Click once on the Close box for Macintosh or double-click the Control menu
box in the upper left corner or click on the X upper right corner for Windows). The system saves the new seating
To remove a seating chart:
1. From the Class menu, select the Seating Charts function
2. Select the chart title for the chart that you want to remove. (You cannot remove a chart if it is the only one in the
3. Click Remove. The system displays a message asking you to confirm deletion of the chart.
4. Click OK to delete the chart permanently from the list of available seating charts for that class.
To change a seating chart name:
1. From the Class menu, select the Seating Charts option.
2. Select a chart from the list available. The title displays in the Chart Name field.
3. In the Chart Name field, type a new chart name.
4. Click Change. The new name replaces the old name on the list of available charts accessed from both the Seating
Charts and Use Seating Charts functions.
To duplicate a seating chart:
1. From the Class menu, select the Seating Charts option.
2. Select the chart you want to copy from the available list. The class displays in the selected chart.
3. Click Duplicate. The system copies the selected chart and duplicates its name followed by a unique number in the
Chart Name field.
4. Rename the new chart by typing a different name in the Chart Name field. Click Change.
5. Rearrange the new chart by moving students or by working from the Student List (click Student List to display
this list).
Move students on the chart by clicking student names in the Students Out of Chart section then dragging and
dropping them onto available seats.
Move students out of the chart by clicking their names in the Students In Chart section then dragging and
dropping them into the Students Out of Chart section.
To move students into a seating chart;
You have two options:
1. Click student names in the Students Out of Chart section then drag and drop them into the Students in Chart
section where names display in alphabetical order and photos display in the next available seats.
2. Click student names in the Students Out of Chart section then drag and drop them onto available seats where their
photos display.
To move students out of a seating chart:
Click student names in the Students in Chart section of the Student List than drag and drop the names into the
Students Out of Chart section of the Student List. The system removes student photos from the seating chart.
Show Students Entering Function
SASIxp Classroom automatically displays the names of new students entering a class when you first open the class.
You can either acknowledge new students at that point or you can acknowledge them later using the Show Students
Entering function on the Class menu.
This function displays the same window that displays when you open a class with new students. New students are
listed in this window until you click their names to acknowledge them.
Whether you acknowledge added students right away or later, you must do so before you take attendance for the
period or the day.
To acknowledge an add right away:
1. Open a class. The system displays a window with all adds (new students) for that class if any exist.
2. Click the name of an added student. The system marks the student with a dot and adds the student to the Students
Out of Chart section of the Student List. You can add this student to the seating chart now or later.
Click the name of an added student then drag and drop that student onto an available seat in the seating chart. The
system marks the student name with a dot and adds the student to the Students In Chart section of the Student List.
3. Close the window. If the Student List displays, close this in the same way.
To acknowledge an add later:
1. Open a class. The system displays a window with all adds (new students) for that class if any exist.
2. Close the window that displays the new students.
3. Later go to the Class menu and select the Show Students Entering option to redisplay the window of new students.
4. Click the name of an added student. The system marks tha student with a dot and adds the student to the Students
Out of Chart section of the Student List. You can add this student to the seating chart now or later.
Click the name of an added student then drag and drop that student onto an available seat in the seating chart. The
system marks the student name with a dot and adds the student to the Students In Chart section of the Student List.
5. Close the window . If the Student List displays, close this in the same way.
Show Students Leaving Function
SASIxp Classroom automatically displays the names of students leaving a class when you first open the class. (In
addition, the system tags the students photos as DROPPED).
You can either acknowledge dropped students immediately or you can acknowledge them later using the Show
Students Leaving function on the Class menu.
This function displays the same window that displays when you open a class with drops. Dropped students are listed in
this window until you click their names to acknowledge that they are leaving the class.
Acknowledging drops later enables you to continue working with that student until you finish gathering notes and data
about that student’s time in your class. However, you cannot take attendance for dripped students.
To acknowledge a drop right away:
1. Open a class. The system displays a window with all dropped students for that class if any exist.
2. Click the names of all dropped students. The system marks the students with a dot.
3. Close the window. The system removes the selected students from the Student List and from the seating chart.
To acknowledge a drop later:
1. Open a class. The system displays a window with all dropped students for that class if any exist.
2. Close the window that displays the dropped students.
3. Later go to the Class menu and select the Show Students Leaving option to redisplay the window of dropped
4. Click the names of all dropped students. The system marks the students with a dot.
5. Close the window. The system removes the selected students from the Student List and from the seating chart.
Take Attendance Function
The Take Attendance function on the Class menu enables you to record student attendance for the current day or class
period. You can select from a maximum of 12 attendance reasons defined by your school. Each time you click a
particular student photo, a different attendance reason displays. The available reasons and the order in which they
display as you click student photos are defined in the Attendance Preferences atom. The default system attendance
reasons are Present, Absent, and Tardy.
As you take attendance, totals change in the Class information window. When you complete taking attendance, the
system immediately updates records in SASIxp Daily or Period Attendance files.
When to Use the Take Attendance Function
You can use the Take Attendance function as many times as necessary throughout the day to modify
attendance status or correct errors. For example, you might change a student’s status from Absent to Tardy or from
Absent to Present with a legitimate office pass.
If you need to modify attendance information for a previous day or period, you must work from either the
Student or Period Attendance matrices or the Class Attendance matrix. The setup in the Attendance Preferences atom
determines how many days or periods you can go back to modify attendance information.
Update rights are the same for all SASIxp Classroom users. If an administrator wants to update data beyond the time
limit set for SASIxp Classroom, then the administrator needs to do this from SASIxp Security.
Before you take attendance
Acknowledge any students entering or leaving. Adds and drops display automatically when you open a
Make sure all students in the class are displayed so that you can take attendance accurately. You can
check this by displaying the Student List from the Class menu. If any students are listed in the Out of
Chart part of the list, drag their names into the seating chart.
Ensure that the seating chart is the active window. If another window is active, the Take Attendance
function is not active.
To take attendance:
1. From the Class menu, select the Take Attendance function. The system displays the current date (from the network
file server) and this message displays in place of the menu bar at the top of the window:
Taking Attendance (click here to stop)
2. Click a student’s photo to begin cycling through the list of attendance reason codes defined by your school.
Continue clicking the photo until the appropriate attendance reason code displays.
If the school office has already entered a verified absence for the student, then an absence code displays and you
are not able to change it.
If a student left the class, DROPPED displays and you are not able to assign attendance status to the student.
3. Click another student photo to assign an attendance reason to the student in the same way.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you complete taking attendance.
5. Click the Taking Attendance message at the top of the window. The menu bar returns with the Class Information
window and the system immediately updates the SASIxp attendance title.
Making the Grade
You've probably already established a grading system for your tests and assignments. And you've
probably already discovered how important those grades are to students, parents and administrators.
Check with your mentor or association rep to see if there is any standardized school policy on grading
and how well your grading system fits into that policy. If you're looking to make some changes in how
you assign grades, the following tips can be helpful.
• Grade books
Even if you have a computerized grading system, your district may still require back-up records kept in
a grade book. If it's possible, have two grade books-one for attendance and one for recording grades.
• Calculator/computer program
It may sound pretty basic, but a calculator can take the guesswork out of calculating grades. Better yet, if
your school district uses a computer program for grading, the whole job of grading becomes much more
objective, dependable and easier.
• Percentage system
Consider converting all grades and numbers to a system of 100. It will make for easier figuring.
• Numbers
Consider converting letter grades to numbers. Parents have an easier time understanding a percentage or
number total rather than a letter grade.
• Grading formula
Determine ahead of time the weight you will give to tests, homework, quizzes, projects, etc. Explain the
system to your students and to parents so everyone knows what to expect.
Evaluating Students
Student evaluation is an ongoing cooperative process among teachers, students, and parents. It begins
when the child walks into class the first day and the teacher begins observing daily skills and behaviors.
There are many purposes for evaluation, including:
1. Gathering information on student progress to report to parents.
2. Gathering information on student progress to better meet future instructional needs.
3. To make students aware of their strengths and needs.
Evaluation can be done formally, including standardized tests, teacher-made tests, book tests,
quizzes, daily work and homework. It can also be done informally by observation.
Tips for evaluation
• You will need to have a procedure for evaluating and grading in place at the beginning of the
year because:
A. It will help you determine the evaluation methods you will use.
B. You will need to explain this carefully to students and parents.
Talk with other teachers or administrators on grade level or subject area to learn about
appropriate evaluation techniques and school polices.
It is an important technique as a professional to develop good observation skills, focusing in on
the whole child (social, emotional, physical and academic).
Keep an anecdotal record of specific student behaviors. Example: “Johnny stared out the window
for 20minutes today during instruction.”
Keep a folder for each student to file samples of daily work, all correspondence to and from
home, copies of student self-evaluation and student anecdotal records.
Refer to student cumulative record (CA 60’s) to gather information such as: age, family unit,
previous teacher’s comments, health and referrals for special services.
Talk with other professionals who come in contact with the student. Be careful not to be unduly
influenced by comments.
Try to give tests mid-week because students tend to perform better. On secondary level, check to
see if a test day has been set.
Determine a specific objective for each assignment and check the assignment for that objective.
Keep students and parents apprised of school progress with a progress report at the mid-point of
a marking period.
Reporting of Evaluations
There are many ways to inform students and their parents of the child’s progress in school. * it is
important to have this kind of communication with the students and parents long before the first report
card goes home.
Methods for reporting
1. Notes sent home
2. Checked and returned work
3. Sending home results from standardized tests
4. Telephone calls home-reporting outstanding performances as well as concerns
5. Progress reports
6. Teacher-student conferences
7. Parent-teacher conferences
8. Student-parent-teacher conferences
9. Report cards
What is Tenure and how do you get it?
Teacher tenure is an employment security devise by which the teacher attains permanent status
and protection against dismissal except for just cause.
Here is some information about the Michigan Tenure Law that you may find helpful:
You must successfully complete a probationary period of FOUR full years.
Teachers who have earned tenure in a Michigan school district may be required to serve up to
TWO years probation if they go to work in another Michigan school district.
For more information on this topic, contact your mentor/administrator.
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Important Information Regarding Your Union
As members of a professional union, local affiliates of MEA-NEA are responsible for negotiating and
maintaining the contracts that determine the wages, hours and working (professional) conditions for the
teachers they represent.
Local affiliates in public schools bargain contracts under the authority of Michigan’s Public
Employment Relations Act. This act, supported by MEA and passed by the Michigan legislature in
1965, gives public employees the right to organize for bargaining purposes and requires their employers
to bargain with them.
A requirement of locally negotiated contracts is that teachers must join the unified organization of the
NEA-MEA local association, or pay an agency shop fee. That fee covers all the expenses incurred in
representing them, including the costs of running viable local, state and national organizations. Contracts
must be ratified by members of a local association.
Through local bargaining, members often gain the benefit of health, vision, and dental coverage through
MESSA. MESSA is the MEA-affiliated service organization that makes health coverage programs
available to be bargained into local contracts. MESSA programs are designed to be superior, as well as
Another benefit available for bargaining is prepaid legal services, offered by MEALS (MEA Legal
Services), and MEA-affiliate.
Members also have access to MEA Financial Services, which offers insurance products. MEA Financial
Services has a substantial number of investment products, ranging from tax deferred annuities to
retirement programs. It has a no-fee credit card program and meets travel planning needs through a fullservice travel agency. MEA Financial Services can be reached toll free at 800-292-1950.
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Making Health Care Choices
Yet another personal choice you must make at the beginning of your teaching career is the type of health
care that will benefit you and your family the greatest. Most districts provide you with a contact person
and information that discusses the benefits of each health care plan offered in your district. Before you
choose a plan make sure you read through all options carefully. It is also important to think of you
present family situation when evaluating different health care options. For example, ask yourself some
of the questions below to help you make your decision:
Are you married? If so what is your spouse’s insurance like?
Do you have a lot of prescriptions?
What will your deductible be?
Do you need dental and eye insurance?
What is the yearly maximum for dental and eye?
Are “Well Baby” visits covered?
All information on the health care option you choose should be available through your districts human
resources department. Be sure to ask your mentor or administrator for a contact name and phone number
so that you can discuss your health care options in the beginning of the year.
Planning for Your Absence From School
Have a folder or binder with
o Lesson Plans for the day
o Class list of every hour/class
o Seating charts for each hour/class
o Class rules and procedures you want the substitute to enforce
o List of students with special needs or health concerns
o Short list of students from each period who are trustworthy
sources of information
o Attendance sheets
o List of administrative contacts
o A map of the school
o There are suggestions/tips for substitutes following this section
Emergency Lesson Plans
o Try to get a collection of brain teasers, articles with questions, worksheets, or activities your
students can do without your direction
o Make enough of copies of two or three of these above things for every student
o Type emergency plans telling the substitute what the students are to do with the copies you
left them
o Have a place in your room where you leave the emergency plans
o Notify a neighbor teacher of where you have left the emergency plans
Contact your local support staff who is in charge of substitute assignments
o Complete any substitute paperwork required from your school
The day you are absent
o Make sure to call the appropriate staff member before the required time of day
o Phone number: __________________________________ Call before: ___________
o Make sure to check if you have to call back upon your return
Professional Development/Field Trip Days
o Call the appropriate staff member as far in advance as you can
o Check on what the procedures are for you individual school
How to Handle Behavior Problems When You Return
Make sure that your students know that you expect good behavior from
them while you are absent. However, if your students have misbehaved while you
were out, don’t rush to punish. First, have students write out their version of the
events of the class. You can even have them do this anonymously. Read these and
think about what you are going to do before you punish an entire class based on
what a substitute teacher has told you. If you have to deal with misbehavior
problems after you have gathered the facts from the sub and from your students,
then do so promptly.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Tips for Substitutes
Dear Substitute,
The information in this folder has been prepared to provide you with a good deal of general information
about my class. Specific daily lesson plans will be furnished in addition to this. I hope the material is
useful and that you have a good day with my group.
When you finish the day, please complete the enclosed evaluation sheet and return to the office with this
Home Phone Number___________________________
Inside you will find:
Schedules (classroom and building)
Emergency procedures
Classroom rules
Building and playground rules
Attendance forms
Class list
Time schedule
Seating chart (if name tags not used)
Time Schedule
Doors open at________________________________
School begins at______________________________
Recess is scheduled for_________________________
Lunch time is_________________________________
Noon recess is________________________________
Dismissal time is______________________________
Substitute Teacher Information
Name___________________________________________________ Grade_______________
Daily Schedule
Recess Time
Daily Duties
Where to locate
Who can help
Lesson plans
Other teachers
A-V equipment
Clerical personnel/nurse
Helpful students
Substitute Teacher Information
Name___________________________________________________ Grade_______________
Extra time
Rainy/snowy days
Fire/storm drills
Cost of a teacher’s lunch ___________
Children who go to special classes
Class List
Name______________________________________ Notes_____________________________
Grade______________________________________ _________________________________
Substitute Plans
Teacher______________________________________ Date____________________________
From Your Substitute
Name_______________________________________ Date____________________________
The day went…
About the lesson plan(s)…
Students who were helpful…
Students who were absent or tardy…
Any problems…
My signal for getting students’ attention is:
All students should STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN.
Dependable students
Possible disciplinary concerns
Students are expected to follow building rules as well as reasonable requests from adults. Specific room
rules are:
Consequences for disruptive behavior
Health concerns
Extra duties
Check daily bulletin for any recess, bus, or hall duty.
Out of classroom activities
Speed reading, music, patrol, A.V., library, staff, kitchen, etc.
Student classroom responsibilities
End of day room pick-up, chairs, etc.
Free drill procedures
Tornado drill procedures
Daily Routine
Correspondence from home_______________________________________________________
Drinking fountain_______________________________________________________________
Pencil sharpener________________________________________________________________
Talk among students____________________________________________________________
Passing out books/supplies_______________________________________________________
Out-of-seat policies_____________________________________________________________
What to do when finished with work_______________________________________________
Where to turn in completed work___________________________________________________
Failure to bring materials (pencil, paper, textbook)_____________________________________
Dismissal procedures are_________________________________________________________
Planning for a Classroom Field Trip
Here are some guidelines you want to follow when you are planning a field trip:
• Make sure your students
o know the purpose for the field trip
o have questions or an agenda for what tasks are to be accomplished while on the trip
o are prepared to find the answers to your questions pertaining to the trip
• Evaluate your field trip destination by going over these questions:
1. How does this field trip tie into your curriculum goals?
2. When is the site open?
3. How far is it from school? How are you going to get there?
4. Does the site offer any special events you can take advantage of?
5. How much time do you need for this trip?
6. Do you need to bring any special supplies or equipment?
7. How much will this trip cost each student and who is paying for it?
8. How many adults will you need as chaperones?
• Be sure to check on what the procedures are in your school for field trip policies. If the policy is
vague, check with your mentor and other teachers to see how to handle a field trip. Listen to their
horror stories about the worst field trip they ever took and learn from their mistakes.
• Deal with logistical and discipline-related problems with advance planning.
1. Get administrative approval before announcing the trip to your students
2. Avoid scheduling field trips on Mondays. Weekends give students two days to forget to bring
their spending money or lunches.
3. Recruit, screen and instruct parent chaperones. Send a note home before the trip so parents know
what your rules are and what their roles are. Make sure you have enough chaperones to supervise
the students.
4. Try to divide students into task groups. Each group should have a specific responsibility such as
keeping records or getting supplies for the trip.
5. Try to find a spot for the field trip that is interesting. If you're tired of going to the sewage plant
each year, so are the students.
6. Take everyone, including the troublemakers. Leaving someone behind could lead to even more
discipline problems.
7. Make sure you have permission slips for each student. This protects the students and you. Know
the district policy about liability.
8. Use name tags with the student's name, the school name, bus number, etc, especially at the
elementary level.
• Make sure to fill out the correct paperwork requesting transportation. Also check for availability for
the bus or buses needed. You don’t want the students thinking you are going on a field trip and then
find out later there is not a bus available.
• Distribute a final list of student names who will be attending the field trip to the appropriate staff
• Don’t make assumptions about anything-be prepared for everything!
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Preparing for a Guest Speaker
Having guest speakers in your classroom can be as valuable as a field trip. There are dozens of people in
the community who have specialized interests or knowledge that can interest your students.
Like a field trip, identifying someone as a potential guest speaker takes prior planning.
Evaluate your choice of a guest speaker based on these questions:
1. Who is the person?
2. How did you hear about this person?
3. What does this person have to offer your students?
4. Does this person provide special materials, media or activities for your students?
5. Is this person available? Is there a charge?
6. What do you need to provide for their presentation?
Once you’ve chosen a guest speaker you may have to help choose relevant material that your
students will understand and like.
Meet and talk with the guest beforehand. You don’t want to bring someone into your classroom that
sees this as an opportunity to push for his/her own agenda.
Before you issue the invitation or tell your students about this guest, make sure you have checked
with district and school policy. Also talk with your mentor and colleagues.
Work with your students beforehand so that they feel they really need to hear this guest speaker.
Make sure the guest’s information is in keeping with the curriculum.
Have your students put together a list of questions or topics for the guest speaker. Make sure to share
that list ahead of time with your guest.
Prepare name tags or some other kind of identification for your students so your guest can
personalize his/her presentation and call on students by name. Also provide some sort of
introduction and identification for the speaker.
Lay the ground rules for what is acceptable behavior. Remind your students that they are the hosts
and the speaker is a guest.
Invite the press to cover the event for a story and pictures. You might want to videotape the
Be sure to send a thank-you note to the speaker.
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Creating Positive Relationships With Parents
As an educator you must be the driving force in creating, maintaining, and nurturing relationships not
only between yourself and your students, but more importantly with your student’s parents. Establishing
effective communication with parents is a very important part of creating an educational network for the
success of your students.
Throughout your teaching career you will find that working with parents can be a very rewarding
experience in that most parents are very willing to aide in the educational success of their child. By
keeping your students parents informed of the changes and activities that are occurring in your
classroom you signal to your student’s parents that you are a concerned teacher who values parental
involvement in your classroom.
Introduction Letter
Whether you teach elementary or secondary school you should send a letter home to parents on the first
day of school introducing yourself, listing recommended classroom supplies, and providing parents with
your classroom contact information (avoid giving out your home or cell phone number), and the best
time to get in touch with you. Parents feel more comfortable when they are informed of the
environment their child is learning in. Secondary teachers can send these letters home at Back-ToSchool night or with your students on the first day of school. You may want to require parent and
student signatures to ensure your letter has been read and that your policies and procedures are
understood by both the student and the family.
Below are some suggestions of information you might want to include in your introduction letter to your
student’s parents. Be sure that as you read through the suggestions you think about how you will adapt
your policies and procedures to make your classroom run effectively.
Introduction paragraph discussing yourself and your history in education
Course description and topics covered (Secondary)
Student supplies needed for the class
Classroom rules for behavior
Classroom consequences for misbehavior
Classroom policies regarding homework, absent work, and late work
Grading scale indicating percentages needed for each grade
Classroom policies on passes out of the classroom
Classroom policies on tardies and absences
Signed contract portion for students and parents to sign and give parent phone number and/or email addresses
Sample Letter Introducing Yourself
Dear Parents and Guardians,
With this letter I would like to introduce myself as your child's English teacher this year. I am originally
from Southwest Virginia and I graduated from Virginia Tech.
On September 23, I would like to welcome you to the PTSA Back-to-School night. I am looking
forward to meeting you and showing you our texts and classroom. Please attend if you have the
opportunity to do so.
This year will be an exciting one for my students and me. We will study literature, usage, grammar,
study skills, vocabulary, and writing. I have planned many activities that I hope will encourage my
students to succeed.
Many parents ask about homework assignments. While there may be times when long-term assignments
will take lots of time, there is a routine that I try to follow as closely as possible to insure that students
benefit from their homework assignments. You can expect to see your students doing homework for
this class every night from Monday through Thursday. I try to avoid assigning homework on weekends.
The assignments are listed on the syllabus that students are required to keep in their notebooks.
If you have any questions or if any problems arise, please contact me at school. The number is 5552400. I will be glad to speak with you if you just give me a call or send in a note.
I look forward to working with your child this year. I also look forward to meeting you and learning how
I might be of assistance to you and your child.
Ms. Thompson
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I’d like to introduce myself as your child’s Social Studies teacher this year. I am originally from
California and graduated from San Jose State University and have been teaching for ten years. This is
my fifth year with Warren Woods Middle School.
On August 25 I would like to invite you to our Back-To-School night from 6:30 – 8:30. I look
forward to meeting you and giving you a brief overview of our year, textbooks, and classroom. Please
attend if you have the opportunity to do so.
This year will be an exciting one for my students and me. We will be incorporating literature
circles into the curriculum this year which will allow students to view some of the cultures we will be
studying from a young person’s perspective. We have at least one field trip planned and one crosscurricular activity.
Many parents ask about homework and the frequency of it. Homework is assigned daily and
very rarely on Fridays. You can expect to see your child doing homework from my class every night
unless he/she has finished it in class or Advisory. I always encourage parents to ask students to show
them their homework and explain what it is they are doing and how it relates to the day’s lesson. Longterm assignments are done mostly in the classroom but will require some time at home and possibly the
library. All homework assignments are posted on my homework hotline at the beginning of the week
and in the classroom daily.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at school. I will be glad to talk with you
regarding concerns or questions.
