Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Starting School: Tips for Teachers from Teachers


Starting School and Eating Right
From Joanne Tickner (, a speech and language therapist for Midland Public Schools in Midland, Michigan:

"With the start of the new school year just a few weeks away, you can do yourself a favor by freezing some of your favorite dinners now. As you have (perhaps) a little more time now than you will when the year begins, simply double the recipes you make, and label and freeze for those nights when you come home late and are too tired to cook. It can make the stress of beginning a new year seem a little less. It can also help keep you from snacking on unhealthy foods if you know you have something prepared waiting for you at home."
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Emergency Plans
From Ronda Christoph (, an English teacher at Pulaski School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

"Near the beginning of the year, I make an emergency lesson plan box. I use an empty file folder box. In it, I place a packet of work that will cover a block schedule period. I make enough copies for all my classes, including an answer sheet and detailed plans for a substitute to teach the worksheets in the packet. I then add a copy of my seating chart and class lists. I put this box under or near my desk in case I have an emergency where I am unable to make other plans. I let my department chair know about my plan box, so she does not have to suddenly create plans for my substitute."
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Question of the Week: Using Humor
From the Works4Me Worker Bees:

"We've all heard the refrain, ‘Don't smile until Christmas.’ The idea is to establish classroom discipline early in the school year by being a tough, stern figure of authority. But there is another way. Humor can be a very effective classroom management tool. Humor can diffuse or de-escalate behavior problems, help students relax, and enable students to be more willing to experiment with new ideas and be less afraid to make mistakes. How do you create a classroom that encourages the positive use of humor?"
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Featured Post Meet Other Teachers and Share Tips in The Works4Me Lounge.

Survival Advice
Heard Last Week in the Works4Me Lounge:

"As college students training to become teachers, you can only learn so much. Reading books, listening to lectures and student teaching can only get you so far. It's a whole different ball game once you're alone with your students on that first day of school. What advice would you give to new teachers to help them survive their first day in the classroom?"

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