Ms. Cornelius offers advice for new teachers plus a round-up of other teachers’ sugestions. Many focus on classroom management:
Have only the rules you are willing to consistently enforce, and consistently enforce the rules you have. Have general classroom expectations written up in a succinct style, avoiding “Don’t”s, and hand them out the first day of school. Try to keep the expectations to five.
Post the learning goal and agenda for the day on the board every day. Include homework to be assigned and due date.
Never threaten a consequence to a student unless you are actually willing to follow through with it. This is vital in making your life easier for the rest of the year. You must be a person of your word.
NYC Educator recommends calling parents to report classroom misbehavior.
You need to be positive when you call. Politely introduce yourself and say this:
â€œIâ€™m very concerned about _______________. ___________ is a very bright kid. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m shocked at these grades: 50, 14, 0, 12, and 43 (or whatever). Iâ€™d really like __________ to pass the class, and I know you would too.â€
Iâ€™ve yet to encounter the parent who says no, my kids are stupid, and I donâ€™t want them to pass.
To communicate with parents who don’t speak English, Ms. Cornelius recommends the Babel Fish translator.