I look forward to working with you and your child this year. I hope to see you at Back-ToSchool night Wednesday, August 25 at 6:30.
Teacher’s Name
Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s),
My name is ____________________and I will be your student's Geometry teacher for the semester. I
am very excited to have the opportunity to teach and to get acquainted with your student. Please take
the time to read the attached syllabus to make sure you and your adolescent understands what is
expected from them throughout this course. The first homework assignment is for each student to
complete and have you sign the student information sheet.
Last year _district____________ math department started an after school-tutoring program. We are
going to continue the math-tutoring program this year! There will be a math teacher available for
students to receive help in any math class they are taking. Dates, location and times will be given to
each student about a week after school begins.
I also wanted you to be aware that I post grades bi-weekly in my room by student numbers so your child
will always know their grade. If at anytime you want a progress report sent home please contact me by
phone or email.
For any student to be successful in school there needs to be collaboration between you, the student and
the teacher. I hope throughout the semester we will be able to maintain a positive line of
communication that will help your child succeed in my class.
If at anytime you have a question, please feel free to contact me. The best time to reach me by phone is
before or after school. I also have a prep period at 10:45 am -11 :45am. The number to call is
_______________. You may also reach me by email at ____________________.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Teacher Name
Math Teacher
Student Information
Name of student:_____________________________________________________________________
Name of Parent/Guardian:______________________________________________________________
Best time to contact a parent/guardian:____________________________________________________
The last math class taken:_______________________________________________________________
The last math teacher's name:____________________________________________________________
Grade received in that class:_____________________________________________________________
What grade do you expected to receive this semester:________________________________________
What things are you going to do to make sure you receive the grade you want?
What interests you? Sports, reading, etc.
All of you have had a math class before, from your experiences I would like to know the following:
When answering the questions below please focus on the methods or produces not the teacher or the
quantity of homework.
What did you liked from your last math class that you would like to see happen this semester?
What did you not like and why?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I have read the geometry syllabus from cover to cover. I understand what is expected of me on a daily
basis and know there will be consequences for inappropriate behavior. I understand that the outcome of
my grade is my responsibility to make sure I am doing the homework, using my time wisely and
participating during class. I will not hesitate to ask questions if I do not understand the material.
Student's Signature________________________________________________ Date________________
Parent's Signature _________________________________________________Date________________
School Name
School Address
School Phone Number
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Welcome to the 20__-20__ school year! We look forward to a successful year with you and your child.
This letter is to inform you of recommended supplies for each classroom, a list of teachers’ names, email
addresses, and phone numbers, and our Team 5 guidelines regarding tardies, homework, and absent
expectations and procedures. Please feel free to contact any of us regarding questions or concerns.
Teacher Name
• Several #2 pencils
• Blue, black, and red ball point pens
• Yellow, red, and green highlighters
• 8 spiral notebooks (math, social studies, science)
• 1 (2”) 3-ring binder (science)
• colored pencils
• pencil holder for inside binder
• loose leaf paper
Students are assigned homework on a daily basis and are expected to complete it on time. We follow
homework guidelines outlined in the agenda which states that students have two days to complete
assignments for each (1) day they are absent, anything received after that will be considered a zero.
Students have one day to turn in late assignments for half credit. Anything received after that will be
considered a zero.
It is each student’s responsibility to find out what assignments are missed if they are absent. Each
teacher has an area in the classroom where absent work will be placed for that week. Students have two
days for each (1) day they are absent to complete and return assignments in. Homework is not
considered complete until it is turned in to the teacher. If your child is absent during a test or quiz, it is
his/her responsibility to make time to make it up. Students have one week to do this.
Students are expected to be in class on time each day prepared for the day’s activities. Team 5 has
established a tardy policy that we feel is most effective. If a student is tardy two times in a five week
period, they will fill out an RTP (Responsible Thinking Process) plan and negotiate with that teacher. If
a student is tardy three times in a five week period, they are required to call home and return to RTC.
Any tardies following the third within a five week period will be handled by administration. If a student
comes to class unprepared and needs to return to their locker, they will be marked as tardy.
Parent Signature
Student Signature
Communicating Student Progress
Taken from The First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit by Julia G. Thompson and
Manitoba Department of Education website
Parents appreciate receiving updates on their child’s progress throughout the year. Many parents believe
that their student’s grade is assigned merely on the basis of tests and quizzes. However, not all student
progress is gathered through final assessments. It is important for you to convey to your student’s
parents how their child’s grades are compiled. For instance, do you assign a weight to tests and quizzes
that is more than the value of say homework or daily assignments? Is their child’s participation in your
classroom affecting their grade too? As a parent, understanding the process their child is evaluated on
will help to avoid future conflicts.
As an educator it is important for you to establish a successful line of communication with parents so
that the parents of your students feel comfortable making the first contact with you. While it is
imperative that you contact parents immediately when a child’s progress begins to change, it is also
helpful if parents feel as though they can speak to you regarding their child’s progress even if they are in
academic jeopardy. The effects of establishing a positive relationship with parents can be seen in the
level of comfort parent’s exhibit in taking the first step in contacting you.
Throughout the year try to implement various communication strategies such as the suggestions listed
Telephone discussions
Teacher initiated letters
Professional e-mail letters
Have students take home progress reports to be signed as an assignment grade
Make Telephone Calls With Confidence:
When communicating on the telephone with parents, it is important for you to always keep your
relationship professional. Phoning parents when there is a problem is one of the most unpleasant tasks
that teachers face. Such a conversation can be a daunting task for a first year teacher as no one likes to
be the bearer of bad news. You can eliminate some of your anxiety about these types of parent
conversations by following the suggestions listed below:
Use the contact information that you have collected from your students early in the term
to save time searching database records in the office.
Identify yourself and make sure you are talking to a parent or legal guardian.
Plan what you want to say and what information the parent needs to know in order to
work together towards to solve the problem.
Make your call from a phone with some privacy so you won’t be interrupted.
Do not hesitate to call a parent at work, but begin the conversation by asking, “Do you
have a few minutes right now?”
Begin with a positive statement about the student and express that you would like to
enlist their help in solving a problem, “I had a problem with Jim today, and wondered if
you could help me?”
Be very specific about the problem; don’t just say “Jim is acting odd today.” Instead try,
“Jim laughed out loud six times at inappropriate moments today, and fell asleep right
before lunch.”
Ask parent for input and help and propose ways to encourage and support student
progress and achievement.
Offer possible solutions to the problem stating what you have already done and list the
result of your actions.
Keep in mind that the purpose of the phone call is not for you to vent your frustrations on
the parent, but rather, to solve a problem by working together.
Never lose sight of the fact that you and the parent are working together to solve the
problem. A team work approach to solving the problem is the best approach to solving
the problem.
Find a diplomatic way to end the phone call expressing your appreciation for taking time
to talk and work together.
If the conversation becomes hostile, remain calm, restate your reason for the
conversation, diffuse the situation and bring the phone call to a diplomatic close, and
inform your administration.
Date and document your phone call.
If emailing, leave a paper trail and have copies of all contact throughout the year on file.
Communicating with Parents: Tips and Suggestions
From Veteran Teachers
Below are some tips and suggestions for communicating your student's progress as well as the events
that are taking place in your classroom. It is always a good idea to look through the suggestions of
others who have had success with the given suggestion and then adopt it to fit best in your classroom.
It's important for you to think about how a tip or suggestion will fit into your classroom routines and
procedures; many times you will need to adapt the suggestion so that you will be able to smoothly
implement it into your classroom.
Send a Syllabus to Parents
Send a course syllabus to the parents of your students, either before school begins or shortly
thereafter. Include evaluation procedures, a tentative semester outline, homework policies,
make-up policies, and how you can be reached, either at school or home. Depending on the
socio-economic background of your students, you may need to make several copies of a video of
you reading your syllabus available to students.
Send a Content/Homework Calendar to Parents
Prepare and send to parents a calendar listing daily content and homework assignments, prior to
beginning a new unit. Parents are empowered to encourage completion of assignments when
they know exactly what has been assigned; the homework calendar removes all doubt. Teachers,
however, cannot alter the assignments without notifying parents or this technique becomes
Create a Class Web Site to Communicate with Parents
Create a website about your class. List long- and short-term assignments, daily objectives,
lesson plans, homework assignments, and any information that you think parents may want to
know about school and class activities. For families with access to a computer, this is a valuable
means of communication, especially if parents can contact you via a link on the website.
Make Face-to-Face Contact With Parents Often
Attend school and community functions. Save formal communication about a student's progress
until you have the student's artifacts in hand to support your explanations. Use the informal
contact created by school and community functions to open the door to more formal
Make a Newsletter to Send Home to Parents
A newsletter is an excellent way to highlight the mathematics students are studying. A
newsletter might include student work, stories about student insights or conjectures, a summary
of a particularly rich class discussion, or other evidence of achievement. If your district already
has a community newsletter, then it may be possible to include news from the mathematics
classroom in the newsletter.
Parent Call-In
An outgrowth of personalized telephone communication at some schools is the parent call-in.
Teachers or administrators set up a regular call-in hour on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. During
this time, parents can call to discuss their questions or concerns. These calling hours are
announced in school newsletters, flyers sent home, and at school meetings.
Effective Communication
Once you have opened the doors of communication with parents, you are on the road to developing a
trusting relationship. There are several ongoing means of communication such as phone calls,
newsletters*, progress reports, notes, happy-o-grams, volunteering and conferences (informal and
formal). Here are some general tips for fostering effective communication.
How to communicate
1. Be professional in dealing with parents (avoid rumors and gossip).
2. Be assertive, yet flexible enough to take appropriate suggestions from others.
3. Be direct with parents; be clear in what you say. Think through, in advance, what you are going to
4. Be sure to listen to parents; show respect.
5. Be friendly.
6. Be positive with parents, even when discussing problems with their child. One way is to involve
parents in the decision making process.
7. Be sure to use plain English; don’t use jargon a parent might not understand.
8. Be sure to have someone proofread any notes and/or newsletters going home.
Frequency of communication
Communicate as often as needed or desired.
1. Communicate as often as needed or desired.
2. For documentation, keep a record/log of notes, calls and other communication to and from parents.
3. If you have any doubt about the communication you are going to send to a parent, discuss it first wit
a colleague or your principal
4. Inform the principal of any problems. This way the principal can be in a position to back you case
he/she receives an unexpected communication form a parent.
Home-School Communications
Communication is the foundation for all other parent involvement activities. Yet, most parents typically
hear from the school only when their child is in trouble. Positive examples of efforts to improve
communication are listed below:
Personal Contact:
Hold a "Parent Get Acquainted Coffee and Continental Breakfast" in the fall.
Invite new children and their parents to a "Get Acquainted Hour" the week before school starts.
Invite new teachers and new parents to a tour of the district. Cover points of interest, local
churches, facilities available in the area, places that could be used for field trips, boundaries of
attendance area.
Develop a slide presentation orienting new parents and students to the school.
Establish regular visitation days for observation of classes and a chance for parents to offer
constructive suggestions.
Invite parents to come with pupils to "See What I Do in School" one day during the year.
Invite parents to visit classrooms whenever they wish to do so and send special invitations for
culmination of a unit, puppet play, songfest, etc.
Arrange meetings with parents whenever an innovation in curriculum and instruction is to be
Invite parents of a particular grade level, such as sixth grade, to informal "buzz" sessions in small
groups and school-related topics of concern to parents and teachers, such as discipline,
homework, or communicating with that age child.
Have open houses for one grade level at a time. Small groups of parents lend better to
Vary the times for open houses. Hold some in the afternoon, some at night.
Set up parent conference days during the school year for parents to come to school to discuss
progress with their child's teacher.
Schedule a parent-teacher conference in a student's home. (It'll help you see what it's like for
some parents to come to school.)
Hold monthly informal "rap sessions." Plan to drink lots of coffee, share lots of information, and
do lots of listening to concerns while building goodwill and feelings of unity.
Organize special outreach efforts to hard-to-reach parents through telephone calls, home visits,
and special mailed invitations to parents in home languages to have lunch at school with
Invite fathers to a breakfast with teachers where discussion will take place and dads may then
visit classes as their day permits.
Have teachers select a "Student of the Month. "The student's parents are invited to lunch with the
principal and parents of other "Students of the Month." Invite community leaders to the lunch
Have children prepare a luncheon for parents, teachers, and themselves. Send handwritten
Invite several parents to sample the school lunch once a month. Seat them with the principal, a
teacher, and several randomly selected students.
Invite each parent to have lunch with his/her child at school during American Education Week.
Let the students in your room cook an evening meal or a luncheon for their parents. While they
are eating, let the children tell what they're learning.
Hold a bean and hot dog supper and open house coordinated with a talent show. Allow children
to show their parents around the school building.
Hold a "Grandparent's Day" to honor grandparents with special recognition given to those who
had made a contribution to the school.
Hold a "Senior Citizen Day," inviting grandparents and other older friends of the school. Provide
Set up a plan for principals to make "house calls."
Make it possible for teachers to make home visits at least occasionally.
Try neighborhood coffees in parents’ homes. Invite people in area to meet informally with the
principal and one or two teachers and trained volunteers.
Conduct home visits involving teachers and trained volunteers.
Be sure that teachers are represented and recognized at PTA or other parent group meetings.
Encourage teachers to become more visible in the community.
Seek out the parents who never participate. Sometimes these parents feel inadequate or timid
and simply need to be encouraged and needed.
Use the “grapevine” network; nothing is more powerful and gets the word out faster.
Provide translators and translations.
Establish a Home-school Cooperation Committee. Exchange reports with other schools.
Make an effort to improve the telephone answering techniques of everyone in the school office.
Try teacher phone calls to parents to invite them to back-to-school nights.
Occasionally, ask the child to have parents call the teacher rather than the teacher contact the
Set up a listeners' bureau in your community. Suggest members advertise their telephone
numbers. Let them know that you really want to know what is being said, and be sure to let them
know when you have followed up on concerns they have shared with you.
Advertise one evening a week when parents or students can telephone the principal to ask
questions or discuss problems.
Have teachers make at least one positive phone call per week to a parent to report on a child's
Hold staff workshops on communications skills with a special focus on parents.
Have an information brochure on your school for visitors, for parents to send to grandparents, or
for graduates to have.
Improve the quality and frequency of school newsletters. Try mailing home.
In each month's newsletter, publish the names and phone numbers of a few parents who are
willing to talk to other parents about any kind of interest or concern.
Set up an idea exchange in the school newspaper. Ask parents to send in ideas. Then, in a later
issue of the paper, publish ideas and how they are used.
Writing in the school plan that each teacher will send home weekly class newsletters.
Send home "Happy-Grams"-good news notes about accomplishments and achievements.
Send home weekly notices in a school envelope, inviting two-way communication on the
Send home weekly lesson plans (one page so parents can follow the week's lesson).
Send preprinted postcards to parents.
Provide a weekly student performance contract which student, parent, and teacher sign.
Set goals for each child and send home notes that parents must sign and return.
Send weekly or bi-monthly progress reports to parents.
Reward students for returning signed notices, homework, etc,
Advise parents of the teacher's conference periods or other best times to reach the teacher.
Take note of the fact that more fathers are participating in school activities. Be sure to include
fathers in all school communications.
Have a monthly birthday calendar posted in the hallway with everyone's birthday on it. Be sure
to add new students when they arrive.
Request that when a parent visits school that he/she complete a survey, perhaps while enjoying a
cup of coffee, on their interests and needs.
Obtain parent surveys on key issues and invite parent opinions (e.g., sexuality issues, discipline
policies, home-school communications).
Have students conduct a survey of parents to evaluate the school and collect ideas for
improvement. Distribute the survey results to all parents.
Survey after parent-teacher conferences. Ask how effective your conferences are and what
additional kinds of information parents want about your school classroom. The responses will
help you identify communication needs.
Have parents obtain articles to be sold in "Santa's Secret Shop" to enable children to purchase
gifts for family members.
Urge teacher training institutions to place more importance on home-school cooperation in their
teacher education programs.
@2003 by Kathleen l. Bulloch, MA, CCC
About the Author: Kathleen l. Bulloch was a Speech/language Pathologist for the
Riverside County Office of Education in Riverside, California and an Educational Consultant/Scriptwriter for
a children's television series. Ms. Bulloch passed away on May 29, 2004.
Missing Assignments
Teacher Name and Information
Your child is missing two or more assignments this week in Social Studies. Although it is too late to
make up these assignments, I feel it is important to keep you informed of your child’s progress. Please
return this form signed to me as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact me with questions or
concerns regarding your child’s progress.
Teacher Name
Child’s name_________________________________
Current grade________________________________
Missing Assignments
Due Date
Parent Signature______________________________________________________________
Progress Notification Form
Ms. A -.Biology and Chemistry
________________________________________________, has earned a letter grade of __________at
present time. Due to the fact that my class is important to his/her academic performance, I thought it
necessary to contact you. This grade and progress in my class is due to the following:
_______Excessive tardies/absences from class
_______Not coming to class prepared
_______Excessive talking/socializing during work time during class.
_______Not following written or oral directions
_______Not participating in class
_______Refusing to complete the tasks asked of him/her
_______Threatening the safety of self or others/Inappropriate Behavior
_______Swearing and disrespectful language used
_______Poor test/quiz scores
_______Missing or Incomplete assignments.
The above checked identifies the behavior your child is exhibiting in my class. I find this behavior
inappropriate and detrimental to their goal of academic success.
In order to help your child succeed in my classroom, I have already attempted to remedy the above
mentioned concerns by:
_______Stopping class and asking your child to pay attention/participate in the lesson.
_______Speaking with your child in private about their behavior/grades.
_______Speaking to your child about their missing work and reminding them where extra copies of the
material they are missing are located in the classroom.
_______Printing individual progress reports for your student illustrating their missing assignments/poor
test grades, etc.
Please take the time to speak to your student on how important it is for him/her to participate in class
and turn in all assignments on time for full credit.
Thank you for your time and concern, hopefully this will encourage your student to take ownership of
his/her actions and they can make the desired improvements.
Teacher’s Name
Science Department
E-mail address:
Extension #:
Prep time: 1st hour 7:30-8:25am
Teachers can be reached before and after school and during their prep hour by dialing and ask for the
extension listed above.
September 19, 200__
Dear Parents/Guardian of __________________________________:
This letter is being sent to notify you that I have been unable to reach you by both telephone and
progress reports being sent home with your child.
I would like to discuss your child's progress in my classroom with you so that we can form a stronger
parent-teacher bond for the improved education of your child.
At your earliest convenience, please contact me at, ____________________High School
or by e-mail ________________________ so that we can discuss your child's success in my classroom.
Sincerely Yours,
Teacher’s name
Reporting Positive Student Progress
All too often in education, parents develop a negative perception of teachers and school systems because
the majority of the communication they have been a part of in their child’s academic career has been to
discuss a negative subject. While communicating concern over poor choices a student made in the
classroom is a necessary component of being an effective educator, it is important to remember that
educators have a much larger responsibility at hand.
As a new teacher it is your responsibility and duty to your profession to cultivate a parent’s appreciation
and respect for the educational system of this country. While this sounds like a monumental task, as an
individual teacher you can help to achieve this goal! One of the most effective methods to combat this
problem is to provide students and parents with a positive interaction with the educational system;
namely your classroom.
A simple yet highly effective method to achieving this goal is to communicate positive student choices
and progress seen in your classroom. A parent’s greatest accomplishment in life is the celebrating the
success of their child. Having an adult outside of the family recognize and celebrate their child’s
academic or social success is a very moving occasion for most parents. Whether it be a phone call, a
letter sent home, or recognition in a school newsletter or community organization you will be amazed by
the positive response and appreciation parents will give you.
A sample elementary school positive postal note:
To the Parents or Guardians of: ___________________________
I am writing to let you know how pleased I am with your child’s recent success in my class. You
will be proud to know that: _____________________________________________
I know you are as proud of this effort and achievement as I am.
Thank-you for your continued support in your child’s education.
Teacher Name
Taken from Julie G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher Survival Kit
A sample secondary school positive postal note:
March 2, 200_
Dear Parents/Guardians of __________________________________:
The purpose of this letter is to let you know how impressed I have been with the dedication and
responsibility your child has exhibited in my science classroom. Throughout the last few weeks your
child has been a very respectful, self-motivated, and cooperative student who is a pleasure to have in my
classroom. In addition to their great behavior in the classroom, your child recently received a 93% or
better on a very challenging unit test!
It is my personal belief that students who work hard and contribute to a positive learning environment
should always be recognized and honored by both their parents/guardians, and their educators. Each
semester the criteria to receive a letter such as this one changes slightly to encompass a wide variety of
student achievements. Such students serve as positive role models for the rest of youth community.
In order to congratulate your son or daughter for their hard work and dedication to their academics, the
enclosed coupon entitles them to their choice of a special surprise. Please sign the enclosed coupon and
have your son or daughter bring it to class with them. Students will then have their pick of a variety of
prizes including: extra credit, free assignment passes, candy bars, and other science related surprises.
I hope that you will pass on the congratulations to your child, and continue to encourage them to keep up
the wonderful work !
Sincerely Yours,
Teachers Name
Encouraging Parent Involvement in the Classroom
Taken from the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory website
Encouraging parent involvement in the education of their children is not as complicated as it sounds.
Parents need assurance that their children will receive adequate preparation to lead rewarding adult
lives. Studies show that parent involvement in their child’s learning is positively related to academic
achievement. Incorporating parent collaboration in your classroom does not always mean they are
physically in your classroom; there are many ways in which parents can be involved in the learning
process of their student including some of the following suggestions:
Have a sign up sheet at Back-To-School Night for parents who are interested in helping
in the classroom.
Call parents at least two weeks in advance to remind them when to come in, for how
long, and where to go.
Field trips are a good opportunity for parents to be involved.
Have a career day and have parents visit the classroom and discuss what they do as a
Set up times for parents to read to the classroom
Encourage parents to get involved in their school’s PTA or PTC. This is an excellent
way for parents to get involved
Ask parents to rotate placing book orders (elementary) for you.
Always encourage parents to stay involved by attending school functions such as parentteacher conferences.
Encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring their child’s homework, arranging
study times, and showing overall support in their school work.
please sign up if you’re interested in volunteering in the classroom
Student Self Evaluation and Progress Surveys
Taken from ASSISST Beginning Teacher’s website
While you as the educator have the responsibility of assessing your student’s academic progress,
gaining the perspective of your student’s opinion of their achievements is a valuable source of
information. One particularly beneficial method of gathering this information is to periodically
provide your students with self evaluation surveys.
Such surveys allow students the opportunity and responsibility to evaluate their own progress.
While student self-evaluations provide the student an opportunity to reflect on their level of
commitment to their education, it also provides parents with insight into their child’s effort in
your classroom.
When giving these types of evaluations to your students, it is important for you to ask your
students to be truthful in discussing their commitment to your class. Interestingly enough, most
students are very forthcoming with their actual amount of effort and dedication they put into
your classroom. This information is very beneficial when presenting a student’s poor academic
progress in your classroom to his/her parents/guardians. Often times when a parent can see
evidence of their child’s lack of motivation or commitment to succeeding in your classroom they
are less likely to assign fault to your teaching and accept their child’s responsibilities to their
own education.
