Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Works4Me: Tips for Teachers by Teachers

Teacher and Substitute Responsibilities
From Beverley Fifer (bfifer@wcs.k12.va.us), a principal in Virginia:

"As a principal, I ask teachers who are taking extended leave to provide thorough plans for only the first two weeks of their absence. In my school district, our long-term or extended leave substitute educators must assume all of the duties of the teacher for whom they are substituting. These duties include bus duty, conferences, PTA, and other responsibilities. These substitute educators also receive pay commensurate with first year teacher salaries, so I expect them to do the planning after the first two weeks.

The teachers' plans for the first week should be very detailed, containing not only the curriculum planning, but also notes about the children, typical behavior expectations, and teaching and learning styles. The second week plan should account for the material to be covered, resources used, assignments, etc. For the remainder of their extended leave, I ask teachers to provide an outline of work to be covered and the anticipated pacing. Often students need additional remediation; or, if students have a good grasp of the material, they may only need to review the concepts.

I require my teachers to do the planning prior to their absence, but in the case where an emergency has arisen, my teachers may submit plans daily after they leave. Therefore, there may be some differences in the actual pacing; however, if there are vast differences, I ask the sub to talk with me and the teacher to discuss alternatives to the outline."

Professional Discussions
From Fran Lo (franblo@sbcglobal.net):

"I find Classroom 2.0 to be very practical, interesting and helpful. I use the groups to be part of discussions about matters that interest me. For example, in one group I've asked how teachers in secondary schools who have used Smartboards/LCDs like them. Secondary teachers use them differently than elementary teachers, and classroom needs are different. This website has provided a way to share ideas with teachers who share the same interests and concerns."

Question of the Week: Multiple December Holidays
From the Works4Me Worker Bees:

"December is full of holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and others. How do you teach about these multiple holidays? How do you inclusively celebrate the season, and what are your favorite holiday projects to do with your students?"
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Writing Tablet
Heard Last Week in the Works4Me Lounge:

"I am thinking about getting a writing tablet that can relay what I am writing to a computer and then project it onto a screen via an LCD projector. I want to be able to wander around the classroom as I go through the explanation of the material. I teach pre-calculus, trigonometry and calculus, so I need one that allows the symbols and graphs to be displayed. Does anyone have an idea of which tablet would be best to use?"
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DISCLAIMER Works4Me is a vehicle for instructional staff to share their ideas with other instructional staff. As such, it does not constitute an endorsement of any particular curriculum or teaching method by the Lewis Central Education Association, the Iowa State Education Association or the National Education Association or any of its affiliates.