Post # 1
I am a first year teacher and I actually didn’t get my position until after the school year started. So I have only been in my classroom for 3 weeks and 2 days. It’s been a crazy ride so far, but I love my job! I haven’t really spent as much time organizing my classroom as I’d like because the sub that was in the room left paperwork and junk stashed away everywhere and I am just a little overwhelmed at how to go about organizing everything. I’m not the best organizer myself, so I would appreciate any suggestions. How do you organize the materials for the week’s lessons? What about graded papers, papers without names, make-up work, etc?
Also, how do you plan lessons? As in do you do it all at one time or do you spread it out? Right now, I’ve been planning all lessons on Sundays and I think it would be less stressful if I maybe did a subject a day.
And how do you juggle work and your personal life? Right now, I seriously feel like all I do is plan lessons, grade papers, and figure out other things classroom related. DH has been feeling a little ignored lately…
Post # 3
Second, it gets easier. I promise.
What at grade/ subject do you teach? I can give you some general stuff I do, but could be more specific if you tell me the age group.
Post # 4
@Glasgowbound: 5th grade reading and language arts. I also teach social studies to my homeroom kids.
Post # 5
@dayl20: Sadly I think that nowadays teachers are finding it very hard to juggle personal life and the classroom. With all of the expectations that administration, government, parents, etc. are putting on us it is nearly impossible to do the job well and leave the work at home. Most of my coworkers work at school from 7-4:30/5 not counting days when we have professional development, grade level planning (every Thursday, from 4-7 or later), parent conferences, or other committments. The required hours are 8:15-4 but I don’t know anyone who actually manges that. One of my fellow 2nd grade teachers is also a first year teacher and has an 18 month old at home. The teacher can to work the other Monday and told us how she’d locked herself away all weekend doing lesson plans and started tearing up when she told us how her daughter had been banging on the door begging for mommy to come play .
With all that said, you will learn a system that works for you and it is a very rewarding (emotionally) career field. Most of the teachers I know have annual breakdowns, but then finish out the year with a renewed hope for the field. Just be thankful you’re not working in NC…
I would have a file box with a file for each child’s name for graded papers. Another box with a file for each child’s name for parent contact papers, info papers, etc. I also use a file system in a crate that has a file for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday where I put the materials for the day. That way they are there if a sub is ever required on short notice as well. As for lesson plans, I would try to block out a day where you can do an entire unit plan for one subject or a month’s worth of lesson plans or something – do you do planning as a grade level with your coworkers?
Post # 6
@dayl20: It will get easier! Does your team plan together at all? If so, I’d recommend following their lead for a while and adding your own personal touch.
I plan units at a time. I knock out a week and try not to go too far beyond that because things never go the way we plan!
You’ll never feel caught up. You learn to deal with that, it’s just the way it is. That’s why we get summers!
ETA: I keep a binder with tabs for each student. I keep parent communication, assessments, EVERYTHING in here.
Post # 7
Take this with a grain of salt: I’m a preschool teacher!
But I do curriculum during lunch and free periods (which for me is nap time). And I like to organize in the mornings before the start of the day!
Post # 8
Ok that helps. I’m a 9th grade English teacher 🙂 this is my 13th year teaching.
materials for lessons – I’m not that organized 🙂 I have a box that holds any copies of handout. I have colored pencils/markers/rulers in a box at the front of the room. I have various sizes of paper also att he front. I also keep a few extra copies/or a class set of books on a bookshelf as well.
graded stuff. – I have a basket for each class period. When it’s graded, entered into the grade book and ready to be passed back, it goes in the box. Papers without names get put on my whiteboard with a magnet. It has a big sign on that section that says – Name???? I don’t do anything specific for makeup work. I keep a list for myself of who needs to make up stuff like quizzes and tests, and just snag the kid when they come to class.
Lesson plans – I try to plan by the book/unit. I sit down for 4-5 hours and just plan, plan, plan. I go through what I’ll do each day. I don’t do actual lesson plans like they make you do in school though. No one I know does. I’ll just write brief notes for myself so I know what I plan to cover. Also, the Internet and other teachers are your friends. Don’t reinvent the wheeel. Google what you need – 5th grade grammar lesson plan. You’ll be AMAZED how much is out there already.
Youre in your first year. You will spend a ridiculous amount of time doing things school related. As you get more experience, it gets better and you spend much less time planning. i was single when I started teaching, but what I suggest is clear cut off times – no work after, say, 7pm. Also designate 1 weekend day as work day and 1 as a work free day.
I hope that helps some. If you’ve got more specific questions, I’ll try to answer them 🙂
Post # 9
I have taught 5th grade before… The more planning you do the easier it will be for you. Don’t let yourself run out of work for the kids. Last thing you want is them being bored. And talk to other teachers at your school and ask them how they grade. Usually they will have tricks which make it faster, etc. My biggest thing was buying a few stamps that say – fantastic – great work. I just don’t have the time to write it on every students paper. And ya – the first year is hardest – not alot of time for relaxing or fun between grading and teacher meetings.