In this section of the handbook you will find sample student self-evaluations and survey’s you
might find helpful in your classroom.
Student Self-Evaluation
Once each quarter you will be given a self-evaluation survey to help assess how well you’re
doing in class. This is your opportunity to be responsible and accountable. Please be honest
with your answers.
1. How do I think I’m doing in Social Studies right now?
2. Do I have any missing assignments? If so how many?
3. How well did I do on my last test?
4. What is my current grade in Social Studies?
5. If my grade is below a C, why do I think this is so?
6. What can I do to improve this grade?
7. How is my behavior in class?
8. Does my behavior affect my grades? If so, how?
9. What is my plan to remain or be successful for the remainder of the year?
10. Whose responsibility is it to maintain good grades and a positive attitude in class and school?
Sample Survey To Send Home To Parents
Making connections: What are your questions about the curriculum?
Dear Parents,
I am organizing a Curriculum Orientation section at Back-To-School Night so we can talk about
our goals for the year, the types of things your child will be learning, concerns you might have,
and how you can become involved in supporting that learning. To help me plan for this evening,
I am asking that you take a few minutes to respond to the following questions. I will be sending
home more detailed information as the time gets closer.
Thank you for taking time to help make this evening a success.
Teacher Name
1. What questions do you have about the curriculum?
2. What questions do you have about your student and the curriculum?
3. What do you want to know about homework in this class?
4. What else would be helpful information in supporting your child’s learning?
5. What useful information can you provide me in assisting your child this year?
Parent Contact Log
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
One of the most valuable tools you can provide yourself with in your teaching career is to create
a detailed parent contact log. Such a document ensures that you are keeping track of all parent
communication aside from parent-teacher conferences and it provides proof that you have done
all that you could to keep your students succeed. An up to date contact log ensures that you have
accurate documentation and it enhances your professional reputation and provides quick proof
when your administrator asks about your conversations with parents.
The following are a list of ideas in creating a parent contact log:
Keep a binder of all class lists/hours with columns set up for name, date, class
hour, and reason for contact.
5 x 7 index cards color coded for each hour that students fill out and you keep on
a large metal ring. Documentation is recorded on the back of each card.
Keep copies of all emails on file, this includes emails you have responded to.
Student Disciplinary Record
Student Name__________________________________________________________________
Who I Spoke With
Sample Parent Contact Log
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,© 2002
Date and time of contact___________________________________________________
Person initiating contact____________________________________________________
Reason for contact_________________________________________________________
Type of contact:
_____Phone call
_____Note home
_____Home visit
_____Detention notice
_____Open House
_____Informal meeting
_____Meeting with administrator
_____Meeting with counselor
_____Meeting with all teachers
Topics discussed: _________________________________________________________
Steps teacher will take: _____________________________________________________
Steps parent will take: ______________________________________________________
Additional notes: __________________________________________________________
Persons attending: _________________________________________________________
Documentation Record: Contact Log
Student_________________________________ Parent________________________________
Date and time of contact__________________________________________________________
Person who initiated the contact____________________________________________________
Type of contact:
_______Phone call
_______Note home
_______Home visit
_______Detention notice
_______Open House/Meet the Teacher
_______Informal meeting
_______Meeting with administrator
_______Meeting with counselor
Topics discussed:
Steps parent will take:
Steps teacher will take:
Additional notes:
MOTHER’S NAME___________________________________________________________________________
FATHER’S NAME____________________________________________________________________________
HOME PHONE__________________________________ WORK OR CELL PHONE_____________________
ALLERGIES & MEDICATIONS_________________________________________________________________
MY STRENGTHS ARE_________________________________________________________________________
An area in school that they think they are good at, for example math, gym, art, etc.
*This info can be put on colored 5 x 7 index cards (one color/hour) and kept on a metal ring in your desk or closet or someplace safe
that students do not have access to. Elementary teachers can use one color and keep on metal ring. All phone calls and parent contact
can be logged on the back of the card corresponding to each student. This is easy and readily accessible.
Keeping Administration Informed
Along with keeping a detailed parent contact log, it is important for you to have established an open line
of communication with your administrator so that when problems arise you can share the situation with
them. Remember that it is always better for you to approach an administrator to inform them of a
potential problem or upset parent before they hear about the situation from someone else. Should an
email or phone conversation with a parent become hostile, immediately inform your administrator of the
nature of the phone call and dialogue. Chances are that he/she will receive a phone call or visit from
that parent and knowing the background information of the situation will make it easier for your
administrator to deal with the problem.
In addition to informing your administration regarding problems, it is also important for you to keep
them informed of changes in your teaching strategies. For instance, guest speakers and field trips out of
the classroom should be approved by your principal prior to implementing them in your classroom.
Effectively Handling a Disgruntled Parent
Some time in your teaching career you will cross paths with a disgruntled parent. In order to effectively
handle this difficult situation, follow these helpful guidelines:
Avoid arguing with a parent; they’re already angry.
Maintain eye contact and be a good listener.
Remain calm and restate the topic or concern.
State that you understand their frustration/concern.
Be as positive and professional as possible to help them overcome their negative feelings.
If the conversation becomes hostile, diffuse the conversation.
If the parent chooses to hang up or walk away, allow them.
Immediately inform your administrator.
Keep your tone of voice reassuring and understanding, do not raise your voice to make a
parent understand your side of the story.
If a parent comes to your room during class time, thank them for stopping by and politely and quickly
state that you’re currently teaching a class and they are more than welcome to call and set up a time to
sit down and talk. If an angry parent should come to your room uninvited or without checking into the
office, follow the same protocol as interrupting your class. Immediately inform your principal of the
situation so that the proper actions can be taken.
Creating Positive Relationships with Students
One of the most important relationships you will develop in your teaching career is the rapport you will
develop with your students. In order to be an effective classroom teacher it is important for you to start
building trust and respect with your students from the first moment they enter your classroom. As a
teacher you are in a similar predicament to what a Hollywood star deals with in their daily life: having at
least one hundred eyes watching your every movement. As a teacher, your students will watch and listen
to how you act, speak, and conduct yourself every second that they are in your classroom. It is your
responsibility as a teacher to set a positive example for them to follow of how to properly interact with
Not only are you teaching your students how to respect and have a positive relationship with an adult,
but you are establishing the foundation of your classroom. A teacher who can make a connection with
his/her students in the first few days and nurture that positive relationship throughout the year has a
much lower incident rating of discipline problems in their classroom. In this section you will find
helpful tips and suggestions for fostering a positive classroom climate founded on the basis of
consistency, respect, and recognizing positive student contributions to the classroom.
Creating Positive Relationships With Students
Enforcing Fair and Consistent Classroom Rules
As the backbone of a positive classroom environment, creating and then enforcing clear and
consistent classroom rules is a must in the process of generating a positive relationship with your
students. A clear and concise set of classroom rules is the cornerstone of a well organized and
effective classroom. As you begin to prepare for your first days of school, it is important for you
to think about how you want your classroom to run.
There are a multitude of options a teacher has when creating classroom rules. Some teachers
swear by letting the students create the classroom rules and consequences, while others insist that
you enter your classroom with a printed list of classroom rules and your consequences if they are
broken. As you have learned throughout your teacher education classes, each teacher and their
respective classroom is unique from others. As a new teacher you must decide for yourself what
rules you must have in your classroom and which rules you can allow your students some
latitude on.
In the information that follows in this section, you will find tips and sample classroom rules that
experienced teachers have found to be successful. Remember as you read through this section
that a cookie cutter approach to devising your classroom’s rules often will not work. You are a
unique individual and your classroom rules must reflect your own personality. For example,
implementing a rule stating there is absolutely no gum chewing in your classroom because the
teacher next door enforces rule does not mean you must adopt it as well. Remember that your
classroom rules must be a fair task to ask of your students and also be a rule you are comfortable
in enforcing on a daily basis.
Below are some sample rules that experienced teachers have implemented in their classroom:
Elementary School Student Expectations:
ƒ Raise your hand to speak.
ƒ Keep your hands, feet, and objects to ourselves.
ƒ Share your supplies and classroom materials with others.
ƒ Walk in the classroom an in the halls.
ƒ Keep our room neat and clean by putting all of our materials away.
ƒ Listen carefully when the teacher is speaking.
ƒ Come to class with all materials.
ƒ Positively participate in all classroom activities.
ƒ Stay on task without disturbing others
ƒ Do not use ‘put downs’ when talking with another student.
ƒ Use an inside voice so that loud noises do not hurt our ears.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit and Education World website
Middle School and High School Student Expectations:
ƒ Be in the room when the bell rings.
ƒ Bring all supplies to class including paper, notebook, books, and a pencil.
ƒ Listen closely when the teacher or a fellow student is speaking.
ƒ Accept your role in the group and work responsibly.
ƒ Complete all work and turn it in on time.
ƒ Speak without using any negative comments.
ƒ Call people by their proper names.
ƒ Participate actively in the learning process.
ƒ Treat others politely and with respect.
ƒ Stay in your seat until I dismiss you, not when the bell rings.
ƒ Do not take things from the teacher’s desk, ask if you need something.
ƒ Do not move from your assigned seat without permission.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Personal Assessment: Establishing and Teaching Rules for a
Classroom Learning Community
A teacher’s rules constitute the class; the question is whether those rules are productive and
worthy of student support.
Establishing and teaching rules for a classroom learning community.
Rule by rule:
Probably Maybe Probably
Can I say clearly and confidently that the rule is
necessary, and reasonable for learning, safety, and
mutual respect, and so deserves respect and
support by students?
Can I say clearly and confidently that the rule is
consistent both with learning goals and with what
we know about how human beings learn?
Can I say clearly and confidently that the rule is
consistent with school rules? Will I be acting
consistently with my colleagues in the faculty?
Rules must be enforced; will enforcing this rule get
me into fruitless conflicts that erode my
relationships with my students?
Can I say clearly and confidently that I can and do
act on the rules both reasonably and consistently?
Can I say confidently that the rule is clear and
understandable? Can I teach it and enforce it
without confusion?
Have I taught the rule? That is, stated, explained
why it is necessary and reasonable, discussed how
it applies to situations, and talked about examples
with my students?
Assisting First Year Teachers with Classroom Management
By Barry Sweeney
The importance of a good start to the school year is well documented, and the role of a solid
class management approach is a key to that god start. Beginning the year with a class
management plan IN PLACE communicates clear expectation and helps beginning staff to be
more consistent in enforcing their behavior standards and that leads to less student misconduct
and stronger teacher self-esteem
Planning the Management System
Be sure that protégés know school-wide expectations for behavior, in class, in halls, at lunch, at
recess, or on campus.
Develop classroom rules consistent with school rules an which administrator will support
• Rules need to be within student control to accomplish
• Limited in number, clear and specific about observable behaviors
Establish routines and procedure to handle daily classroom business such as:
Use of restrooms (time of day is important here)
Beginning and ending of class expectations for attendance, noise, seating, dismissal, etc.
Distributing and collecting materials, papers, and equipment
Setting up and running audio-visual equipment
Lining up or group movement to assemblies, PE, specials such as music or art
Accompanying the rules should be a set of consequences including rewards and punishments
• Rewards can include praise and encouragement, participation choices and recognition.
Review with the protégé the pros and cons of punishments, such as:
• Overuse decreases effectiveness
• Punishments can actually reinforce some behaviors (i.e., ditches class = suspension?)
• Use punishments that can lead to behavior changes
Help plan the layout of the room to reduce traffic flow problems, keep all areas visible to the
teacher and the teacher visible to the students, make displays, instructions, and clocks visible to
all work areas. Plan an area near the teacher for students who need closer supervision, for
materials or sample displays, and for collecting papers and projects.
Implementing the Management System
Rules need to be written, posted, and enforceable by the teacher.
Teach the students the rules and routines, Explain your expectations.
Teachers who routinely refer misbehavior to “the office” can also create the impression that the
teacher can’t handle problems. Try to solve your own problems but ask for specialist or
principal help.
Consistency in enforcement is critical. Uneven application (random?) decreases impact and is
New staff often want kids to “like them” but that will often conflict with getting kids to learn.
Barry Sweeny, Resources for Staff & Organization Development
26 W. 413 Grand Ave, Wehat Il 60187 (630) 668-2605, email: [email protected]
Classroom Management Principles
In order to develop a discipline program that will work for you and your students, there
are some ideas that you need to examine. The bad news is that at some time or another,
all kids misbehave. The good news is that all kids can behave. Further, you have the
right and responsibility to discipline your students. It’s important at the outset to clarify
the difference between discipline and punishment. The purpose of discipline is to teach
responsibility, train students in needed skills or correct an existing problem situation.
The purpose of punishment, however, is to impose a penalty or seek revenge. The focus
of discipline is on behavior, and what behavior will occur in the future. The focus of
punishment is the misbehaving child and what’s occurred in the past. Discipline can, and
should, be imposed with a positive attitude and concern for the student’s dignity.
Punishment generally is delivered as a negative response generated by anger or
frustration. Maintaining a positive relationship with students that facilitates a good
learning situation is an important consideration in how you use discipline with your
The following are some principles on which you might base your discipline plan.
Consider them as you determine how to best work with your students.
• Dealing with student behavior is part of your job. Discipline should have as much
energy and enthusiasm as content.
• Always treat students with dignity. This is the most important element in
discipline. Treating kids with dignity works for you. Not using dignity can work
against you.
• Responsibility is more important than obedience. Obedience is doing what we are
told. Responsibility involves making the best decision. Sometimes being
obedient is being responsible. Sometimes they conflict.
• Students must learn to accept responsibility. When a student tries to shift
responsibility to others, guide him/her to accept it as his/her own. A student who
says, “My parents forgot to sign my paper” should be encourage to reword the
sentence to “I forgot to get my paper signed.”
• All interventions can stop misbehavior. More important is what happens later:
√ To motivation for learning
√ To student’s sense of responsibility
√ To student dignity
√ To student-teacher communication
Tips for Effective Discipline
Give simple incentives for positive behaviors “The row that is quiet first goes to lunch
first.” Give, rather than take away.
Create a warm friendly atmosphere – the optimum condition for learning. Firmness does
not negate a warm, friendly atmosphere. A low, controlled voice is all the “ammo” you
need for most classroom situations.
Whatever you expect your class to be, you must be: on time, organized, prepared,
cheerful, polite to all. Set a good, responsible example.
Start fresh every day. What happened yesterday is finished. Act accordingly.
Listen to what students are thinking and feeling. Students misbehave when they feel
angry, fearful or bored. Teachers who can convey understanding are usually able to
short-circuit the disruption.
Provide instruction at levels that match the student’s ability. Misbehavior often arises out
of frustration if the work is too difficult, or out of boredom if the work has little value.
Sever Discipline Problems
Even though you may have planned your day to avoid down time, planned a stimulating,
motivating lesson, taught the rules, consequences and procedure to your class, you will probably
have a situation where the misbehavior is severe. Consequences, whether for major or minor
misbehavior, should be logical, natural and related to the rule. Now is the time to think about
what your options are. In order to be most effective, find out what the limits are in your school.
Enlisting the assistance of parents is an important strategy to employ.
Can you keep students after school?
Is there a detention policy?
What is the procedure for getting assistance from a counselor or principal?
In what cases should the principal be involved in your discipline procedures?
Having this knowledge will make it impossible for you to keep your sense of autonomy in
handling any situation. Getting assistance from others is different than giving away your role in
the discipline plan.
Enlisting the assistance of parents is an important strategy to employ. Your approach will have a
lot to do with the level of cooperation you might receive. Very few parents object to a teacher
approaching them with an idea that might help their child if the idea shows the teacher’s
commitment to the success of that child. Parents may react negatively when told, “Here’s what
your child did today!” Consider parents as part of the support for a mutually agreed-upon
solution to discipline problems.
Guidelines for Effective Discipline
1. Monitor student behavior
Use an “active eye.” See what is going on. Don’t become preoccupied with someone or
something and ignore the rest of the class. It's said that one teacher on his/her feet is worth
two in the seat. This benefits your discipline program as well as having an effective teaching
2. Consistency
Have the same expectations for appropriate behavior for all students. Your students should
know that you will enforce rules consistently and apply an appropriate consequence. Your
goal is to be fair, but that might mean not applying the identical consequence to all students.
If one student frequently fails to return homework, you may apply a different consequence
than you would to a student who forgets his/her homework for the first time. In knowing that
you'll be fair, but not equal, your students should understand that being equal is not always
fair. In order to be consistent, be certain that the consequences you apply are reasonable and
3. Prompt management of inappropriate behavior
Effective classroom managers know that misbehavior must be handled immediately or there
is risk of a snowballing effect. Instead of one or two students involved, soon there may be
several. In order to provide maximum time for learning and to reduce minor behavior
problems, there are some strategies that you can employ that deal with behavior in the least
amount of time, with the least disruption and the least negative feelings.
• Eye contact
Simply looking the student directly in the eye for prolonged contact while you continue
your lesson sends a non- behavior verbal message that says "I saw what you did and I
want it stopped.
Continuing your lesson while you move about the room, pausing near "trouble spots" can
let the students know that even though they are not near the teacher’s desk, they are still
expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior. Getting “boxed in” behind your desk or
podium encourages misbehavior in the far corners of the room.
The continuous sound of “teacher talk” can provide students with a noise screen for their
own conversations. An occasional pause – just a few seconds of silence – can bring an
off-task student back into focus.
This can be added to the above strategies for emphasis. A touch on the shoulder 0 not a
squeeze – or a shaking in your head helps to stress your message to the student.
Asking for a response
Hearing your name can be an attention-getter, even if you’re not paying attention.
Working an off-task student’s name into a question can often bring the student back into
the lesson. Remembering the student’s dignity, it would be appropriate to say the
student’s name fist, in order to allow them to hear the question they’ll be expected to
answer. The purpose is to get the student back into the lesson, not to embarrass him/her.
Praising appropriate behavior
With larger numbers of misbehaving students, addressing the whole group may be
necessary. Rather than addressing the negative behavior, paring the students
demonstrating appropriate behavior cues the misbehaving students and reinforces the
other students.
Hearing your name can be an attention-getter, even if you’re not paying attention.
Active participation
Sometimes having the student respond to a question or become involved in an activity
can eliminate the undesired behavior. Asking for a show of hands, having student’s
performance a physical activity or having each student write a quick answer to a question
can make all students accountable for an immediate response.
Rewards and reinforcement
Rewarding students with an enjoyable activity that is contingent on appropriate behavior
can be effective in motivating students to commit to the completing of a task. “If we can
finish this chapter by 9:45, we’ll have time to play the map game.”
Four Steps for Better Classroom Discipline
Even if you understand that children function at different stages of
discipline, it is not easy to sell administrators, school board members and
parents on the idea that you are going to have different sets of rules for
different kids in your classroom. You don’t have to. If you set up a
discipline policy in your classroom that progressively attempts to meet
the needs of the students first at Stage 4, then Stage 3, and finally Stages
2 and 1, you can be as consistent in your discipline as everyone expects
you to be and at the same time encourage students to practice behaving at
a stage higher than the one they normally use.
Let’s look at four steps for classroom discipline that you can start using
right now.
Step 1: Reminder
This is a reminder not a reprimand. It may be directed to the whole class at once. It may be
directed to one or two students. The teacher does not need to approach the student when using
this step. The teacher needs to take the opportunity to remind students early enough that the
situation does not progress beyond a point where a simple reminder is no longer appropriate.
Example 1:
"There is the bell, class. You should all have your homework out on your desk, now."
Example 2:
"Janice and Maria, the rest of us have all started working, now. You need to stop talking and start
The importance of this step cannot be understated. Students who consistently function at Stage 3,
the mutual interpersonal stage, will quickly respond to your reminder. They want to please you
and this is right at their level. Students who are in transition to Stage 3 have an opportunity to
practice their discipline skills at this level.
Some teachers may complain that they should not have to remind children over and over again.
We remind the children because they ARE children.
Step 2: Warning
This is a reprimand. The student is approached. The warning may be either verbal or written.
Verbal warnings should not be delivered across the classroom. The teacher moves in close to the
student and lets him know what he is expected to do. The student is asked to identify the next
Example 1:
Steven is sitting sideways in his chair and keeps messing with things on Maria’s desk. The
teacher approaches Steven and says "Steven, I expect you to turn around in your seat and get on
with your assignment. This is your warning. What is the next step?"
Taken from Discipline By Design website
Example 2:
During a class discussion, Tammy suddenly speaks out. "Boy, this stuff really sucks!" The
teacher walks up to her and calmly, but firmly, says, "Tammy, I will not tolerate your outbursts. I
expect you to raise your hand and wait to be called on before you speak. This is your warning.
Now, can you tell me the next step?"
Written warnings are even more effective. The student is approached and handed an Honor Level
System infraction slip. The teacher has checked an item on the slip and may ask the youngster to
fill in the information at the top. He is told that if no further problem occurs he will be able to
throw the slip away at the end of the period. If the misbehavior continues, the slip will be
collected and turned into the office.
Example 2:
Jason has been teasing Janice. The teacher fills out an infraction slip and takes it to him. He says
to Jason "Here is an infraction slip with your name on it. I have marked ‘Failure to treat peers
with respect’ because you have been bothering Janice. I will put it here on the corner of your
desk. If it is still there when the bell rings, you may throw it away. If you continue to pester her, I
will pick it up and it will be turned into the office."
The warning step would normally be the first step if you were using Assertive Discipline. Instead
of putting a name on the board (or on a clip board, as Lee Canter now recommends), placing a
slip on the student’s desk keeps it much closer to the child where he is less likely to forget and
get into trouble again.
If you do not teach in a regular classroom with desks, still give the slip to the student. Even in a
gym class the youngster can tuck the slip inside an elastic band somewhere. The slip can even be
folded and put in a shoe!
It is important that the child has possession of the slip and that he realizes that he is the one in
control of it. Just as he is in charge of the infraction slip, he is also in charge of his own behavior.
This helps the student learn to take ownership for his own actions. When the slip is in the hands
of the teacher or his name is on a board far away, it is too easy to think that the situation is in
someone else’s hands. Instead, this technique fosters and encourages internal locus of control
rather than external locus of control. There is no doubt in the student’s mind that he has been
reprimanded, but he is not left with a feeling of helplessness: that his fate is in the teacher’s
The warning step, especially the written warning, directly addresses the needs of the student who
functions at the power stage will be sizing up the situation. You have moved into their space and
made your expectations quite clear. If you are firm, cool, and assertive, they may feel that the
balance of power tips in your favor. If you shout and display excessive anger, it will be read as a
challenge and this student will confront you. Regrettably, the situation will then escalate quickly
to the next step.
Taken from Discipline By Design website
Step 3: Infraction Slip
The student is approached again. She is reminded that she has already received her warning. An
infraction slip will be turned into the office. If she has received a written warning, the slip is
collected from her. The student is asked to identify the next step.
Nathan has been warned about staying in his seat and working on his assignment, but he keeps
wandering over to argue with Jeff about a missing baseball card. The teacher marks "Failure to
follow classroom rules" on an infraction slip and asks Nathan to fill in the top. She says "Nathan,
I warned you only a few minutes earlier about following directions. Yet you refuse to go to
work. You will receive a detention. Can you tell me the next step?"
