On 7/21/11, Miller wrote:
> I am a first year teacher. What advice do you have for me?
> What should I have prepared before preplanning? I am only
> teaching reading, writing, and language arts...any advice?
Be prepared for the first year to be a lot of work. Plan, plan
and plan some more. Be prepared to have readers and writers at
many different levels. Learn about learning differences! Check
out Mel Levine's book called The Myth of the Lazy Child. You
don't say what year you're teaching but I'd say - give less
homework, not more. Ask students to read - in an easy book -
every night for 20 minutes. Ask parents to read outloud to
their child. If you got either of those to happen, that's
great work and the best of homework. Learn what dysgraphia
means and dyslexia too and that more than a few kids have one
or both of those.
Reading and writing are just part of it - listening and
speaking with reading and writing comprise human communication
and that's the point. We read and write and listen and speak
to communicate. What we're really teaching is how to
communicate - emphasize that because not only is it true, it
makes sense to kids.
Leave your ego at home. Be flexible and bend over backwards to
be patient and generous. Check out lessons and steal ideas
from youtube.com. Read aloud to your classes if you're a good
expressive reader. Learning grammar out of the context of
writing doesn't really teach grammar. The rules of language
are intended to serve us and our communication - we invented
the rules, the rules didn't invent us.
When a child tells you they don't like to read, don't act like
they stomped on a kitten. Not everybody does like to read.
Show them that you do like to read and talk about what you're
reading. Make your classroom a place they look forward to
coming back to every day.
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