Re: new teacher

    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 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.