Nathan has refused to follow classroom rules even after being reminded and later warned. The
infraction slip will be turned into the office where this information is entered into a computer that
manages the data for The Honor Level System. Nathan’s Honor Level may change and
depending on the number of other infractions that he has received in the past 14 days, he will be
required to serve an appropriately significant consequence. If the slip is the first, he may serve a
short detention during noon. If the slip is one of many, he may be suspended from school. In
either case, the consequence is not chosen by the teacher. It is part of a consistent school-wide
discipline plan.
It is important that the teacher has tried Steps 1 and 2 before turning the infraction slip into the
office. Only in special, extreme cases, should an infraction slip be used as the first step.
Remember: The Honor Level System is an extension of your classroom discipline system, not a
replacement for it.
Step 4: Send to the Office
The student is removed from class. A special "Time Out" slip is filled out and sent with the
student, or a "Referral Form" will be completed for the office later.
Linda has been acting up in class quite a bit today. She has been warned, and has had an
infraction slip written up. Still, she continues to disrupt the class. The teacher sends her to the
office. As she leaves the room, the teacher calls the office to let them know that Linda is on the
way. As soon as possible, the teacher stops by the office to fill out a referral form and check with
the principal. The teacher will contact the girl’s parents, as well.
If the first three steps are followed faithfully, this step is rarely needed. When things do progress
this far, the teacher can proceed with this step in a cool, unemotional manner. There is no need
for shouting or anger.
Taken from Discipline By Design website
The student may want to bargain for leniency, but the effective teacher has remained calm
through all the previous steps and lets Linda know that she has left him with no other option. He
will insist that she leave the room, but may send her off with an optimistic "Tomorrow we will
try again. I’m sure we can make this work right."
Post the Steps and Classroom Rules
These steps for discipline should be posted in several places in the classroom. The teacher should
identify three to five classroom rules that are important to his or her teaching station and post
them, as well. The list should be as short as possible and stated in a positive way. Write down
your rules as behaviors that you expect of your students. Including an item like: Follow
directions the first time they are given helps cover most problems that may occur in the
classroom that are not addressed by more specific expectations.
Take time to go over the rules and the steps with each class. Explain to your students that they
may be asked to identify the next step if they get into trouble. Let them know that they can
always look on the wall to answer your question.
Also, let the students know that in extreme cases you reserve the right to skip to higher steps.
There may be certain behaviors that you simply will not tolerate. Be specific and give them
Techniques for Better Classroom Discipline
Here are eleven techniques that you can use in your classroom that will help you achieve
effective group management and control. They have been adapted from an article called: “A
Primer on Classroom Discipline: Principles Old and New” by Thomas R. McDaniel, Phi Delta
Kappan, September 1986.
1. Focusing
Be sure you have the attention of everyone in your classroom before you start your lesson. Don’t
attempt to teach over the chatter of students who are not paying attention.
Inexperienced teachers sometimes think that by beginning their lesson, the class will settle down.
The children will see that things are underway now and it is time to go to work. Sometimes this
works, but the children are also going to think that you are willing to compete with them, that
you don’t mind talking while they talk, or that you are willing to speak louder so that they can
finish their conversation even after you have started the lesson. They get the idea that you accept
their inattention and that it is permissible to talk while you are presenting a lesson.
The focusing technique means that you will demand their attention before you begin. It means
that you will wait and not start until everyone has settled down. Experienced teachers know that
silence on their part is very effective. They will punctuate their waiting by extending it 3 to 5
seconds after the classroom is completely quiet. Then they begin their lesson using a quieter
voice than normal.
A soft spoken teacher often has a calmer, quieter classroom than one with a stronger voice. Her
students sit still in order to hear what she says.
Taken from Discipline By Design website
2. Direct Instruction
Uncertainty increases the level of excitement in the classroom. The technique of direct
instruction is to begin each class by telling the students exactly what will be happening. The
teacher outlines what he and the students will be doing this period. He may set time limits for
some tasks.
An effective way to marry this technique with the first one is to include time at the end of the
period for students to do activities of their choosing. The teacher may finish the description of
the hour’s activities with: “And I think we will have some time at the end of the period for you to
chat with your friends, go to the library, or catch up on work for other classes.”
The teacher is more willing to wait for class attention when he knows there is extra time to meet
his goals and objectives. The students soon realize that the more time the teacher waits for their
attention, the less free time they have at the end of the hour.
3. Monitoring
The key to this principle is to circulate. Get up and get around the room. While your students are
working, make the rounds. Check on their progress.
An effective teacher will make a pass through the whole room about two minutes after the
students have started a written assignment. She checks that each student has started, that the
children are on the correct page, and that everyone has put their names on their papers. The delay
is important. She wants her students to have a problem or two finished so she can check that
answers are correctly labeled or in complete sentences. She provides individualized instruction
as needed.
Students who are not yet quite on task will be quick to get going as they see her approach. Those
that were distracted or slow to get started can be nudged along.
The teacher does not interrupt the class or try to make general announcements unless she notices
that several students have difficulty with the same thing. The teacher uses a quiet voice and her
students appreciate her personal and positive attention.
4. Modeling
McDaniel tells us of a saying that goes “Values are caught, not taught.” Teachers who are
courteous, prompt, enthusiastic, in control, patient and organized provide examples for their
students through their own behavior. The “do as I say, not as I do” teachers send mixed messages
that confuse students and invite misbehavior.
If you want students to use quiet voices in your classroom while they work, you too will use a
quiet voice as you move through the room helping youngsters.
Taken from Discipline By Design website
5. Non-Verbal Cuing
A standard item in the classroom of the 1950’s was the clerk’s bell. A shiny nickel bell sat on the
teacher’s desk. With one tap of the button on top he had everyone’s attention. Teachers have
shown a lot of ingenuity over the years in making use of non-verbal cues in the classroom. Some
flip light switches. Others keep clickers in their pockets.
Non-verbal cues can also be facial expressions, body posture and hand signals. Care should be
given in choosing the types of cues you use in your classroom. Take time to explain what you
want the students to do when you use your cues.
6. Environmental Control
A classroom can be a warm cheery place. Students enjoy an environment that changes
periodically. Study centers with pictures and color invite enthusiasm for your subject.
Young people like to know about you and your interests. Include personal items in your
classroom. A family picture or a few items from a hobby or collection on your desk will trigger
personal conversations with your students. As they get to know you better, you will see fewer
problems with discipline.
Just as you may want to enrich your classroom, there are times when you may want to
impoverish it as well. You may need a quiet corner with few distractions. Some students will get
caught up in visual exploration. For them, the splash and the color is a siren that pulls them off
task. They may need more “vanilla” and less “rocky-road.” Have a quiet place where you can
steer these youngsters. Let them get their work done first and then come back to explore and
enjoy the rest of the room.
7. Low-Profile Intervention
Most students are sent to the principal’s office as a result of confrontational escalation. The
teacher has called them on a lesser offense, but in the moments that follow, the student and the
teacher are swept up in a verbal maelstrom. Much of this can be avoided when the teacher’s
intervention is quiet and calm.
An effective teacher will take care that the student is not rewarded for misbehavior by becoming
the focus of attention. She monitors the activity in her classroom, moving around the room. She
anticipates problems before they occur. Her approach to a misbehaving student is inconspicuous.
Others in the class are not distracted.
While lecturing to her class this teacher makes effective use of name-dropping. If she sees a
student talking or off task, she simply drops the youngster’s name into her dialogue in a natural
way. “And you see, David, we carry the one to the tens column.” David hears his name and is
drawn back on task. The rest of the class doesn’t seem to notice.
Taken from Discipline By Design website
8. Positive Discipline
Use classroom rules that describe the behaviors you want instead of listing things the students
cannot do. Instead of “no-running in the room,” use “move through the building in an orderly
manner.” Instead of “no fighting,“ use “settle conflicts appropriately.” Instead of “no gum
chewing,” use “leave gum at home.” Refer to your rules as expectations. Let your students know
this is how you expect them to behave in your classroom.
Make ample use of praise. When you see good behavior, acknowledge it. This can be done
verbally, of course, but it doesn’t have to be. A nod, a smile or a “thumbs up” will reinforce the
Taken from Discipline By Design website
Sharing Proper Information about Yourself With Your Students
As you embark on a new school year, part of creating the trust and respect with students that is
so critical to a positive learning environment involves sharing some personal information with
your students. When done properly this allows your students to see you as an approachable
person with hobbies, likes, and dislikes just like themselves.
As you go about discussing your personal hobbies it is important for you to remember what types
of information is appropriate for your students to know, and what types of information is best
kept to yourself. In the chart below are some helpful guidelines of what personal information is
appropriate for your students to know about you and what is not appropriate.
Things To Share
With Your Students:
Favorite food
Favorite color
Favorite restaurant
Favorite animal
Do you have any kids?
Any foreign languages you
can speak
Your favorite summer
Where you are from
What college you went to
Favorite sports team
What types of books you
like to read
Things NOT to Share
With Your Students:
9 Your romantic relationships
9 Your personal address or
phone number
9 Your candidate in the next
9 Your disagreements with
another faculty member
9 Who you live with
9 If you smoke, drink, etc.
9 How old you are
9 Confidential information
about other students grades or
discipline files
9 Your personal views on
religion, etc.
Welcome to my
classroom! Let me
tell you a little about
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Fifteen Ways to Earn Your Students’ Respect
Below is a list of statements involving practices that are geared to earn your students’ respect. As
you read over the statements, judge yourself as your students would judge you.
1. I engage every student in all assignments each day.
2. I know the material that I am supposed to teach.
3. I use a variety of discipline techniques to establish a positive class atmosphere.
4. I am willing to be flexible when necessary.
5. I use a variety of strategies to keep by students interested and on task.
6. I respect my students’ differences and encourage them to do the same.
7. I encourage a teamwork approach with my students and their families.
8. I am a good listener who is available to my students on a regular basis.
9. I focus my energies on preventing behavior problems through an assortment of
techniques instead of having to deal with the serious consequences caused by
10. I make sure that my students know I care about their welfare.
11. I practice being a patient and understanding person.
12. I teach my students how to do their work.
13. I make sure that my students know the benefits of doing an assignment so that they will
want to do their work well.
14. I make a special effort to enforce rules consistently.
15. I use a wide variety of assessment techniques to evaluate student progress.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Ten Ways to Create a Student- Centered Classroom
1. Decorate your classroom with student work. Students feel a sense of ownership and pride in a
class where their work is displayed. Be sure to display everyone’s work. If you hang only the
best work, you can be accused of favoritism, which will only cause harm.
2. Keep a supply of recycled paper, construction paper, crayons, markers, and other supplies on
hand to help your students create work for display. Some of the items that would make
interesting displays include projects, group-generated lists, homework assignments, cartoons,
“sponge” activities, posters…anything that your students would be proud to display.
3. Have a sense of humor, particularly about yourself. If you make a mistake, admit it graciously.
Don’t be one of those teachers who never laugh with their students and never admit when they
are wrong.
4. Give your students a voice in how some of the procedures of the class should be managed. They
need to assume responsibility for running some of the class routines if they are to feel that what
they do matters to you and their classmates.
5. Teach your students how to work together well. This will take time and patience, but is worth the
trouble. Students who have the support of their classmates are not afraid to speak up or try new
6. Your students crave success and approval. Create opportunities for this to happen by designing
lessons that are challenging, but achievable. When students succeed, reward them. Keep lots of
small, tangible rewards such as stickers on hand.
7. Make sure that your students are in touch with school events. Maintain a bulletin board with
items about schedules, lunch menus, upcoming events, and other important information.
8. Promote courtesy and respect for school and classroom rules. Make sure that you model the
behavior that you encourage from your students.
9. Encourage students to share their opinions and ideas. Teach them to value each other’s creativity
by encouraging and accepting their ideas.
10. Survey your students periodically so that you can make sure that the student-friendly
a. classroom you think you’ve created really is. Surveying your students is a terrific way to
b. find out what they think and to improve the way you manage your class.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Effectively Communicating Ideas of Excitement, Concern, and
One of the major components of becoming an effective educator is knowing how to convey your
thoughts and concerns to your students in a constructive and appropriate manner. Throughout your first
year of teaching you will encounter situations that require you to convey your enthusiasm for your
student’s progress and growth in a struggling subject area, as well as your disappointment and concern
for their poor choices in the classroom. Whether you are conveying your feelings of joy or sorrow to
your students, it is important for you to understand how to convey your thoughts in the most effective
manner possible.
Below are some examples of communicating your thoughts to students that experienced teachers have
found to be helpful.
Begin conversations with phrases such as:
√ What would you like to happen?
√ Would you like my thinking on that?
√ Is it possible that…?
√ How do you feel about…?
√ Is there any chance that…?
√ How do you suppose that might work out?
√ What do you think I think?
√ On a scale of 1-10, how good of a decision do you think that is?
√ Would you like to hear with others have tried?
√ Your behavior/actions make me feel…
√ When you say/do ______ it makes others around you feel like…
√ What could you have done instead of ______ to make the situation better?
√ How did your actions affect what happened in the situation?
√ Why do you think I am so concerned about what you said/did?
Taken from Jim Fay and David Funk’s Teaching With Love & Logic
Allow students to see that you genuinely care about their situation:
o Be careful to listen to what students have to say before offering your opinion on the
o Tread lightly when offering constructive criticism of a students decision or action in a
particular situation. Often times when you are speaking to a student after the fact the
student already has realized that they did not handle the situation the best possible way
and is now looking for direction of where to go now, not necessarily a discussion of what
they did incorrectly.
o Begin the solution finding portion of the discussion by allowing the student to brainstorm
ideas. By offering your suggestions without listening to the student’s ideas you may
inadvertently cause the student to feel threatened and not in control of fixing the
o Be sure students know that if they are sharing information that involves someone being
hurt or in danger/trouble you are obligated to share that information with the proper
Provide students with positive feedback regarding their academic growth in your classroom:
o Start off conversations with sentences such as: “I’m really proud of the effort you have
been giving in my classroom – look at what you have accomplished!”
o Be sure to gauge your positive feedback according to what the student would be most
comfortable with. For instance, announcing a shy and reserved students name over the
PA system to congratulate them on their high test score in your classroom would not
necessarily be the most effective way to communicate praise.
o Surprise students by sending home letters or notes indicating how pleased you are to have
seen that child exhibit positive behaviors such as helping a fellow student, following
classroom rules, cleaning up the classroom materials, doing well on a difficult test or
assignment, going above the requirements for a project or working exceptionally well in a
o Let coaches, club sponsors, and other teachers of that particular student know how proud
you are of the student’s accomplishments. Often times for a student, having another adult
outside of the situation mention their achievements signify how much of an impact their
positive contribution made in your classroom.
Taken from Jim Fay and David Funk’s Teaching With Love & Logic
Recognizing Positive Student Contributions to the Classroom
Rewarding students for their positive contributions to the classroom environment is a vital role in
establishing a students respect and motivation to learn in your classroom. So many times educators get
caught up in managing the behavior problems that we often forget to celebrate the students who exhibit
the behavior we desire. By rewarding students who display positive behaviors in the classroom you not
only provide direct positive feedback to that individual student, but you also provide other students in
your classroom with a model of the behavior you expect in your classroom.
Below are some simple suggestions from experienced teachers who have used these methods to instill a
positive sense of self worth in students who positively contribute to the classroom learning environment.
9 Communicate your high expectations to your students. Students whose teachers expect a great
deal from them will soon be students who are confident that thy can accomplish a great deal.
Don’t over-praise students for behavior that is only minimally acceptable, because this
communicates to them that you do not believe that they are able to accomplish much.
9 Make it very clear to your students that when you praise them you are commenting on their work
or their behavior and not on their worth as a person. For example, you should replace, “You are
such a neat kid!” with “Your work is very neat!” This will place emphasis on the activity and
will encourage them to continue their good work.
9 When you praise a student, be careful not to overdo it. If you are over dramatic your students
will find your praise insincere and you also risk embarrassing sensitive students.
9 Praise individual students whenever possible, and vary what you say to each one so that they will
know that you see them as individuals. Also, occasionally follow up your praise with a positive
note or phone call home.
9 Be careful to reach every student. Some teachers may unconsciously favor some students. Be
positive with every student at least once during every class.
9 Encourage effort. If you have students who are struggling, encourage them to persevere by
praising their efforts. Also, boost their confidence by praising their successes along the way.
9 Be prompt in giving rewards for good behavior so students will be able to identify the action for
which they are being rewarded.
9 Be careful to combine rewards with praise. If you don’t make this connection for your students,
they may not understand that they earn rewards through their own efforts.
9 You do not have to spend a fortune on rewards for your students. The most effective rewards are
activities that students enjoy. Try playing a game such a history trivia game or a geography bee
to reward students with enjoyable activities.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Simple Inexpensive Rewards to Use in Your Classroom
- Colorful pencils
- Reward stickers
- Bite size candy pieces
Fifteen Ways to Reward Your Students Without Going Broke!
Allow your students to use the library during free time.
Extra time on the computer
Being a team captain
Time to work on a classroom puzzle or game
Give out extra credit points
Put their work on a classroom bulletin board
Turn in their name to the principal for The Principals Lunch Group
Being on the class Honor Roll
Being nominated for “Student of the Week”
Earning extra time to complete an assignment
Send a positive letter home to their parents
Submit their name and photograph to a local paper showcasing student achievements
Use stickers or stamps to rewards positive behaviors or actions
Set aside a bulletin board to keep a running list of all of the good deeds you see students doing in
the classroom.
Reward classes by allowing them to play educational games
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Samples from Experienced Teachers
About How They Implement Rewards in Their Classrooms.
Not that anyone ever gets a whole free day, but Friday is the day most teachers choose for class parties,
rewards, and free time. After all, the end of the week really is the best time for these types of things. If
your students happen to have a great time and get really wound up, they're already headed out the door
for the weekend anyway. On the other hand, they're probably feeling a little worn out at the end of a
long week (sound familiar?) and not only do they need some free time, but they may be a little less
likely to get as rowdy as they would at the very beginning of the week.
How do you reach a "freeday"? Having a system in place is key because it means you and your students
have something you can count on. The basics are simple - good behavior of some form on behalf of the
students = reward for the students given by the teacher. We've compiled some ideas to help you set up
your own rewards system, but keep in mind that rewards aren't always free time or parties. Our
contributors share many ideas below which you can adapt and use in your classroom.
I taught 4th grade last year. Each week my class looked forward to "Friday Fling". This was a time set
aside to reward those students who followed the rules in class and elsewhere on campus. (music, art,
bus, etc.) I only have three rules 1. Be polite, 2. Be positive, 3. Be prepared. During our Friday Fling,
we might play board games, have a free recess, go for a walk I usually only allowed 20 to 30 minutes. It
seemed to work! Those students who chose not to be a part of the team and play by the rules were
supervised by an aide or placed in another classroom during the Fling. It was a great way to end the
week. -Anita
Checkbook reward system: Each child receives a checkbook in the classroom. You begin each week
with a specific amount of money deposited into the checkbook say $200. If a student does not get their
homework finished they might have to write a check for $50 to you. If a student breaks one of your
classroom rules, perhaps they will owe you $25. You can use any behaviors that you would like to
encourage in your room. At the end of the week, the students are able to purchase privileges based on
the money they have left in their checkbooks. For instance, they may pay you $75 to eat lunch with the
teacher, $50 to sit by a friend for a day etc. -Patti, P.A.F.
My son was in fourth grade last year and some of the incentives he liked were decorated pencils, pens,
candy, homework passes (teacher made), scented stickers. They also had a personal incentive chart on
their desks, where they could fill up the little squares with tiny dot stickers when they brought their
homework in. After five spaces were filled they got a reward, after the entire chart was filled they got a
"bigger" reward. The McDonald's (right across the street from the school) gave us coupons for free
hamburger, fries, soda, or sundae, to give to the children for anything we deemed worthy of reward.
Other companies will do the same. -DJ Thomas Orlando, Fl
Taken from website
Homework passes (don't give too many!!) are the number one incentive for my kids. I also sometimes
use a "class compliments" chart on which I put a sticker/kid's thumbprint or whatever every time a class
member or the class as a whole received a compliment outside of the classroom (line, recess, lunch, PE,
etc). After an agreed upon number, the kids vote on a perk (art day, extra recess, etc.). Be sure to tell
the other teachers what you are doing so they will be sure to "compliment". I am constantly torn up
about giving kids rewards for what they are supposed to do versus not rewarding them. I have taught for
20 years and this is still an issue. Since each group is different, you will be able to make your decisions
about incentives once you see how they are. Fourth grade still loves stickers, being able to stamp their
own papers, candy is big; I use free rug time a lot, being able to use the teacher's desk for a day, period,
etc. I have an "office" (just a carrel type board at a special table with a lamp) for reward (or those in
need) students to use. You will think of many more on your own!! -CH [Murandsyd]
Another idea is rather simple but it really works for me. My children are seated at tables (but this could
also be done with clusters of desks) and each table or group is given a paper plate on Monday. This
plate lasts all week. Whenever an instruction is given or a transition is initiated, I silently get out a sheet
of stickers, hold it up and reward the first table who "gets ready, or gets the job done." At the end of the
day the group with the most stickers gets to pick out of the penny candy jar. The stickers are cumulative
and at the end of the week, the group with the most gets something bigger, like a Little Debbie cake, etc.
It is amazing what they will do for those stickers. I've had subs tell me they can’t believe what happens
when they hold up the sticker sheet. It keeps the students who don't usually follow directions on their
toes because the other kids push or encourage them to hurry up and get ready. These are only two things
I do, but I think the most important. -Judy Vornholt
I am teaching summer school, grades 3 and 4 combined this year, and I am finding that having a box of
prizes works well. When a child gets 100% on a spelling test, or manages to stay on my "token list" all
week (they must pay attention and follow the classroom rules to stay on the list), they get a token which
they can exchange for a prize. If they choose to save their tokens and get three of them, I have bigger
prizes they may exchange their tokens for. This past week was the first week they all stayed on the
token list, and I know that was difficult for them! As a reward, I ordered pizza for them for lunch on
Friday. (I had told them that I would do this, so it was a goal for them to work toward). The first time is
the most difficult, but now I think that they will be motivated. Next time they all stay on the list all
week, I am going to bake them cupcakes. *Note: as prizes, I have small plastic lizards and insects,
plastic jewelry or cute hair accessories, special pencils and erasers for one token and larger toys, such as
yo-yos and puzzles for larger prizes. All of these items can be found inexpensively at 99 cent stores or
Pic-N-Save. -Sarah [tandirose]
Taken from website
A few of the teachers at my school use a "token economy" for classroom management that they adapt
according to the grade level they teach. The children love it and I'm planning on implementing a similar
system this year: Children will receive 2 tickets/day for good behavior. I will have a "Conduct Book",
and students must write down the date, their name, and give a brief description of the inappropriate
behavior that was exhibited. They are given a verbal warning first. After that, they must sign the
Conduct Book and they lose five minutes of recess time. Our students don't sit at recess--they walk.
