Friday, November 18, 2011

What a wonderful Lesley New Teacher Community event on November 5th! It was called “What I Know Now That I Wish I Knew Then: Advice from the Pros for New Teachers." We were inspired by our three fabulously thoughtful panelists chosen not only for how articulate they were, but also because they were featured in a wonderful DVD produced by Lesley entitled “My First Year of Teaching.” We watched the movie and listened to Kedar Rice, an elementary school teacher from Cambridge, Katie Oxnard, an elementary school teacher from Acton, and Joellen Scannell, a former teacher and principal in several Boston area school systems. Each of them spoke poignantly about how they survived and what helped them grow during the first year of teaching. Some highlights: “Learn to say no and cut down on your extra outside of school commitments,” “Take care of yourself and your health,” “Be organized,” “Visit other classrooms and look at how these teachers organize themselves,” “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” “If your administrator hired you then they are invested in your success! They want you to succeed so ask them for help.” “Be consistent in implementing your behavior policies,” “Love every child.”

Our small group conversations were engrossing, reflective and deep. I think that everyone left the event feeling empowered and refreshed and feeling amazingly good about all that they’d accomplished since school began this year in September. We all acknowledged that there’s stuff to be tweaked, but we felt good about all that we’d done so far.

One of the requests from our event feedback form was for information about resources for teaching. This is a great idea and beginning with this entry our blog will include some recommendations for teacher resources. Let us know if you have any favorite ones that you’d like us to feature, too! Here are a few to start you out…stay posted for more in the coming months!

Resources for Teachers

  • Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site:
    A collection of reviews of books for kids, ideas for using books in the classroom, and lists of books and activities about particular subjects, curriculum areas, themes and professional topics.
  • Discovery School:
    From lesson plans and homework helpers to a clip art gallery and science fair help, this site provides a multitude of resources for students, parents, and teachers.
  • LD Online:
    One of the leading websites on learning disabilities for parents, teachers and professionals.
  • Schools Online:
    A colorful, user friendly site that will appeal to children as well as educators. The University of Illinois Extension offers activities and lesson plans based on horticulture (apples, worms), the environment, aging, and character building.
  • Good Sites for Kids is filled with lesson plans and activities on their Teachers & Parents page

Let us know what you think and fill us in on your favorites!

Thanksgiving already! The beginning of school went fast, didn’t it? Best wishes to everyone for the happiest of Thanksgiving holidays.

Thanksgiving Day

By Lydia Maria Child

Over the river and through the wood,
To Grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving-Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate!
We seem to go
Extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood;
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!