Let's Use the Wayback Machine

Mr. Peabody and ShermanTeacher tips. It’s what we do at The Mailbox.

We all know that an organized teacher is an effective teacher. And a disorganized effective teacher is one who either works too hard or has a natural gift for teaching. There are certain tips for being an organized teacher that we all take for granted. Stay on top of filing. Throw out unused stuff. Use your daily planner. Have your students do the work of taking attendance (without realizing they’re doing it). Create classroom procedures. Designate helpers. Not every assignment needs to be graded. Learn to say no. And don’t reinvent the wheel: if you need a solution, The Mailbox has it already.

But let’s think of new teachers. Step into the Wayback Machine with me (since Mr. Peabody and Sherman were kind enough to let us borrow it) and return to a time when you were just starting out in the classroom. Fire up the reactor and set the destination for “My First Day of Teaching.” (I hope you don’t suffer from motion sickness!)

Look at yourself standing there. Yes, yes, you were so young then, I see, but were you prepared? Were you scared? What is the one thing 2011 You wishes you could tell First-Day-of-Teaching You about organization and preparedness?

While there is (currently) no Wayback Machine available to us, we can always share our advice with each other. I invite your suggestions. Let’s get each other ready for the new school year. The more we share, the more likely we are to discover something new!

I’ll start: Hey, First-Day-of-Teaching Me! Yes, I’m talking to you. Wow, look at how much hair is still growing on your head. I have bad news for you about that. But never mind. I do have a tip for you: put together a Sub Tub and keep it updated so, when you’re sick, your substitute will have everything she needs for a day or more and you don’t have to scramble.

Now it’s your turn.

6 thoughts on “Let's Use the Wayback Machine

  1. I would tell first-day-of-teaching-me: separate your lesson plans by day and place any needed materials in a folder designated for that day: Monday, Tuesday, etc. That way you just have to “grab and go”.

  2. I would tell first-day-of-teaching me: Make sure everything gets put into folders and label them. Then put it away! Organization from the start makes the rest of the year easier.

  3. I would tell first-day-of-teaching-me to always be prepared with a few extra learning activities, and then enjoy your students.

  4. I wish I had kept an anecdotal journal.I would also tell first year me to be very aware of your student space…what looks nice, may not end up being practical.

  5. Keep a record of all the cute and funny things that happen-you could right a book one day! Forget all of the nasty things that are said to you-you will not make everyone happy.

  6. I would tell first-day-of-teaching-me: Don’t give all of your secrets away from the start; save some for later when you need to excite the students’ imagination and re-inspire them.

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