This gives them an opportunity to expend some of that pent up energy!! The second time they lose 10
minutes--third time is a phone call or note home. Obviously--for a more serious offense such as fighting
or disrespect to a teacher or adult, they must visit the principal. The Conduct Book gives me
documentation of behavior in case I need to follow-up with parents. The first nine weeks, I plan to give
a bit of "grace" :) If a child has to sign the Conduct Book, they will just lose one of their tickets for the
day. After the first nine weeks are over, I figure children should know my rules, and they lose both
tickets. On Friday, we set aside time for children to receive and turn in tickets. Different teachers use
different ideas. Below is a list of rewards I plan to use this year: 5 Tickets 1 Piece of Candy, 10 Tickets
2 Pieces of Candy, 20 Tickets Sit Anywhere, 30 Tickets Treasure Box--items I purchase from Oriental
Trading Co., 30 Tickets Thumper Bumper-the student bumps another and gets to do his job for the day,
40 Tickets Soda Sipper-I buy the student a soft drink at lunch, 40 Tickets Choose a Center, 50 Tickets
Thumper Bumper (2 Days), 60 Tickets No Homework, 75 Tickets Extra Class Recess, 100 Tickets Be
the Teacher. If I have a student who is turning tickets in for "Choose a Center", "Sit Anywhere", "Extra
Class Recess" or "Be the Teacher" changing --then we plan a day during the upcoming week for them to
do that. The students must keep up with their tickets in a baggie they have in their desk. If they lose
them, we start over. One of the things that I like about this system is that every child is rewarded
because it's rare for a child to lose tickets every single day of the week. Consequences for misbehavior
are still in place; and some children enjoy saving tickets for the really big rewards. Some of the other
teachers at our school include other ideas like: "Pizza Day" -the teacher and student have pizza together
at lunch one day during school; "After School Snack"-the teacher takes the student to the place of his/her
choice; "Saturday Matinee"-the teacher takes the student out to a show. (I have a limited budget and a
family of my own and have opted not to include activities like those. I realize that if you are teaching in
a public school, it may not be feasible for you to use some of the reward ideas; but I think you get the
gist of the idea. -[AshDell3]
Did you ever think about possibly starting your students out w/nothing, and then let them earn money
(play money) for the store instead of taking the points away from them. I believe if you take points
away from students that is negative reinforcement, but if you reward them for doing good, the students
that misbehave will see the others earning money and able to buy stuff from your store. -Megan
I want to use clothespins (I was intending to use wooden clothes pins with the student’s names on them)
in the place of tokens. I want to either: 1. give each student that didn't get their name on the board or
loose recess a clothes pin each day before we go home, 2. give each student five clothes pins on Monday
and take away as the week goes by. They would give me the clothes pin clipped to a piece of paper that
told what they got in trouble for. Either way I want to let the students exchange their clothes pins on
Friday for a nickel each which they can spend at a classroom store. On the first day of school I have a
plastic "school" cup on each student’s desk. I am thinking of letting the students keep the clothes pins in
their cup... -Carol
Taken from website
An elementary teacher just explained her classroom management plan to me today, and I think I'm going
to adapt it for middle school. It's a ladder plan, and I think it might work for the school store idea that
everyone keeps talking about. You make a ladder out of poster board with six rungs and post it.
Students each get a clothespin with their name on it to put on the third rung at the beginning of each day.
(This helps to check roll quickly, as well.) When they do something well, they move up a rung. When
they do something inappropriate, they move down a rung. At the end of the day, they go to bins and
choose beads corresponding to whatever rung their clip was on to put onto a shoestring that they keep in
their pencil box. Top rung 2 beads; Second rung 1 sparkle bead; Third rung 1 bead; Fourth rung signing
their consequence chart; Fifth rung 10-minute time-out; Bottom rung writing a behavior plan. So, the
beads don't get taken away, but they can trade them in for rewards. Her rewards are not tangible,
though. She uses things like free time, first to read aloud, lunch with the teacher, etc. Also, even the
student who is there and is well-behaved without doing anything extraordinary still gets a bead at the
end of the day. -Jenny Koons
I had a large metal beam going up the front of my room, wasn’t too out of place, but I found a nice way
to use it....anything metal, or even magnets placed on the wall would work. I had these "caught u being
good" stickers. I would give them out to kids whom where "caught" doing something extra nice for
anyone else. I had so many, I laminated 12 of them, put magnets on the back, and used them when the
WHOLE CLASS was being good, working very hard, came in with extra quietly, etc. after a few days,
when I had several magnets up, I would add a piece of candy to a small jar. When the jar got to be full,
we had a great party!! everyone brought treats, we had an extra recess, we got to bring a pop to keep at
our desk (only SO 2 lt. types, must have a screw on lid...all mentioned in a letter sent home) a time classroom games.. after the party, for every magnet up, we took one OUT of the
jar...reversed it....see? (one of my kids thought that would be a fun thing to do, sounded like a great idea
to me) this event occurred about once every 9 weeks. The kids loved it! It motivated them, and put a
little positive peer pressure on the ones who needed it... one good thing...they never knew WHEN THEY
WOULD GET a magnet!! One of the best forms of reinforcement...intermittent...sometimes they were
rewarded, sometimes the were "good" but didn’t get a re-enforcer...I tried to give lots out...sometimes I
would actually forget, or take for granted they were doing extra well....that is ok I found on the days I
was really stressed, I tried to be careful to give them magnets, this kind of kept me in check with my
attitude in the classroom too. -Cris Pruser
I teach 6-8 grades. What I do for consequences/rewards were something’s that I learned in a
management workshop. As a reward, I have a "Mystery Envelope" On Monday, I put some sort of
prize in it (pencils, stickers, notebooks, etc) At the end of the week, a name is drawn from the bucket.
Whoever is called wins the contents. The kids especially love the homework passes. I also have a
spinner, and draw another name. That student gets to spin and win anything from a treat to library time.
Consequences are simple. I have a continuum as follows: 1. Warning card. A card is placed on the
student’s desk with a written warning. No communication; 2. Removal of name from mystery envelope
drawing; 3. TIME OUT for 15 minutes or 30 minutes (some of my classes have 45 minutes, and some
90 minutes) and a phone call to the parent; 4. sent to CHOICE room (a school program we have, where
the student spends the remainder of the class period in another room isolated). This works for the most
part for those minor infractions. A lot of time, a warning card is enough. The cards are bright orange
index cards, so everyone knows that you have been warned!! Of course, for major infractions
(disrespect, fighting, profanity, etc) students are immediately removed to the CHOICE room, bypassing
all previous steps. Students can also earn their way back into the mystery envelope drawing. The key is
to be consistent. -Susan Hewett
Taken from website
We have three strikes, you're out policy. At the end of each six weeks we have a "reward" (games,
movie, and refreshments - usually two hours). If you have three strikes, you are not invited. I know it
seems severe, but we really have very few students who don't get to attend. At the end of the semester
we have a big reward usually skating or bowling and if you attended at any of the three little rewards
you can attend this. We also tie Homework into this too. Three strikes and your out again. We do not
add the homework and discipline together - each stands alone. Consequences for homework up to the
strike out are the same as behavior. In the last two years I have had very few problems with homework
or discipline in either the 8th or the 7th grade. The turnover in the struck out crowd is amazing. Once
they have to sit and work while everyone else is having fun, they rarely come back again. I am teaching
6th again this year for the first time in 5 years. I am expecting this plan will still work, as the teacher
who taught it to me had previously used it with her 6th grade classes. Last thought, we type this up and
put it in our team handbook. Parents have to sign off as having read and understood the handbook.
Parents supply the refreshments and sometimes volunteer to serve. -Cathy Gates
I am a math teacher. Last year my students went to the CCC Math learning lab three times each week.
Each student made a personal goal as far as what they thought their gains would be at the end of the
week. Our class had a goal of gaining 10 points or one month improvement. If we reached our goals
parents would reward us by cooking brownies, popcorn, sodas, 20 minutes free time, the principal even
bought into our action. She was so proud of the achievement of the students on the standardize test that
she sat on the roof of the building for 3 hours. The deal was if 75% of the students had ITBS test scores
of 50 or better or if 75% of the class improved their test scores by 3 points from last year she would
spend the night on the roof. The students did not reach their goal however rather than say oh well. She
decided she would spend 3 or 4 hours on the roof. Next year if they want her to spend the night they
know what they must do. Hope this will help you in your class with your students. -LASAL98
I will be teaching first grade this year and plan to implement the following reward system. Each day,
students will have the opportunity to earn one or more pennies (photocopied from our math book). They
can use those pennies to purchase things at the store on Friday afternoons. One of the things they may
wish to purchase is a coupon for extra free time, or a "get out of ...." free coupon (I haven't worked that
out yet). I don't know how it will work, yet. As the year goes on, I will introduce nickels and dimes,
and raise the prices in the store. -Lauren
We have a program called 100 Minute Club. All students (K-5) are expected to read 100 minutes
weekly. Parents sign weekly verification slips. We ask that they either read 20-30 minutes nightly
during the school week or spread it out to include the weekend as long as it equals 100 minutes. K,1
students are read to by family members to earn their minutes at beginning of year. We reward all
students who have completed this weekly requirement at our 6 weeks awards ceremony. They receive
certificates and usually something additional like pencils, ice cream from cafeteria, DQ gift certificates,
etc. It has grown to be very successful. -Linda/OH
A few more related ideas:
[I'm reminded] of something funny that happened this past year. My students had been really good, so I
told them they could vote on a movie. One of my fifth graders voted for Cheech and Chong Up in
Smoke. He was even quoting some of the funny parts. I couldn't keep myself from laughing!! Make
sure that if you are choosing movies they are appropriate. One of the other teachers was talked into
showing Son In Law to her 5th grade class! I could have told her that it wouldn't be appropriate, but she
didn't think her students would watch anything like that! HAHA -Tracy Keirns
Taken from website
Make sure that if you are choosing movies they are appropriate. Not only that, but preview it with
teacher's eyes! I once showed a reading rainbow type of movie. I tried previewing about half
way through, though it was fine! They were just reading the story, flipping the pages of a kid’s book!!
WRONG.....Remember the scene where he is imagined in his birthday suit? In this version of the book
they showed him...FULL frontal nudity, pubic hairs and all! If I could have leaped out of the room and
committed suicide I would have! I was teaching 2nd grade, and THANK GOD I learned early on not to
react. I didn't (hard as it was) kept watching.....till the end. (No more nudity scenes). Not one child said
a thing to a parent. They looked at me, I had a stoic face, they looked back at the movie. I was
convinced I was going to lose my job! Since then, every new movie I show, I watch till the end! Now,
when I think of it I die laughing. -Teri 4/5
Read the books by Jane Nelson and Stephen Glenn on Positive Discipline. I followed the steps they
outline. My 2nd graders did well with it. I think it really made a difference in morale, and in the
atmosphere of the classroom. I also felt more relaxed and could focus on the important things. I had
previously tried using extrinsic rewards, but they don't feel right to me. Another excellent book on this
topic is "Punished By Rewards" by Alfie Kohn. -Michele
----------------------Since I have structured my 5th grade classroom into 5 teams of 6 students, I used a point system this
year that proved to be very effective. I keep a point chart at the front of the room that is really a pocket
chart for sentences. Each team gets to select a team name that goes along with the topic we are
studying. The "point person" for each group uses a dry-erase marker to put up the earned points. My
students earn points for completing a transition within a time limit, when I catch them being good, etc.
The area that this is most helpful in is students turning in their homework. I award 10 points for each
team where all the members have their homework. This positive peer pressure has even my
unmotivated students turning in his/her work!! 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons are moved daily as the
points are daily totaled. At the end of each week the winning team has a blue ribbon posted on the wall
and gets the special classroom privileges (lining up first, errands, passing out/taking up papers, etc.) At
the end of each 9 weeks, the winning team gets a pizza party with the teacher!! This has really
promoted an environment of cooperation and enthusiasm in my classroom and several parents have
commented that their child thinks school is "FUN" this year!! Karen
Taken from website
Responsive Classroom Strategies
By Ruth Sidney Charney
The Three R's of Logical Consequences
Danny is the first one to get irate when a classmate denies that he was
tagged during their recess game. But then, when Danny gets tagged, he
refuses to freeze, ignoring the rules. Sore feelings result unless Danny
gets his way. The next time the teacher notices this happen, she calls
Danny over. "Take a break," she tells him.
"What did I do?" he cries.
"I want you to watch the game and tell me what you see happen when
people are tagged. And tell me the rule."
Danny goes over to the fence and sinks to the ground, covering his face with his hands, refusing to
watch. The teacher ignores him and continues to observe the game. After a while Danny picks up his
head and starts to watch.
"Teacher, can I go back now," he calls.
"Not yet," she replies. "You need to do your research first."
"If you get tagged, you freeze," he reports quickly. "But I didn't…"
"More research," the teacher says. "I don't see anyone else arguing. So, what are they doing?"
Eventually, Danny finds the words and shows he knows the correct behavior for the game.
"Tomorrow," the teacher tells him, "I want you to model for us the 'taggers' choice rule,' okay?" Then
she adds, "When everyone follows the rules, what happens to the game?"
"It's more fair, "Danny admits.
"Yes. It's more fair." The teacher nods. In this way, Danny was held to the rules, was not allowed to
intimidate others, and also remained engaged in the process. Logical consequences were implemented.
Logical Consequences
Children can be counted on to forget the rules. At times, they might even choose not to follow them
when impulse and immediate gratification hold sway -- to take another run around the playground; to
dawdle their way to a lesson; to pass a note; to make a rude gesture; or to use feet, not words, to settle a
dispute. When a reminder fails to redirect behavior, teachers using a Responsive Classroom™ approach
and implement logical consequences.
Logical consequences, as discussed in the last article, are ways in which adults’ structure learning
opportunities for children when natural consequences pose too much harm. The goal is to help children
recover their self-controls and, with guidance, make constructive choices -- choices that help preserve
the integrity of the individual and of the community.
A logical consequence generally has two steps. The first step is to stop the misbehavior. The second step
is to provide an action that recalls children to the rules, reinstates the limits, and teaches alternative
'Logical consequences' is a strategy that seeks to help children learn from their mistakes. In my
experience, children are more apt to learn from mistakes when adults implement consequences with
respect and firmness. How we approach children when they mess-up matters. In the Responsive
Classroom approach, we advocate using criteria we title, "the three R's."
The Three R's of Logical Consequences:
Logical consequences are respectful, relevant, and realistic.
Respect is conveyed through words and nonverbal gestures.
Use a normal tone of voice. Avoid sarcasm
Speak directly and quietly to the student. Whenever possible, avoid calling across a room or
raising your voice.
Focus on the deed and not on the doer. Convey the message that it is the behavior you object to,
not the student.
Be clear and firm and don't negotiate.
"You need to leave the circle now," gives a precise direction. "You were talking and jabbing your pencil,
etc. etc. etc" gives too much information, and opens the teacher up to argument: "I was not…He was
A consequence needs to be logically related to the students' actions.
It helps children see a cause and effect. (For example, when you talk, your work doesn't get
It references the rules. ("What do our rules say about name-calling?")
It focuses on the specific problems created when rules are broken. ("When you tell me you're
going to the bathroom and instead you fool around in the hall, what happens to our trust?")
It focuses on individual responsibility and accountability for helping preserve a safe learning
community. (A student ignores the signal for quiet and keeps on talking with a neighbor. The
teacher points out that the signal is a way to make sure everyone can receive directions quickly.
It keeps everyone safe. Thus this student needs to see that his or her behavior is not responsible.
The teacher implements a short time-out period for the student to recover controls and observe
the limits. Later, the teacher perhaps will arrange a practice time so the student can return to the
group and show by hid or her actions the "signal" procedures.)
A consequence should be something the teacher and student can follow through on.
There is a reasonable follow-through action expected by the student. (A student who is not
looking where he or she is going spills paint all over the floor. The student will help clean it up,
but is not expected to mop the entire class, the hall, and the lunchroom as well.)
There is a clear time frame that is appropriate to the developmental age of the student and the
behaviors of the student. (A two-minute time out might or might not give a student time to
recover controls. If the student returns to the group before he or she has truly regulated the
behavior or while he or she is still pouting and angry, it is likely the misbehaviors will quickly
Time frame makes sense -- it is not too long and thus harsh, or too short and thus ineffective. (A
student sent on an errand gets caught playing with the water fountain in the hall. The student
loses the privileges of running errands for a few days or the rest of the week -- depending on the
behavior, prior experience, and so on -- but not for a month or forever!) Remember, children
need on-going opportunities to learn from their mistakes, develop their self-controls, and regain
The teacher is prepared to follow-through and implement. (Told that homework that isn't handed
in has to be made up after school or before school begins, teachers need to check the homework
and reinforce expectations, as well as be realistic about their own time availability and parent
communication. No empty threats!)
In sum, logical consequences applied with respect, relevancy, and realistic guidelines help children
understand the consequences of their own choices and, hopefully, help them learn from their mistakes.
Article by Ruth Sidney Charney
Education World®
Copyright © 2005 Education World
Twenty-Five Discipline Don’ts
1. Don’t waste time trying to prove that you are right and your students are wrong. Instead, work
together with your students to solve problems.
2. Don’t let a situation strip you of your objectivity or cause you to lose your temper.
3. Don’t take student misbehavior personally. Distance yourself emotionally from student misdeeds
and remain objective.
4. Don’t create problems by tempting your students. Don’t leave valuables lying around, don’t
leave the room unsupervised, and don’t allow students opportunities to cheat because you are not
5. Don’t confront a student in front of the class. Not only will this create a disruption that will upset
everyone who watches, but the misbehaving student may act even worse to avoid more
embarrassment. Talk to misbehaving students privately whenever you can.
6. Don’t force a student to apologize. This will only humiliate the student and is not likely to result
in a sincere apology.
7. Don’t subtract points from a student’s grade because of misbehavior. A grade reflects a student’s
academic progress, not his or her behavior.
8. Don’t touch an angry student. Your innocent touch can be misconstrued.
9. Don’t neglect to intervene when a problem is small enough to be handled simply.
10. Don’t label students negatively. Their behavior may be bad, but they are not bad people.
11. Don’t be too quick to send a student to an administrator. Handle your own problems as often as
you can.
12. Don’t jump straight to a referral for a pattern of small offenses. Establish a management plan
where consequences build in severity as misbehavior continues.
13. Don’t assign double negative consequences. Not allowing a student to join classmates at recess
and also assigning a detention is an example of double negative consequences.
14. Don’t remain angry at students who have misbehaved. Knowing hat you are till angry will not
encourage students to behave better after they have made mistakes.
15. Don’t reward student for improper behavior. Allowing students to make fun of each other or just
rolling your eyes as they do are two ways that you reward improper behavior.
16. Don’t attempt to threaten or bully your students into behaving well. It won’t work.
17. Don’t just tell them to stop; tell them what they must do to be successful.
18. Don’t hide a serious problem such as cheating in an attempt to help the student. Involve other
concerned adults and follow your school’s policy.
19. Don’t punish in anger. Calm down and think before you act.
20. Don’t assign academic work as punishment. The consequence should match the misbehavior.
21. Don’t punish a group of student for the behavior of some.
22. Don’t be confrontational. Take a problem-solving approach instead.
23. Don’t order an angry student to comply with your demands.
24. Don’t bargain with your students to coax them to behave better. Enforce your rules instead.
25. Don’t be inconsistent.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Teacher’s Survival Kit
Teachers, Start Your Engines:
Management Tips from the Pit Crew
Who said classroom management has to be boring? The editors at
Education World offer 20 successful classroom management strategies
to get your year off to a great start and keep your classroom running
smoothly throughout the entire year. Included: 20 tips for taking
attendance, motivating students, rewarding good behavior, and more!
Every teacher knows that the right strategies can make the difference between a calm classroom and a
classroom in constant chaos. Teachers in well-organized classrooms in which students know and follow
clearly defined rules and routines spend less time disciplining and more time teaching. To help keep
your classroom running like a well-oiled machine in the coming year, we've collected some successful -and often fun -- classroom management techniques from teachers across the country and around the
Start The Day The Right Way
Words of welcome. Many teachers have found that the best way to start each day is by greeting students
at the door. A warm personal welcome sets the tone for the day and gives the teacher a chance to assess
each student's mood and head off problems before they start. One teacher reports that she offers her
younger students a choice of three greetings -- a handshake, a high five, or a hug. Their responses, she
says, tell her a lot about how each student is feeling that day.
A sea of calm. Kids who arrive at school wound up or upset often calm down, experienced teachers say,
if classical music is playing as they enter the classroom. Some teachers also turn the lights down low
and project the morning's brainteaser or bell ringer activity onto the chalkboard with an overhead
projector. That spotlight in the dimly lit room helps focus students' attention on the day ahead.
Time's a Wastin'!
For most teachers, there are never enough hours in a day. Saving even a few minutes of your time can
make a big difference in what you accomplish this year.
On the move. Increase flexibility in seat assignments -- and make life easier for substitutes -- by
creating a visual seating chart. Take a digital photograph of each child in the class. Print the photos and
write the student's name at the bottom. Attach a Velcro dot to the back of each photo and to a seating
chart created on laminated poster board. The Velcro allows seats to be changed as necessary, and
substitutes love being able to easily identify each student.
Make it up. When distributing work sheets, place copies in folders for absent students. At the end of the
day, simply label each folder with the absent students' names, and missed work is ready for the students'
Would you sign in, please? Avoid time-consuming attendance routines by following the technique used
by a Washington teacher. Write each child's name on a strip of tag board, laminate it, and glue a magnet
to the back. Each day, post a question and possible answers on a whiteboard. Students can "sign in" by
placing their magnets in the appropriate answer column. Questions might be personal, such as "Do you
own a pet?"; trivial, such as "What was the name of the Richie's mother on Happy Days?"; or
curriculum related.
Make attendance count. If you prefer to take attendance individually, make it meaningful. Instead of
calling out students' names and waiting for them to say "Here," ask each student a quick question related
to the previous day's work.
Where's My Pencil?
The average teacher spends $400 a year of his or her own money on classroom supplies. At that price,
holding on to the supplies you have can be a priority. But who has time to search every child's backpack
for borrowed pencils? These teacher-tested techniques can save your money and your sanity.
Forget-me-nots. A South Dakota teacher uses floral tape to attach large silk flowers to the tops of the
pens and pencils she keeps for student use -- turning the writing tools into hard-to-forget flowers. The
"flowers," kept in a vase on the teacher's desk, also serve to brighten up the room.
Do you have a shoe to spare? If you find the flower pens cumbersome, try the technique used by an
Iowa teacher. She allows students who forget their pens or pencils to borrow one -- if they give her one
of their shoes. Students only get the shoe back when they return the pencil. No half-shod student ever
forgets to return that borrowed pencil!
Neither a borrower nor a lender be. This tip comes from one of Education World's regular
contributors. It developed, says Brenda Dyck, a teacher at Masters Academy and College, in Calgary,
Alberta, Canada, because she grew tired of dealing with students who came to class without pencils,
texts, or homework. In Dyck's classroom, each student starts the term with 100 points toward a
"Preparedness Grade." If they come to class with a pen or pencil, textbook, and completed homework,
they get to keep the 100 points. Every time they show up without any one of those things, however, one
point is subtracted from their grade. The students' report cards include a category called "preparedness,"
which counts toward their final grade. "For some reason, keeping their 100 points is quite motivational
for my middle school students," Dyck says. "Unprepared students have become almost nonexistent in
my classes. I've been amazed!"
Discipline problems, experienced teachers say, can be greatly reduced if students are properly motivated
-- to come to school, to arrive on time, and to work diligently while they're there. Some simple
techniques can make doing the right thing even more fun than misbehaving.
Round 'em up. First you have to get them there. Discourage absenteeism by randomly choosing one
student's desk or chair each day and placing a sticker beneath it. The student who arrives to find the
sticker under his or her seat gets to choose a small prize. If the student is absent, of course, the prize is
forfeited. (And the other students are always happy to pass along that news!)
Don't be late. A teacher in California discourages tardiness by inviting students who are not in their
seats when the bell rings to go to the front of the room and sing a song. "Sometimes we have a duet, a
trio, and even a choir," she says. "It puts a smile on everyone's face and starts the class in an upbeat way.
And no one has been more than 30 seconds late since I started using this technique!"
Can you spell homework? A simple group motivation technique can be helpful in encouraging students
to complete their homework. Every day all students in the class complete their homework assignments,
write one letter of the word homework on the chalkboard. When the word is completed, treat the entire
class to a special reward.
Not a minute to waste. Do you find yourself losing precious minutes as you attempt to change
activities, line up for specials, or return from recess? Tell students that they are going to be rewarded for
the time they don't waste during the day. Explain that you will give them 3 minutes a day of wasted
time. They can use up that time each day or save it up and use it for something special. Agree on
something students could do with the "wasted" time and decide how much time they will need to save
for that special event. Tell students that as soon as they've saved the required amount of time, they will
be able to hold their special event. Each day, give students three minutes. When they waste time during
the day, start a stopwatch, time the amount of time wasted, and subtract it from the three minutes. You'll
be surprised at how quickly your students learn the value of a minute!
The door swings out. Sometimes it seems as though you have a swinging classroom door -- leading
straight to the restroom. How do you determine if those restroom requests are legitimate or just an
excuse to leave the room? Stop guessing! You can discourage middle and high school students from
asking to leave the room unnecessarily by providing an unwieldy or embarrassing hall pass. Some
suggestions: an old wooden toilet seat or a huge stuffed animal.
You Done Good!
Many new teachers make the mistake of thinking that discipline is all about dealing with poor behavior.
In reality, the best discipline is the kind that encourages good behavior. Try one of these strategies for
encouraging students to do the right thing.
The victory dance. At the beginning of the year, help students create a classroom victory dance. When
you want to reward them, either individually or as a group, allow them a minute or two to perform the
Cheers. Reward students for good work and good behavior with a silent cheer.
And the winner is ... Throughout the week, "catch" students in the act of doing something good -whether it's good work or a good deed. Write down each student's name and good behavior on a slip of
paper, and place it in a jar. At the end of the week, draw a few names from the jar and hand out small
prizes to the winners of the drawing.
I spy. Create character "tickets" by writing the words I Spy, along with a list of positive character traits,
on slips of paper. When you see a student demonstrating one of those traits, circle the trait and write the
student's name on the paper. At the end of each month, count the papers and name the student with the
most tickets "student of the month." Display his or her picture on a classroom bulletin board, and at the
end of the year, reward all students of the month with a pizza party or another special treat.
Poppin' good. Each time the entire class receives a compliment from another teacher, completes their
homework, or behaves particularly well, place a small scoop of un-popped popcorn in a jar. When the
jar is full, have a popcorn party.
Now You're Cooking!
What are you going to do with all those great tips to make sure you don't forget them? Print this article
and cut it up into individual suggestions. Paste each idea to an index card and file them under an
appropriate category in a recipe box. It's a sure-fire "recipe" for a successful year!
Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2002 Education World
Taken from
Defusing/Breaking Up Fights Between Students
From: Dwight Hodgin Student Support Specialist/Student Assistant Program
PCHS: Room 104
Ph. Ext. 5271
Assess the situation. Don’t over react and rush in. walk… don’t run to the fight scene!
Use repeated verbal commands. Don’t scream. Use a firm and appropriate verbal
command (i.e. “Stop fighting!” Use the students’ name if you know them.)
Disperse the crowd with repeated verbal commands.
Send (call) for assistance. Send student to get another teacher, liaison officer or
Remove any items from the area that can cause injury.
Make mental or written note, if possible.
ƒ Who is involved?
ƒ Are others antagonizing/instigating it?
Avoid stepping between fighting students; you can unintentionally be struck or shoved.
During a fight, always be aware of what is going on around you.
Before separating students who are fighting, it is suggested to have another adult
involved. If you are trying to restrain on student and are holding him or her, the other
student could hit the student you are holding.
First, before deciding to restrain a student, assess his/her size, strength and anger level.
If you choose to physically restrain a student, do so at the chest and upper arm
Level making sure you keep your head on one side of the student’s heard, not directly
behind his/her head, so their head dos not unintentionally hit you in the face. Never grab a
student around the neck!
Physical intervention is a choice, but you must use reasonable verbal intervention and
seek assistance. (i.e. “STOP FIGHTING NOW!)
NOTE: According to the Michigan Law, if a student is injured when you find it necessary to
restrain him/her, you are NOT subject to liability as a school employee. The key is that you use
good judgment and reasonable physical restraint measures.
Building Student Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is how people feel about themselves. It’s their perception of self-worth. If students have
positive self-esteem, they feel good about themselves. If students have negative self-esteem they will
not value themselves and will be presented to others as negative. Ultimately, the results of self-esteem
shows up everywhere.
Since there is a correlation between academic achievement and self-esteem, you become a facilitator of
self-esteem and can make a difference. You can promote a feeling within a child of being lovable and
capable. As the teacher, you can create a safe and accepting environment where the child feels free to
grow and change. As you begin to shape a child’s self-esteem, you also begin to nurture hour own.
Tips for Fostering Self-esteem
Be non-judgmental – accept students as they are
Validate feelings
See uniqueness
Encourage positively – say “You can succeed”
Reaffirm a child’s existence – a touch, a compliment
Respect others’ feelings
Provide undivided recognition
Provide a safe classroom – minimize risk
Foster openness and honesty
Participate, as well as facilitate – share feelings
Keep boundaries that allow give and take
Emphasize what each child knows
Use humor, but not at the expense of students
Give children choices
Teach self-awareness
Acknowledge positive qualities
Use “I” messages – “Heather, I heard exciting events in your story.”
Separate the action from the person
Demonstrate appropriate ways of releasing anger
Listen reflectively and genuinely
Give support for growth and change
Develop skills to help child feel better about him/herself
Use praise
All children do not react to praise the same way. Your objective in using praise is to get children to
develop an internal locus of control to improve behavior and academic achievement. Suggested uses of
Give praise for desired behavior, and define the behavior. “Thank you for picking up the paper.
You really helped the class save time.”
Vary your praise and be creative. Don’t use trite phrases such as: great, fine and wonderful.
At times, give praise privately to avoid competition, embarrassment or “teacher’s pet” syndrome.
Praise needs to be genuine and matched by your body language.
Draw the student’s attention to his/her effort and ability. “You sure learned those 10 addition
facts quickly. You must have spent a lot of time practicing.”
Be careful not to compare children to each other. “Gee, you have almost caught up to Karen.”
Avoid teacher pleasing phrases. “I really like the way you used descriptive words in your poem.?
Don’t minimize a child’s success. “Your math assignment must have been easy. You finished
so quickly.”
Creating a Positive Work Environment
One of the most important relationships you will cultivate in your first year of teaching is that with your
co-workers. Establishing positive relationships with those that you work with is an essential component
to a successful teaching career. Not only will the relationships you form with your co-workers provide
you with resources and suggestions for making your first year of teaching successful; but they will
provide you with the emotional support and listening skills you are certain to use during your first
teaching year.
Creating a Positive Work Environment
Becoming a Team Player in Your School
Becoming a Valuable Team Player
o For many people, it comes as no surprise that the primary reason that many employees
are fired is not poor job performance, but the inability to work well with others. Schools
are like other organizations in that there, too, employees must learn to work well with
10 Teamwork Skills that Build Success
o According to an ancient Japanese proverb, “None of us are as smart as all of us.” Teams
make the workload easier and the task more pleasant only if all of the team members
have the skills to work well together. But just what does it take to be a good team
member? The following ten teamwork skills are a good place to start.
o Teachers who are good team members…
…build bridges of understanding and connectedness to their colleagues and
…treat all people in their work community with courtesy.
…listen to all other opinions before making decisions.
…are reliable and can be counted on to keep their promises.
…commit themselves to the good of the school.
…are quick to celebrate the hard work and success of others.
…are prepared to compromise when a group decision depends on it.
…cheerfully offer help to other colleagues when needed
…are cheerleaders for their school.
…are sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.
Now look at each of the above teamwork skills. See each one as a goal to work towards and literally
determine the steps you need to take to achieve each of these goals. Make sure that the steps you
decide to take are achievable and geared to your success.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Journal Entries to Help You Become a Valuable Team Player
Create a Journal!
Creating and keeping an updated journal of your thoughts and ideas during your first year of teaching is
an excellent method for you to reflect upon both your triumphs and your difficult situations. Below are
some sample questions you may want to reflect up on in your journal in order to help you become a
valuable member of your school’s educational team.
Are you a trustworthy faculty member? Explore ways in which you can enhance this attribute.
Who among your peers supports your growth as a teacher? In what ways can you benefit from
this support?
What is the best piece of advice about education you have ever received? Explore ways in which
you apply this in your role as an educator.
What keeps you from listening? How does this affect your role as a teacher? What steps can
you take to become a better listener?
What strengths have you developed as a teacher? What strengths have you observed in your
colleagues? How can you learn from them?
As a first- year teacher, it is often difficult to fit into the school environment. What roles do you
play in that environment right now? What roles can you anticipate that you will play in the
What are some of the contributions that you make to your school? What do you add to a friendly
and professional atmosphere? What contributions can you make in the future? How will you go
about this?
What are some of the negative comments you have heard in an evaluation conference? How can
you benefit from those comments? How do you plan to use constructive criticism to improve
how you teach?
What emotions do you feel before a parent teacher conference? What emotions do you imagine
that the parents feel? How do you imagine students feel? How can you deal with those emotions
successfully so that everyone benefits?
What unexpected courtesies have you noticed at school lately? What problems could these
courtesies have prevented? How can you add unexpected courtesies to your school
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
On-the-Job Courtesy – New Teacher Etiquette
Now that you have minded your manners long enough to make it through the initial interviews that
resulted in your new career, it is time to develop the business manners that will guarantee your
success. Follow theses suggestions to present yourself as a courteous professional.
Refer to other adults in the building by their title and last name in front of students.
Greet absolutely everyone you meet with a pleasant smile.
Do not allow your students to complain to you about another teacher.
Pay attention during faculty meetings.
Be known as a punctual person.
Plan ahead so that you don’t have to ask to cut in line at the photocopier.
Be extra careful to say “please” and “thank you”. Take care to remember this in stressful
Don’t repeat gossip.
Leave your work area clean. If you use the paper cutter, pick up scraps; if you spill food at
lunch, wipe up the mess.
Answer the phone or respond to the intercom message in a businesslike manner.
Be very polite to all cafeteria staff members and expect that your students will do the same.
If you are having a disagreement with a colleague, be careful to remain calm and
professional. Never raise your voice. Absolutely never stage such a disagreement in front of
If you see another teacher struggling with books, papers, or any of those other packages that
teachers lug around, offer to help carry a couple of items or hold the door.
If you borrow it, (ask first) and (promptly) return it.
Keep the noise level in your class down so that you don’t disturb other classes.
Meet your students at the door with a friendly word.
Share your materials, supplies, and other resources.
Respect the class time of other teachers. Unless there is an emergency, try not to interrupt
another teacher’s instruction.
Do not make students late to another teacher’s class or ask that they be allowed to miss
another class to come to yours instead.
Share the phone lines. There will never be enough phones in a school, so be careful to limit
your phone conversations to business matters.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Working Well With Your Supervisors
If you want to establish a positive relationship with your supervisors, you will need to take positive
action. Don’t just hope that on one will notice you because you are a first-year teacher. In fact, you are
particularly noticeable just because you are a first-year teacher!
Follow these suggestions to establish a positive working relationship with all of your supervisors.
If you work in a large school, you will probably work with a large number or administrators.
Get to know each one as well as you can as quickly as you can.
Behave in a professional manner at all times. This will win you the support of administrators
not only because it will make their jobs easier, but also because a solid reputation will make
it easier for an administrator to support you when you make mistakes.
Take time to familiarize yourself with the information in your faculty manual. This will help
you avoid mistakes that may lead to negative interaction with your supervisors.
Your administrators are responsible for the entire school and you are responsible for only a
very small part of it. If you can achieve this mind set, you’ll find that it is easier to
understand some of the policies or decisions that you might otherwise find confusing.
Accept the fact that you are not always going to agree with the decisions and actions of the
administrators with whom you work, but public criticism of their actions can seriously
damage your professional reputation. Think before you voice criticism in public.
Don’t threaten to send your students to the office instead of independently resolving the
problem using other, more successful methods of discipline. Maintain control of your
classroom, so that when you have to send a child out of class, the action will have meaning –
to students as well as administrators.
Once you have referred a student to an administrator, you may disagree with an
administrator’s discipline decision, but you should not publicly criticize that action. Instead,
make an appointment to discuss the situation with the administrator.
Remember to always be professional in your dealings with administrators. Always present a
calm and competent image, not an image of a furious teacher lacking in self-control.
Regardless of your personal feelings toward a supervisor, always model the respect that you
want your students to show towards your supervisors.
When you make mistakes, be truthful in discussing it with your supervisors. And if you can
do this before they find out the bad news from someone else, you should do so.
Share your successes with your supervisors. Help them create successful public relations for
your school by letting them know about noteworthy positive news about your students.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Exhibiting Professional Behavior at Staff Meetings
No matter how friendly and informal the atmosphere is in your school, faculty meetings are serious
business. If you’ve never had a job where staff meetings were routinely scheduled to work out
problems or share information, adjusting to professional faculty meetings may be difficult for you at
first. And while you may quickly become bored with information that you believe you have already
heard many times; do not give in to temptation to act on this feeling.
Staff Meeting Etiquette
Be on time.
Mark meetings on your calendar.
If you have to be absent, contact the person in charge of the
meeting to let him or her know that you will not be there.
Arrange for a friend to take notes and collect handouts for you.
Sit near the front and take notes. Bring a paper and pen. Keep a
notebook specifically for staff meetings.
Pay attention to the speaker and follow along on your agenda. Do
not chat while the speaker is leading the meeting. This is not only
rude to the speaker and to the people around you who are trying to
hear, but it marks you as a rude person to your colleagues.
Even though you may have a tall stack of tests to grade, it is still
rude to grade papers or do other paperwork in a meeting.
Turn off your beeper or cell phone
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
The Teacher’s Lounge
A teacher’s lounge offers a haven for teachers who want to take a break and still be in the company of
others. In a lounge you can enjoy a rare opportunity to socialize with your colleagues during the school
day. You can also share ideas and solicit suggestions for solutions to problems you may be having with
your classes. If you are fortunate enough to work in a school with a teachers’ lounge, take advantage of
the opportunities it offers, but be sure to avoid its pitfalls.
The advantages of a Teachers Lounge:
• A time and space to relax and get away from your desk.
Communication with other staff members about shared experiences.
Comfortable eating area specifically designed with adults in mind.
The Pitfalls of a Teachers’ Lounge
• The first pitfall of a teachers lounge is shared space. A lounge is not for intense work requiring
concentration and quiet unless everyone in the room agrees to this. It is also not the place to
share intimate details of your weekend with a colleague who is also a close friend. Personal
matters should be discussed in private.
The second pitfall of a teachers’ lounge involves student intrusions. Students should not be in
the lounge. Do not send students to the lounge to collect papers that you left behind, or to
purchase a snack, or for any reason. Respect the privacy of other teachers who may be there for
a break from the demands of their students. You should also never discuss students in the
lounge. This is an unprofessional practice.
A final caveat: Gossip of any kind – about other teachers and especially about students- is never
acceptable in the lounge. Do not allow yourself to initiate or participate in this unprofessional
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Maintaining a Private Social Life
Watch what you reveal about yourself to your colleagues and to your students. If you are indiscreet
about sharing details of your personal life, expect to have the details not only gossiped about in homes
all over your school district, but wildly embellished. Be very careful what you reveal about yourself to
your colleagues and even more so about what you reveal to your students.
Follow these guidelines to keep your social life private:
It is not a sensible idea to purchase alcohol, tobacco products, or other very personal items in a
place where you could run into your students, their family members, or unsympathetic
If you eat out in a restaurant, limit your alcohol intake. In fact, to avoid hearing rumors of how
you were publicly intoxicated, avoid purchasing alcohol in places where you could meet
someone connected to your school.
Avoid sharing too much information about your personal life at work. It is one thing for your
colleagues to learn that you have a new puppy; it is quite another for you to tell about how the
puppy accompanied you and your new boyfriend on a romantic weekend adventure.
Do not make personal phone calls or send personal e-mails at school. The phone calls may be
overheard and school e-mail is not private.
If you decide to date a staff member, keep your relationship as private as possible. Your
students should have absolutely no idea that you are involved with a fellow staff member. The
less you say about the details of your personal life to your students, the better. Instead, model
acceptable and mature behavior. Before you reveal anything about your personal life, ask
yourself, “Would I be comfortable revealing this if a school board member were in the room?”
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
“How do I get support from more senior teachers?”
FAQ taken from the Michigan Education Association website:
Integrating yourself into a positive work environment is essential towards establishing a positive
teaching career. One key aspect of creating a positive work environment is seeking support and
suggestions from senior teachers on your teaching staff. While this seems like a simple task, you will
benefit from reading the suggestions listed for you below and heeding the advice of other first year
teachers as they completed their freshman year of teaching.
First, be sincere. Are you really looking for their support and suggestions or are you trying to
“wow” them with your ideas and enthusiasm?
Second, don’t assume because their style may be more subdued than yours that there isn’t real
learning going on in their classroom. They may not wear their dedication on their sleeve, but
that doesn’t mean they don’t share your commitment to teaching.
Third, if you want support, give support. If you want constructive criticism, make sure your
comments are constructive.
Fourth, whether the teacher is a veteran or fairly new to the profession, the greatest threat to a
non-growing teacher is a teacher who is growing. At work as in life, do not listen to cynical,
non-growing people. Move on. Find yourself a mentor who will inspire you and who will serve
as a role model for your continued growth. It’s a good idea to look for support and input from
more experienced teachers.
When teachers learn together,
test ideas together and solve problems together,
everyone in the school community benefits.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Diversity in the Workplace
What is your role as a first-year faculty member in a diverse workplace? While the parameters of your
workplace will dictate the specific actions that your school will take to include all faculty members in
the common goal of educating students, the following guidelines will assist you in finding a way to
become a team player in the “global classroom” in your school.
Keep an open mind. Realize that you can learn a great deal from people whose backgrounds
are very different from yours. Work with your students to help them learn to value people
from other cultures. Everyone benefits when a diverse workplace is a successful workplace.
Make sure that your language is appropriate. Be aware that the names you use and the things
that you may criticize when referring to people of other cultures are very real reflections for
your own thinking. Make sure that your language is reflective of an open-minded, welleducated person who values people of other cultures.
Reach out! If you sometimes feel ill at ease in your school environment, think how much
more difficult it is for teachers of other cultures. Be friendly to everyone. Show a genuine
interest in and respect for another person’s culture.
HINT: To find further information on how to thrive in a diverse workplace see Understanding Diversity under the Resources
section of this handbook.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Collaborating with Special Education Teachers
When special needs students were “included” in all classrooms, special education teachers and general
education teachers began forming teams to help students requiring special accommodations in inclusion
classes. The unique feature of this collaboration is that frequently both teachers are present in the
classroom at the same time, and both maintain a join responsibility for the education of all students in
their class.
These collaborative teams of teachers face an important challenge: how to successfully share the duties
of the class so that they have common goals regarding delivering instruction, assessing progress, and
managing behavior. Research reveals that successful collaboration is highly likely if team teachers see
themselves as equal partners who are actively engaged in all parts of the teaching process. When
collaborative teachers begin to work together, they must realize that they both have expertise in a
particular field and that, by sharing that expertise, they can form a strong team to meet the needs of the
learners in their shared class.
A typical division of responsibilities between team members:
The general education teacher’s responsibilities include:
• Creating activities to teach the content
• Finding and adapting resource material for all students
• Delivering effective instruction
• Meeting the curriculum requirements of all students
The special education teacher’s responsibilities include:
• Adapting material to meet the needs of special needs students
• Adapting activities to match the learning styles of special needs students
• Modifying assessments
• Meeting the curriculum requirements of special needs students
What makes it possible for two teachers with different educational backgrounds to work together in a
successful collaboration? The primary requirement for a positive working relationship is a commitment
on the part of both teachers to work together for the common good of their students.
Both teachers should agree to:
• Plan lessons together
• Follow the same classroom management procedures
• Be dependable team members
• Discuss controversial class events in civil tones and in privacy
• Assume equal responsibility for what happens in class
• Present a united front to students
• Share monitoring duties and maintain an orderly classroom environment for
all students
• Share resource materials
• Schedule time to work together on a regular basis
HINT: To learn more about collaborating with Special Education teacher see Special Education under the Resources section
of this handbook.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Working Successfully with Paraeducators
Paraeducators are professionals who assist special education teacher and general education teachers by
working directly with students. Paraeducators will often be the people with whom special needs
students have the closest contact all day.
Paraeducators can assume a variety of tasks in the classroom depending on the particular needs of their
students. As a part of an inclusion team or as teaching assistants in your classroom, the paras that you
work with will best be able to help you and your students if you work together well.
The following tips will help you and the paraeducators that you work with learn to work together
• Make sure that you include paraeducators in meetings you have with parents and administrators
about students. Paras can often offer special insights about the students they work with.
Treat paraeducators with professional courtesy at all times.
Once you determine the strengths and special skills of the paras you work with, tap into those
skills to help your students. For example, if you have a para that is excellent at reading aloud,
encourage him or her to read to students.
You should decide together what the para’s role should be in various aspects of class. Plan
exactly what duties and responsibilities you are both comfortable with and remain flexible to
change as the term progresses.
Anticipate and clarify issues that might cause problems. For example, what kinds of
interventions should the para make if students are misbehaving.
Unless a paraeducator is also a certified teacher, do not leave him or her in charge of the class
while you are absent from the room. The law requires that a certified person supervise students.
Maintain open lines of communication by scheduling time to discuss any problems or concerns
that may arise.
HINT: To learn more about how to work well with a paraeducator see Paraeducators under the Resources section of this
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Knowing the Role of Counselors in Your School
Taken from the American School Counselor Association website
Professional school counselors are certified/licensed professionals with a masters’ degree or higher in
school counseling or the substantial equivalent and are uniquely qualified to address the developmental
needs of all students. Professional school counselors deliver a comprehensive school counseling
program encouraging all students’ academic, career and personal/social development and helping all
students in maximizing student achievement.
HINT: To learn more about the Role of Counselors in Your School see School Counselors under the Resources section of this
The following are a few areas your school counselor may be able to assist you in:
• Advising
• Academic goal setting
• Academic planning
• College preparatory
• Academic credits
• Family and emotional support
• Conflict resolution
• Behavior intervention
• Networking social workers, school psychologists etc.
• Establishing parent contacts
• Transfer credit
• Assisting in the acclamation of new students
• Student support groups
• Grades
Taken from Julia G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Professional Tips
Dress as a professional. An adult coming into the school should be able to tell the difference
between you and the students.
Model respectful behavior towards:
√ Self
√ Students
√ Staff
√ Parents
Keep student information confidential.
Keep informed about educational issues:
√ Local
√ State
√ National
Action should reflect your belief that all children can learn. (You are the teacher for all
children, not just 80% of them.)
Be a salesperson for your content area as well as the profession.
Be an active participant to improve the teaching profession.
Continue to improve your professional skills by begin a life-long learner:
Read journals
Attend seminars
Participate in workshops and in-services
Education Labels
Austically Impaired
Attendance book
Educational Resource Information Center
Intermediate School District
Cumulative Records for Students
Instructional Theory Into Practice
Individualized Educational Planning Committee
Learning Disabled
Emotionally and Mentally Impaired
Emotional Impaired
Trainable Mentally Impaired
Teacher Consultant
Michigan Education Assessment Program
Michigan Education Association
National Education Association
Creating Balance
How to Effectively do Your
Job and Have a Personal Life
While teaching is one of the most rewarding occupations you could have chosen to enter, it is also one
of the most demanding and emotionally challenging occupations known. Becoming an effective
educator is a challenging task that will take you many years to master, don’t expect to become an expert
over night! One of the pitfalls that many new teachers fall into is spending countless hours in the school
doing work. It is imperative for your mental health that you find a balance between your new job and
your family and social life.
20 Strategies for an Educator’s Tough Times
Having a bad day? Try the following strategies to banish the stress that comes with a bad day at school.
1. Go to your school’s media center and escape into a good book or read a newspaper
2. Talk thing over with a sympathetic colleague or mentor
3. Take a brisk walk around the perimeter of your building
4. Refuse to take it personally when students are rude or disruptive
5. Find a quiet pot and practice deep breathing exercises
6. Slowly count to one hundred before you speak in anger. Still stressed? Keep counting until you
feel yourself relaxing.
7. Find a way to laugh at yourself or the situation
8. If you have too much to do, divide each task into manageable amounts and get busy.
9. Turn on some music.
10. Take a break. Change activities. Do something you enjoy
11. Brainstorm solutions to the cause of your stress
12. Eat a healthful snack. Avoid junk food
13. Acknowledge that you are genuinely upset. Denial doesn’t help you solve problems.
14. Plan a pleasant activity that you can anticipate with pleasure
15. Clear up some clutter. Tidy your desk or your classroom.
16. Shift your activity. Move to another location, if possible
17. Ask for help
18. Tackle busy work: grade quiz papers, answer e-mail, anything to be productive instead of
paralyzed by negative emotions.
19. Deal with the problems that cause you stress. Don’t procrastinate. Cope.
20. Remind yourself once again that today’s problems probably won’t be important a year from
now- or maybe even a week from now.
Taken from Julie G. Thompson’s First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit
Get Control of Your Time
It's pretty obvious by now that teaching can be a 24-hours per day, seven-days per week, 12-months per
year job. Control of your time starts with planning and prioritizing your list of activities each day.
Veteran teachers offer these timesaving tips.
If you are still using a paper grade book rather than a computer program, color-code your grade
book. Choose a color for attendance, grades, projects and assignments.
Organize your paperwork. Categorize according to priority. Once papers are sorted, deal with
them as quickly as possible.
Learn to delegate. Establish rotating class responsibilities to make use of the talents and skills of
your students. Use your paraprofessional (if you have one) and student volunteers to assist you.
Write it down. You can't remember everything. Keep a list and take notes in your calendar or
Develop a class conduct sheet so students know what is expected of them. Send a copy home to
Post signs. Try one on your room door that says, "Do you have your book? paper? a pen or
pencil?" Store-bought posters make a quick and easy room decoration.
File material by class or subject area. Keep a file box or folder for each class, subject area or
Try to get your papers graded during the day or stay after school to get them graded. If it's
acceptable in your district, let some of your assignments be ones that students could grade
themselves during class.
Get absolute must-do work accomplished early in the day while you're still fresh. Avoid that
frantic catch-up feeling during the day.
If it won't result in losing your job, your family or your life, it's okay to say no when someone
asks you to do one more thing. You have a right to a life.
Taken from the Michigan Education Association website
Take Some Time for Yourself
Congratulations! You've made it to the holiday break! For new teachers, that's quite an accomplishment.
The rest of the good news is that things will start to get better after the holiday break since you're
beginning to feel more comfortable with your students and your teaching.
Use the holiday break as a time for rejuvenation. Try these tips to help you survive and thrive.
Put problems behind you. Use the new year as a fresh start if need be. Focus on the future and
what you want for yourself and your students.
Continue to have high expectations but also face up to reality. Pace yourself and leave room for
mistakes. Be clear about your goals and what you want for your students and for yourself.
Concentrate on polishing your teaching techniques. Work on improving weak areas. Ask for help
from your mentor, your colleagues and the association.
Write in a time on your calendar for regular exercise. It's a great stress reliever.
If you can, leave you’re teaching at school. If you have to lug schoolwork home, get it done early
in the evening.
Get plenty of sleep. Leave your classroom issues back in the classroom. Don't lie awake
worrying about how you should have handled Johnny or Susie in class. Tomorrow is a new day.
Observe good eating habits. Organize a regular eating plan.
Don't feel you have to do everything. Get over it! You can't do it all and you won't. Set and
recognize reasonable goals for yourself and your students.
Keep a "to do" list. Review it daily and try doing at least one or two things you can check off. It
will bring a real sense of accomplishment.
Find a friend who can be a trusted listener. Your mentor and association rep can fill this role.
Don't vent in public; find a private place for your conversations.
Don't procrastinate about things you have to do. Get those papers graded rather than let them
hang over you. Just think-if we spent as much time doing the job as we do avoiding it, we could
have more time for ourselves.
Learn to tolerate and forgive. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes to try to understand why
he/she might behave in a particular way.
Learn to plan ahead. Develop a personal style for getting things done. Organization keeps stress
to a minimum.
Learn to have fun and laugh at yourself. Smile often - hopefully, you've done this before
When you're facing a stressful situation, ask yourself, "What's the worst thing than can happen as
a result of this?" Anything less than the worst happening will be a pleasant surprise.
Reward yourself for your professional achievement. Celebrate your accomplishments!
Taken from the Michigan Education Association website
Advice for First-Year Teachers -- from the
'Sophomores' Who Survived Last Year!
Education World asked the "sophomores" who faced -- and survived -- that dreaded first year to
reflect on their successes and failures. First-year teachers, here is their best advice for getting
through it.
There's no doubt about it. Beginning the school year in a strange environment filled with new faces,
unfamiliar procedures, and unknown pitfalls can be a scary prospect. You're the teacher, however, and
you can "never let 'em see you sweat."
To help you stay cool and dry in the coming year, Education World asked the "sophomores" who faced - and survived -- that dreaded first year last year to reflect on their successes and failures. They offered
their best advice for getting through it.
What advice did those teachers offer? From North Carolina to Arizona, from Mississippi to Wisconsin,
the "grizzled veterans" agreed on several essential points:
Take charge. Wisconsin teacher Dawn Schurman recommended "having a clear discipline plan
set up, with both rewards and consequences. Explain it to the kids on day 1 and review
throughout the first week. In addition, I'm very glad that I sent home a copy of the discipline
plan. I asked parents to read it with their child and for parents and children to sign and return a
contract stating that they agreed to the rules. This has come in handy a few times."
Keep students busy and engaged. First-year teacher Jean Federico said "I have one big piece of
advice for first-year teachers: Before the first day of school, have plenty of activities prepared for
emergency use. I learned the hard way that kids will misbehave if they have nothing to do. A
class full of bored kids won't all sit quietly for ten minutes waiting for you to figure out what is
Get peer support. Retta Threet, a teacher in Sumter, South Carolina, admitted "My biggest
mistake was not insisting on a mentor, or at least a peer teacher. If I had it to do again, I would
make a good friend whom I could go to for advice."
Get parental support. North Carolina teacher Jana Lippe suggested "Use your parents as much
as you can. Every time I needed supplies for a celebration, I just sent a note home asking for
donations. Every time, the parents came through."
Organize yourself. Arizona English teacher Alana Morales advised "Find an organization
system that you can live and work with and stick with it. With 120-plus students, it's crucial that
you stay organized!"
Organize your students. Said Mississippi teacher Lisa Packard "Don't assume they know how
to organize themselves, because they don't. Show them how to organize their notebooks and
folders. Show them exactly what you want on their papers and homework."
Write and reflect. Teacher Mike Powell advised "Start keeping a professional journal. After the
course of the year, this journal will allow you to reflect on your professional practices and to
witness what is probably going to be enormous personal growth."
Have fun. "Do your best and have fun doing it. Once I finally relaxed, I had a great time," said
teacher Tracy Keirns.
So, with thanks to Dawn, Jean, Retta, Jana, Alana, Lisa, Tracy, Lew, Mike, and all the other teachers
who responded to our request, Education World compiled a list of the 26 top tips for surviving the first
year. We call them
The ABCS For First Year Teachers
Admit your mistakes -- and learn from them.
Be firm but flexible.
Communicate with parents.
Develop a homework policy -- and stick to it.
Empower your students; don't just lecture to them.
Find time to attend after-school events.
Get to know all the teachers in your school and make friends with the cooks, custodians, aides,
and secretaries.
Have the courage to try something else if what you're doing isn't working.
Institute a clear discipline policy -- and enforce it consistently.
Just listen -- both to what the kids are saying and to what they're not saying.
Keep a journal.
Learn your school's policies and procedures.
Model desired attitudes and behavior.
Non carborundum ignorami. (Don't let the imbeciles wear you down.)
Prepare interesting lessons.
Quit worrying and just do your best.
Remember that you teach students first, then you teach whatever academic discipline you
Stay alert.
Take pictures.
Understand that the learning process involves everyone -- teachers, students, colleagues, and
parents -- and get everyone involved.
Volunteer to share projects and ideas, and don't be afraid to ask others to share their ideas with
Work within your limits.
Xpect the unexpected -- and plan for it!
Yell if you need support.
Zero in on your strengths, not your weaknesses. (Remember -- nobody's perfect!)
Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2002 Education World
Escape the Homework Trap
Homework can serve a number of purposes-to enhance student learning, to review previous content and
to introduce new content. While the benefits of assigning homework are many, don't get caught in the
dilemma of assigning homework for homework's sake or not assigning homework because no one does
it anyway.
Here are some guidelines for keeping the subject of homework in perspective.
Don't give homework as punishment. The value of homework will be lost on your students.
Don't give spur-of-the-moment homework assignments. They should be well-thought out and a
BE segment of your daily lesson plans.
Don't assume that because no questions are asked when you give the assignment that students
have no questions about their homework. Be clear in your directions. Write the assignments on
the board. Be sure to explain the purpose of the homework assignment, too.
Don't expect students-even your best ones-to always have their homework done. Sometimes a
student's best intentions for doing homework can be interrupted by the realities of life.
Understand that not all kinds of homework assignments are equally valuable for all students.
Provide variety in the type of assignments you make to account for different abilities.
Offer to help students before and after school with some homework assignments. Sometimes a
little help getting started with the assignment is enough encouragement for the student to
complete the work at home.
Acknowledge and be thankful for students' efforts to complete homework. At the same time,
don't confuse excuses with legitimate reasons for undone or incomplete homework assignments
with legitimate reasons. ("The dog ate it"; "It was crinkled up and I tried to iron it"; "Homework?
What homework?"-clever excuses but probably not legitimate reasons.)
Make every effort to acknowledge completed homework assignments. If you grade them, grade
and return them right away.
Listen to what students say about their experiences with homework. It's a good indicator of how
well they understand the lesson.
The amount and frequency of homework needs to be appropriate for the grade level. Talk to your
mentor and other teachers at your grade level to get a perspective on what's reasonable.
Provide students with guidelines for when and how to complete homework or how to get
assignments they missed.
Determine how you will handle late or missed assignments. Be consistent in your policies.
Homework should be a part of your overall assessment of student progress and your own success
in presenting a lesson. Let it be just one more way of measuring student learning.
Decide whether it's acceptable for students to ask for help with homework from their parents. If
so, send home a tip sheet for parents on how they can help.
Be sure to talk to your mentor, association reps and other teachers for more tips on handling
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
When All Else Fails-Try This!
The best way to get control of your classroom-and keep it there-is by making sure that learning is fun,
interesting and relevant to your students. Good planning helps, but when it seems like even the best
lesson plans aren't working, consider these tips from veteran teachers.
Make sure all students can easily see you when you are
presenting information or using the chalkboard or AV
Keep in mind potential distractions-windows, doors,
animals, instruction stations.
Locate your desk, work areas, and instructional areas
where you can see everyone all the time.
Establish Discipline Standards
Students needing extra help or attention should be seated close to the front of the room.
Make sure parents and students know your discipline standards and the consequences when rules
are broken. Make sure your rules align with the district's policy.
Be consistent. Be fair. Be positive.
Treat students with the same respect you expect from them. Have students help set classroom
guidelines for behavior.
Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake.
AND. . . Classroom management can be a difficult skill to master. If these tips aren't helping,
reevaluate your rules and policies. Talk to your mentor. Let students know you're making some
changes and be consistent from then on.
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
How can I make the most of my first year of teaching?
The first year of teaching is a challenging and emotional experience for many new teachers. Researchers
at the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project have found that the experiences of beginning teacher tend to fall
into predictable phases.
You may find yourself experiencing some of the same highs and lows of teacher who contributed to this
study. The suggestions in the chart are meant to help you capitalize on the enthusiasm and successes
you will experience throughout the year and respond to the challenges all beginning teachers face. The
phases are Anticipation, Survival, Disillusionment, Rejuvenation, and Reflection.
During the anticipation phase:
Anticipation (before the school
year begins)
Beginning Teachers Typically:
Begin the year with enthusiasm
and a great deal of energy.
Have a romanticized and
idealistic view of what it will
mean to teach.
You might:
Begin to identify different
sources and types of support you
can draw on throughout the year.
[Create graphic that shows this].
Become familiar with the
faculty, policies, procedures in
the school. The orientation
handbook tool can help you
organize this information.
Begin to establish routines,
initial lesson plans, set up
learning environment, etc.
Begin to work with your
principal on developing your
Individualized Development Plan
(IDP) [Page not made], which
will establish your professional
goals for the year.
Begin to prepare a preliminary
management plan.
Taken from ASSIST Beginning Teachers website
During the survival phase:
Beginning Teachers Typically:
Feel overwhelmed by the amount
of work that is required,
particularly in developing
You might:
Ask for help!
Beginning Teachers Typically:
Feel disappointed that initial
expectations are not being met.
Question his/her own
commitment and competence.
You might:
Use or build a support network
for yourself.
Initiate professional
conversations with a mentor or
colleagues around topics such as
planning, getting to know
students, assessments and record
keeping, etc.
During the disillusionment phase:
Feel run down or become ill.
Remember that the first year of
teaching is challenging. Look
back on what you have
Focus on a particular area that is
a priority for you in the
classroom. This area may be
articulated in your IDP.
Start to plan for conferences,
report cards, etc. in advance. Ask
your principal or a colleague
what the expectations are for
your school.
Taken from ASSIST Beginning Teachers website
During the rejuvenation phase:
Rejuvenation (~January)
Beginning Teachers Typically:
Feel refreshed after winter break.
Begin to recognize his/her
Refocus on curriculum
development, long-term planning
and teaching strategies.
You might:
Celebrate your successes! Refer
to your IDP. [To be developed]
Collect samples of student work
that reflect movement toward
your goals.
Take advantage of your renewed
energy to work with colleagues
to plan and adjust instruction.
During the reflection phase:
Reflection (~May)
Beginning Teachers Typically:
Reflect on the highs and lows of
the year.
Anticipate how he/she will teach
next year.
You might:
Celebrate your accomplishments!
Begin to set goals for the
upcoming year. [To be
Taken from ASSIST Beginning Teachers website
What can I offer schools as a beginning teacher?
At some point during the first several years of teaching, it is common for a beginning teacher to question
his or her efficacy as a teacher or even whether he or she wants to continue teaching.
If you begin to feel this way, remember that you can make a unique contribution to your school. You
may offer:
Enthusiasm and passion
New teachers often have strong reasons for entering the field. Are you passionate about helping
all students succeed? or using integrated curriculum? or participating in action research? Your
commitment to your ideals may inspire other teachers to reflect on their own commitments or
develop a new focus in their teaching. Your idealism can revitalize others.
New ideas and fresh perspectives
If you participated in a teacher preparation program, most likely you had access to research and
ways of thinking about teaching that you’re more experienced colleagues have not. You are in a
perfect position to collaborate with others to integrate what research tells us about teaching with
your practical experience and that of others.
Learning through collaboration
Not only will you learn from working with others, but your colleagues will too. Teachers often
report that they benefit from describing, justifying, and analyzing their own practice as they
mentor and work with less experienced teaches.
Taken from ASSIST Beginning Teachers website
Growing Professionally
Teaching is a journey with no definite destination. Just when you think you've arrived, you find that
there are other places to go. Continually making new discoveries about the profession and renewing
your spirit are what keep teaching exciting.
Review the list of professional development topics below. Rate your skills at the beginning of the school
year and as they are now. Use a scale of one to 10, with 10 being highly skilled. Calculate the average
for each column. Think about sharing the results with your mentor.
Making enough time to care for your health
Managing your emotional state
Having enough time for personal responsibilities
Staying on top of employment details
Getting actively involved in professional
Sharing your time and expertise with colleagues
Effectively communicating with parents, students,
administrators, colleagues
Understanding federal and state expectations
Understanding your district’s policies and procedures
Understanding your grade level or subject area
Understanding programs for exceptional students
Getting your paperwork done on time
Understanding parents’ expectations
Handling extra duties
Using your planning time wisely and effectively
Understanding how others can help you
Knowing where to get the teaching tools you need
Determining your personal goals
Developing effective lesson plans
Increasing the knowledge of your subject or grade
Varying your teaching strategies
Making your lessons interesting and motivating
Reaching all students
Accommodating individual needs and differences
Designing and using effective teaching strategies
Maintaining adequate records
Establishing and maintaining a positive classroom
Managing student behavior
Managing your own response to student misbehavior
Using empathy and active listening skills when
communicating with others
Developing effective classroom rules and procedures
Getting along with administrators and colleagues
Working with parents successfully
Conducting effective parent conferences
Is today’s average higher or lower than in the fall?
Are you pleased with your progress? Why or why
Can you identify areas of strength? of weakness?
What do you plan to do differently next year?
Taken from Michigan Education Association website
Reaching Out For Support
As a new teacher it is imperative that you be able to ask others around you for support. Many new
teachers entering into the educational field feels as though they must have all of the answers and in
asking for help in a colleague shows that they are unprepared. In teaching we stress the importance of
collaborative learning to our students, that working together in a group setting and asking questions
when something is not understood is a valuable tool to have. We in turn as educators need to be able to
take our own advice and reach out to others for support.
Reaching Out for Support Resources
Teacher Supplies and Discounts
(Bring your teacher ID)
Teacher Stores in MICHIGAN
• A+ Teaching Center - Okemos MI (517)321-6223
• Borders, Inc. - Ann Arbor MI (734)477-1100
• Creative Classrooms Inc - Traverse City MI (231)947-0414
• Debby & Company - Grand Rapids MI (616)364-7660
• Doll Hospital & Toy Soldier Shop, The - Berkley MI (248)543-3115
• Education Express - Bay City MI (989)894-6666
• Educator's Warehouse - Saginaw MI (989)781-3130
• Erasers & Crayons - Southgate MI (734)284-4884
• Hage's Teachers' Learning - Muskegon MI (231)722-2146
• Hillsdale Educational Publishers - Hillsdale MI (517)437-3179
• Holcomb’s Knowplace- Sterling Hgts., MI (586) 739-5900
• Horizon Books - Traverse City MI (231)946-7290
• Imagination Station - Fenton MI (810)750-2808
• Imagination Station - Flint MI (810)715-0331
• Knowledge Nook - Fraser MI (586)296-6515
• Learning Gizmo's - Warren MI (586)757-8488
• Learning Works & Wonders - Adrian MI (517)263-3151
• Let's Learn - Grandville MI (616)257-9595
• Mary Gibson & Associates - Warren MI (586)756-1837
• Office Central - West Branch MI (989)345-4120
• Parent Teacher Tech Center - Brighton MI (810)227-9915
• Print 'N' Go - East Tawas MI (989)362-6041
• School Days - Midland MI (989)636-7604
• The School House - Detroit MI (313)342-1261
• The Teacher Center - Portage MI (269)327-4666
• Teacher's Discovery - Auburn Hills MI (248)340-7220
NOTE: See to search for other stores in your area
A few known places that offer discounts to teachers:
Barnes & Noble
Sears –one time per year they give a discount for all types of services
Petco –for science teachers
Pets Smart –for science teachers
MEA -gives all kinds of discounts (car insurance, mortgage, food, travel etc)
See website-
NOTE: Check with local stores for supplies they may discount/donate to teachers
Websites and Book Resources
Help Sites for Educators
• -join the mailing list and receive classroom tips
Helpful Books for New Teachers
First-Year Teacher’s Survival Kit – Julia G. Thompson
(Ready to use strategies, tools and activities for meeting the challenges of each school day)
How to be an effective Teacher the First Days of School – Harry Wong and Rosemary T. Wong
Discipline for home and School – Edward E. Ford
The Frazzled Teacher’s Wellness Plan –J. Allen Queen & Patsy S. Queen
(A five-step program for reclaiming time, managing stress, and creating a healthy lifestyle)
Teaching with Love a& Logic – Jim Fay & David Funk (Taking control of the classroom)
Class Management
Carol S. Weinstein & Andrew J. Mignano, Jr. (2003). Elementary classroom management:
lessons from research and practice. Boston : McGraw-Hill
Edmund T. Emmer, Carolyn M. Evertson, Murray E. Worsham (2003). Classroom Management;
For Secondary Teachers 6th Edition: Pearson Education
Carol S. Weinstein (2003). Secondary classroom management : lessons from research and
practice. Boston: McGraw-Hill
Jere E. Brophy (1998). Motivating students to learn. Boston : McGraw-Hill
Elizabeth G. Cohen (1994). Designing groupwork : Strategies for the heterogeneous classroom.
New York: Teachers College. The Essential 55: An Award-winning Educator’s Rules for
Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child
Engaging Communities
Parents Night:
Responsive Classroom:
Family and Community Programs:
NEA help for Parents:
Barton, A. C., Drake, C., Perez, J. G., St. Louis, K., & George, M. (2004). Ecologies of parental
engagement in urban education. Educational Researcher, 33(4), 3 – 12.
Cahvkin, N. F. (Ed.) (1993). Families and schools in a pluralistic society. Albany, NY: State
University of New York Press.
Edwards, P. A. (2004). Children’s literacy development: Making it happen through school,
family, and community involvement. Boston: Pearson.
Edwards, P. A. (1993). Parents as partners in reading: A family literacy training program,
Second Edition. Chicago: Children’s Press.
Epstein, J. L. (1987). Parents’ reactions to teacher practices of parent involvement. Elementary
School Journal, 86(3), 277-293.
Epstein, J.L. (1995). School/family/community partnerships: Caring for the children we share.
Phi Delta Kappan, May, 701-712.
Epstein, J. L. & Salanis, K. C. (2004). Partnering with families and communities. Educational
Leadership, 61(8), 12 – 18.
Heath, S. B. (1983). Ways with words: Language, life, and work in communities and
classrooms. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Howard, G. R. (1999). We can’t teach what we don’t know: White teachers, multiracial schools.
New York: Teachers College Press.
Huseth, Melissa. "The School-Home Connection: Using Technology to Increase Parent-toTeacher Communication." Learning and Leading with Technology 29.2 (2001): 6-9, 16-17.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). Dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Murrell, P. C. (2001). The community teacher: A new framework for effective urban teaching.
New York: Teachers College Press.
Swap, S. M. (1993). Developing home-school partnerships: From concepts to practice. New
York: Teachers College Press.
Vopat, J. (1994). The parent project: A workshop approach to parent involvement. York, MN:
Planning Activities
• –Integrate the Internet in your classroom
• -Lesson plans, activities
• -Links to lesson plans
Planning Specific to Content Area
(See Google Search)
The Gateway (
School Discovery (
The lessonplanspage (
http://www.New York Times for teachers
PBS Teachersource (
Language Arts
Social Studies
Physical Education/Health
(Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance)
PE Central
Body Systems:
(American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance)
Family and Consumer Sciences
(American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences)
Assessment of Student Learning
Michigan Department of Education Curriculum Framework Assessment (Section V):
No Child Left Behind:
Further reading
Burns, D. & Purcell, J. (2001). Tools for Teachers. Educational Leadership, v. 59, n. 1, pp. 5052.
Drake, S. M. (1998). Creating integrated curriculum: Proven ways to increase student learning.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, A Sage Publications Company.
McTighe J. & Thomas, R. (2003), Backward Design for Forward Action, Educational
Leadership, V. 60, N. 5, pp. 52-55
Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve
student performance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by Design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill
Prentice Hall.
Zeichner, K. & Wray, S. (2001). The teaching portfolio in US teacher education programs: What
we know and what we need to know. Teaching and Teacher Education, v. 17, pp. 613-621.
Zemelman, S., Daniels, H. & Hyde, A. (1998). Best practices: New standards for teaching and
learning in America’s schools (Second Edition). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Understanding Diversity
• The Multicultural Alliance
Box 857
Ross, California 94957
(415) 454-3612
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE)
2816 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20071
Celebrate Cultures
Gifted Students
At Risk Students
Pregnant Students
Economically Disadvantaged Students
Understanding Special Education
Collaborating with Special Education Teachers
Attention Deficit Disorder
Students with 504 Plans
Special Needs Students
Understanding Paraeducators
School Counselors
You Still Have Rights as a Non-tenured Teacher!
Taken from the Michigan Education Association website
Don't be fooled into thinking that because you're a good teacher, no bad things will happen as you begin
your teaching career. As a non-tenured teacher it may seem as though you have no rights or protections.
You're wrong!
You have rights and you need to protect them and it's the association that can do that for you. If you
need help, run-don't walk to your nearest association rep or to your local president.
Here's some advice from the association in dealing with job security issues:
Assaults Report the incident immediately to your principal and your association. Write down all
the details of the incident-date, time, names, location.
Child Abuse
By law, education professionals must report suspected cases of abuse of children less than 18
years of age to the Department of Social Services. Notify your principal and your association of
any evidence you have. For further information see the Michigan Education Association
website: The Duty of Public School Employees to
Report Child Abuse
According to state and federal law, your employer can't discriminate against you on the basis of
race, age, sex, national origin, religion or color. Notify your association if you suspect any
Reprimands and Suspensions
If you get a verbal or written warning or reprimand or you're suspended or dismissed, contact
your association immediately whether you're guilty or not. You only have a short time to
challenge the discipline.
Legal Representation
Through your association and your Uniserv director, you can request representation for many
job-related issues.
Liability Protection
You are provided with a $1 million liability insurance policy for protection when you are
criminally investigated, when criminal charges have been filed against you, or when a parent or
student is suing you. These incidents must be job-related. Contact your association and Uniserv
director immediately.
Sexual Misconduct
Sexually oriented contact between you and a minor child is illegal and can be grounds for
dismissal. Complaints from parents or students should be reported to your association
Worker's Compensation
immediately report any job-related injury to your principal and to the association. Write down
the important facts about how the injury happened.
Contact your mentor and association right now if you are dealing with a less-than-glowing
evaluation. The season for non-renewal of probationary teachers is fast approaching. It's not too
late to get help from your mentor or association. Let them know of any problems immediately
How to Use Technology and Avoid Copyright Violations
Taken from the Michigan Education Association website
As a new teacher, you’re more likely to use technology on a regular basis in your daily lessons. As a
result, you’re also more likely to run into copyright violation issues.
Keep these points in mind the next time you decide to incorporate the Internet into your lesson plan.
The purpose of copyright is to encourage authors to create new works by giving them an
economic incentive to do so.
In order to be copyrighted, the work must meet three requirements:
1. The work must be either written or recorded
2. The work must be original in whole or in part.
3. The work must show at least minimal creativity
It is safe to assume that any document found on the Internet is copyrighted
“Fair use” is the exception to the copyright laws, allowing teachers to use copyrighted material.
The basic factors that determine “fair use” are:
1. The work must be used for nonprofit or educational purposes.
2. Works that are factual in nature are more likely to be subject to “fair use” rather than works
of artistic expression.
3. The more of a work that is used, the less likely “fair use” will apply.
4. The more the use of the work differs from the original use, the less likely it will appeal to the
same market or infringe on the original author’s economic gain.
If large portions of a work are going to be used over a long period of time, the safest practice is
to get the author’s permission for limited use.
It’s always good practice to give the original credit through footnotes or bibliographies
Knowing the Role of Counselors in Your School
Taken from the American School Counselor
Professional school counselors are certified/licensed professionals with a masters’ degree or higher in
school counseling or the substantial equivalent and are uniquely qualified to address the developmental
needs of all students. Professional school counselors deliver a comprehensive school counseling
program encouraging all students’ academic, career and personal/social development and helping all
students in maximizing student achievement.
HINT: To learn more about the Role of Counselors in Your School see School Counselors under the Resources section of
this handbook
The following are a few areas your school counselor may be able to assist you in:
Academic goal setting
Academic planning
College preparatory
Academic credits
Family and emotional support
Conflict resolution
Behavior intervention
Networking social workers, school psychologists, etc.
Establishing parent contact
Transfer credit
Assisting in the acclamation for new students
Student support groups
Child and Teen Suicide Awareness!
Suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision. In the days and hours before people kill
themselves, there are usually clues and warning signs.
The strongest and most disturbing signs are verbal - "I can't go on," "Nothing matters any more" or even
"I'm thinking of ending it all." Such remarks should always be taken seriously.
Risk Factors for Suicide
If you are concerned about a student who displays ANY signs of suicide bring it to the attention of your
school counselor and document your action.
Previous suicide attempts.
Close family member who has committed suicide.
Past psychiatric hospitalization.
Recent losses: This may include the death of a relative, a family divorce, or a breakup with a
Social isolation: The individual does not have social alternatives or skills to find alternatives to
Drug or alcohol abuse: Drugs decrease impulse control making impulsive suicide more likely.
Additionally, some individuals try to self-medicate their depression with drugs or alcohol.
Exposure to violence in the home or the social environment: The individual sees violent behavior
as a viable solution to life problems.
Handguns in the home, especially if loaded.
Warning Signs for Suicide
Suicidal talk
Preoccupation with death and dying
Signs of depression
Behavioral changes
Giving away special possessions and making arrangements to take care of unfinished business
Difficulty with appetite and sleep
Taking excessive risks
Increased drug use
Loss of interest in usual activities
Signs of Depression in Teens
Sad, anxious or “empty” mood
Declining school performance
Loss of pleasure/interest in social and sports activities
Sleeping too much or too little
Changes in weight or appetite
Take Action!
(NOTE: If you are concerned about a student who displays ANY signs of suicide, immediately bring it
to the attention of your school counselor and always remember to document your action.)
Three steps parents can take
1. Get your child help (medical or mental health professional)
2. Support your child (listen, avoid undue criticism, remain connected)
3. Become informed (library, local support group, Internet)
Three steps teens can take
1. Take your friend’s actions seriously
2. Encourage your friend to seek professional help, accompany if necessary
3. Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t be alone in helping your friend.
Adolescents often will try to support a suicidal friend by themselves. They may feel bound to secrecy,
or feel that adults are not to be trusted. This may delay needed treatment. If the student does commit
suicide, the friends will feel a tremendous burden of guilt and failure. It is important to make students
understand that one must report suicidal statements to a responsible adult. Ideally, a teenage friend
should listen to the suicidal youth in an empathic way, but then insist on getting the youth immediate
adult help.
The National Hopeline Network 1-800-SUICIDE provides access to trained telephone counselors,
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Warning Signs of Drug Abuse
Please note that even though some of these warning signs of drug abuse may be present in teens, it does
not mean that they are definitely abusing drugs. There are other causes for some of these behaviors.
Even the life stage of adolescence is a valid reason for many of them to exist.
On the flip side of that, do not ignore the warning signs of teenage drug abuse. If six of these signs, (not
all in the same category), are present for a period of time, you should refer your concerns to your school
Signs at School
sudden drop in grades
loss of interest in learning
sleeping in class
poor work performance
not doing homework
defiant of authority
poor attitude towards sports or other extracurricular activities
reduced memory and attention span
not informing you of teacher meetings, open houses, etc.
Physical and Emotional Signs
changes friends
smell of alcohol or marijuana on breath or body
unexplainable mood swings and behavior
negative, argumentative, paranoid or confused, destructive, anxious
over-reacts to criticism acts rebellious
sharing few if any of their personal problems
doesn't seem as happy as they used to be
overly tired or hyperactive
drastic weight loss or gain
unhappy and depressed
cheats, steals
always needs money, or has excessive amounts of money
sloppiness in appearance
Taken from Parenting Teens website
New Teacher Academy
Chronological Listing of Sessions
August 15
8:30 - 3:30
August 16
8:30 - 3:30
August 17
8:30 - 3:30
September 15
4:30 - 7
September 22
4:30 - 7
September 28
4:30 - 7
October 4
4:30 - 7
October 6
The Right Start: Classroom
Organization and Management Secondary Education
The Right Start: Classroom
Organization and Management Elementary Education
The Right Start: Classroom
Organization and Management –
2nd & 3rd Year
A Framework for Professional
Practice: New Teacher Academy
Working with Parents:
Perspectives and Strategies
NTA Instructors
Mel Miller and
guest speakers
Creating the Culturally Responsive
Reflecting on Your First Month of
Su McKeithenPolish
4:30 - 7
Parent/Teacher Conferences
October 11
4:30 - 7
Su McKeithenPolish
October 18
November 2
4:30 - 7
Using Cultural Responsive
Instruction to Meet the Needs of
Diverse Students
No Homeless Student Left Behind
Technology Resources for
Classroom Teachers
Kathy Kropf
Frank Miracola
and Jim Wenzloff
November 7
4:30 - 7
November 8
4:30 - 7
November 10
4:30 - 7
November 14
4:30 - 7
November 15
4:30 - 7
November 29
4:30 - 7
December 1
4:30 - 7
December 5
4:30 - 7
December 6
4:30 - 6
What Effective Teachers Do to
Educate All Students: Making
Adequate Yearly Progress for
Students in Subgroups
Cohort Dialogue Session “Planning
and Preparation”
What Works in Social Studies
Classrooms: Understanding Social
Studies Using the Michigan
Curriculum Framework
Teacher Certification
Understanding Students of Poverty:
The Ruby Payne Model
What Works in Science
Classrooms: Understanding
Science Using the Michigan
Curriculum Framework
What Works in Language Arts
How to Meet the Academic Needs
of Special Education Students in
Core Areas
Math MEAP Planning & Preparation
Dialogue Session - Elementary
Judy Backes
Mel Miller
Dr. Rita Pierson
Mike Klein/Paul
Kelley Zagaiski
Guest Speaker
Marianne Srock
December 8
4:30 - 6
December 12
4:30 - 6
December 14
4:30 - 6
December 15
4:30 - 6
January 12
4:30 - 7
January 25
4:30 - 7
January 26
4:30 - 7
February 7
February 23
4:30 - 6
March 2
4:30 - 7
March 9
4:30 - 7
March 16
4:30 - 7
March 21
4:30 - 7
March 30
4:30 - 6
April 5
4:30 - 7
April 26
4:30 - 6
May 3
4:30 - 7
Math MEAP Planning & Preparation
Dialogue Session - Secondary
ELA MEAP Planning & Preparation
Dialogue Session
Science MEAP Planning &
Preparation Dialogue Session
Social Studies MEAP Planning &
Preparation Dialogue Session
All Things Digital: Simple
Technology Solutions for At-Risk
What Works in Math Classrooms:
Understanding Math using the
Michigan Curriculum Framework
What Works in Math Classrooms:
Understanding Math using the
Michigan Curriculum Framework
Understanding Students of Poverty:
The Ruby Payne Model Follow Up
Instruction Cohort Dialogue
Creating a Community in Your
Classroom: How to Facilitate
Bully-Free Relationships
Emotional Literacy: Building a
Caring Community of Learners
Motivating Students
Differentiated Instruction: The
Complex Issues of Academically
Diverse Classrooms
The Classroom Environment Cohort
Dialogue Session
Teacher Certification
Professional Responsibilities
Dialogue Session: Reflecting on
your Teaching Practice
Finale: Maintaining Professional
and Respectful Teacher/Student
Marianne Srock
Elaine Weber/
Guest Speaker
Paul Drummond
Mel Miller
Sue Hardin
Marianne Srock
Marianne Srock
201 A&B
Kathy Kropf
Paul Drummond
Lucy Smith
Julie Lemond
Julie Lemond
Julie Lemond
Robert Livernois
Effective Teachers
The most consistent finding in the majority of studies on school effectiveness has been the “crucial
connection” between expectations and achievements. Good teachers not only motivate their students,
organize the class, clarify the material, and provide illuminating generalizations, but they also project a
“vision of excellence.” Their expectations more often than not become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Teachers with high expectations:
Believe in their own ability to make a positive difference in the lives of their students.
Assign meaningful homework.
Make students accountable for their learning.
Communicate objectives and teach directly to objectives.
Not only demand achievement, but provide opportunities for it.
Are readily available to students outside of class.
Believe that students can reach their potential.
Educational labels
American Federation of Teachers
Early Childhood Education
English as a Second Language
Limited English Proficiency
Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
National Council of Social Studies
National Council of Teachers of English
Michigan Reading Association
Michigan Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
National Association for the Education of Young Children
Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children
Test of Basic Skills
Scholastic Aptitude Test
American College of Testing
Oak Tec
Friday Count
Teacher Effectiveness Training
Parent Effectiveness Training
Oakland Technical Center
California Achievement Test
Attention Deficit Disorder
Severely Mentally Impaired
Visually Impaired
Hearing Impaired
Physically and Otherwise Health Impaired
Severely Multiply Impaired
Attendance records on which state aid is based
Advanced Placement for student classes
Only a teacher!
I am a teacher! What I do and say is being absorbed by young minds who will echo these images
across the ages. My lessons will be immortal, affecting people yet unborn, .people I will never see or
know. The future of the world is in my classroom today and this future has potential for both good and
bad. The pliable minds of tomorrow's leaders will be molded either artistically or grotesquely by what I
Several future presidents are learning from me today; so are the great writers of the next decades and
so are all the so-called ordinary people who will make the decisions in a democracy. I must never forget
these same young people could be the thieves and murderers of the future.
Just a teacher? Thank God I have a calling to the greatest profession of all! I must be vigilant every
day lest I lose one fragile opportunity to improve tomorrow.
By Dr. Ivan Fitzwater
15 Time Management Tips for Students
Here is a list of fifteen time management tips that you can share with your students as you show them
how to do their work intelligently and efficiently.
When you have to read a selection and then answer questions about it, read the questions first so
that you will read the rest of the selection with a purpose.
Make sure you have the supplies you need for class and for projects. This will save you trips to
the store the night before a project is due or having to borrow pens and paper.
When you pack up at the end of a class, don't just shove papers into your book bag or notebook.
Spend thirty seconds stowing away your work in an organized way so that you can find it
Write down your homework assignments so that you won't have to waste time phoning around to
find out what they are or worrying if you did the right ones.
Use your class time wisely. It will save you time at home if you learn the material in class.
Work with a purpose in mind. If you do this instead of daydreaming, you will cut down on the
time that it will take you to do your homework.
Reward yourself for staying on task for a week or for even a day if you had to struggle to do it.
When you take breaks from your homework, get back to work as quickly as you can. Stay away
from the television and the phone during breaks.
When you have a test, read it over first, paying attention to the point values of each question so
that you can plan a sensible strategy for taking it. If you don't think that you will finish all of the
questions, do the ones with the higher point values first.
Review your class notes before your start your homework. This will refresh your memory and
make doing homework much easier.
Take the time to do each assignment correctly the first time so that you don't have to redo it.
When you have facts to look up and learn, concentrate on learning them as you look them up. It
will take you at least twice as long to master the material if you have to memorize them
Set aside the same amount of time each night to study. If you don't have any written assignments,
get ahead on reading or review your notes for an upcoming test.
At the end of a homework assignment, ask yourself what you could do to learn just one more fact
in the assigned work.
While you want your work to be accurate and neat, don't be a perfectionist. It's not sensible to
waste time picking over mistakes that only you can notice.
Taken from Julia G. Thompson's First Year Teacher's Survival Kit
Thompson, Julia G. First Year Teacher’s Survival Kit: Ready-to-use Strategies, Tools & Activities for
Meeting the Challenges of Each School Day. California: Jossy-Bass A Wiley Imprint, 2002.
Bauer, Judy, et al. The Beginning Teacher’s Manual. Produced by Oakland Schools with a grant from
the Michigan State Board of Education, 1989.
Michigan Education Association. 23 Jun. 2005 <>
ASSIST Beginning Teachers. The ASSIST project was supported by a grant to Michigan State
University from the Michigan State Board of Education through funding provided by the U.S.
Department of Education. 23 Jun. 2005 <>
The Official State of Michigan Website. 23 Jun. 2005 <>
National Education Association. 23 Jun. 2005 <>
The American School Counselor Association. 23 Jun. 2005 <>
Starr, Linda. “Teachers, Start Your Engines: Management Tips From the Pit Crew.” Education World. 5
Aug. 2002. 23 Jun. 2005 <>
“Establishing a Positive Classroom Climate: Teacher Advice.” Intervention Central.23 Jun. 2005
“Behavior Management Checklist.” Behavior Advisor. 12 Jul. 2001. 23 Jun. 2005
Chuchward, Budd. “Four Steps for Better Classroom Discipline.” Discipline By Design. 2003. 23 Jun.
2005 <>
“Happy Feeday.” Jun. 2005 <>
Kelly, Melissa. “Top 10 Tips for Classroom Discipline and Management.” About. 23 Jun. 2005
Witmer, Denise. “Warning Signs of Teenage Drug Abuse.” About. 23 Jun. 2005
Charney, Ruth Sidney. “Responsive Classroom Strategies: The Three R’s Logical Consequences”.
Education World. 28 Feb. 2005. 23 Jun. 2005 <>
Defusing/Breaking up Fights Between Students. Dwight Hodgin Student Support Specialist/Student
Assistant Program.
Fay, Jim, and David Funk. Teaching With Love & Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom. Colorado:
The Love and Logic Press, Inc, 1995.
Wong, Harry K., and Rosemary T. Wong. How to be an Effective Teacher: The First Days of School.
California: Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc, 2001.
Weinstein, Carol Simon, and Andrew J. Mignano. “Establishing and Teaching Rules for a Classroom
Learning Community.” Elementary/Secondary Classroom Management: Lessons from Research and
Practice. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.
Sweeny, Barry. “Assisting First Year Teachers With Classroom Management” Resources for Staff &
Organization Development. 23 Jun. 2005
DeWitt Public Schools. Individualized Development Plan Track I and III. DeWitt Public Schools,
Professional Growth and Evaluation Process for Certified Staff. Board Approved July 14, 2003.
CLASSxp for Teachers: SASIxp. Midwest Educational Group, Inc, 8 Aug. 2001.
Holtrop, S. “Writing Lesson Plans Teachers' Roles”; “Writing Lesson Plans Seating Arrangements.”
The Huntington College Department of Education. 1999. 23 Jun. 2005
“Communicating Student Progress.” Ministry of Education, Manitoba Education, Training and Youth,
School Programs. 1997. 23 Jun. 2005.
“Child and Teen Suicide.”, Inc. 2000-2004. 23 Jun. 2005
“Summary of Abuse and Neglect Reporting Requirements.” 23 Jun. 2005
“The Duty of Public School Employees to Report Child Abuse.” Michigan Education Association. 23
Jun. 2005 <>
“Tips on Communicating With Parents.” 23 Jun. 2005
“Connected Mathematics Project.” 23 Jun. 2005
“Student Self Evaluation Form.” 23 Jun. 2005
Bulloch, Kathleen L. “Home School Communications.” Education Oasis. 2003. 23 Jun. 2005
Macomb Intermediate School District:
Service, Support and Leadership
We are the Macomb Intermediate School District.
We provide quality service to special education and general education students, instructional and
technical support to school staff, and cutting-edge educational leadership in Macomb County.
We are committed to all the students of Macomb County. To serve them well, we are resolute in
involving parents, school personnel, and the community at large, including business, government, and
civic organizations as active partners in planning, delivering and evaluating our services.
We work directly with individuals with disabilities who reside in Macomb County School Districts. We
serve students of all ages, from newborns to adults, meeting their unique learning needs and supporting
their families all along the way.
Within the twenty-one local districts and public charter schools, we focus our efforts on building
capacity with school staff. Through quality training and instructional support, we increase their
knowledge, skills and abilities, so all students receive a rigorous and effective educational experience.
We promote all aspects of the educational process through our development and support of technology.
We provide training in the use of essential technology tools that enhance curricular, instructional and
administrative services in our schools and, as a result, opportunities are expanded for all.
We work collaboratively with colleges and universities and are leaders in state and national programs.
We anticipate needs and opportunities, all with the single purpose of identifying, developing and
implementing programs and practices that, through education, improve the quality of life in Macomb
Macomb Intermediate School District
Board of Education
John A. Bozymowski, President
Max D. McCullough, Vice President
Charles C. Milonas, D.D.S., Treasurer
Theresa J. Genest, Secretary
Edward V. Farley, Trustee
Michael R. DeVault, Superintendent
Macomb Intermediate School District
44001Garfield Road
Clinton Township, MI 48038-1100
It is the policy of the MISD that no person, on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, sex,
height, weight, marital status, or disability shall be discriminated against, excluded from participation in, denied the
benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in any program or activity for which it is responsible.
This book supports the MISD’s countywide 2004–2009 School Improvement Plan.