Too late, many new teachers overlook the importance of investing time with other members of their department and getting to know all of the support staff. It has become such a problem that I added a new chapter to my latest edition of Teacher Dialogues. New teachers come with fresh and innovative ideas and many tend to discount the value of experience and collegiality with everyone in the building, not just their texting buds.
Experienced teachers will prevent you from having endless meetings with unhappy parents, lend you their version of a video when yours is scratched, and use the photocopying machine well in advance of their classes so that as new teachers rush in with the day’s handouts they can use the machine without waiting in line. Balancing being a valued and respected member of your department with being an innovate teacher is a concern for this teacher:
Hola a todos. I need an advice! I will be starting my first job next year. It is Spanish 1A in a middle school where I substituted the last trimester of 2016-2017. I know the staff and school and I love it. I want to have an immersion class next year. However, most of the high school teachers follow the textbook and are grammar drive. They want me to teach ch.1-4 Avancemos. As a new teacher I do not know if I should follow them or what I think is the best for them, even if they disagree with me). Y es que no quiero los roces desde tan pronto, si saben a que me refiero.
Any advice about immersion classes, and staying in the target language at least 90% of the time. Where can I learn more about immersion languages programas for secondary education ?
Welcome to the most rewarding profession! I have a really good sense that you are going to be one of those wonderful teachers students remembered fondly because you are wise enough to seek advice from veteran teachers! Over my 30 years, I have noticed that the best teachers honestly analyze what they do, seek advice from veterans, admit mistakes, and try new things.
I run my 7th grade classes as 90% target language classes and I think that is what you want to do as well! For me, immersion means bilingual and I have no expertise with that. The key to running a 90% target language class is to have everything be 100% compelling and engaging. The best way to do this is to create a daily tech guide and use direct instruction for Survival Phrases. Many people have their handouts and posters for these expressions – but my 50 are put to music that enters their brains like nothing else I have seen!
Every day I create a flipchart with our activities and musical transitions. You can, too! And you can teach what is expected of you so that you fit into your department. Be circumspect. Let your colleagues come to you about what you do rather than flouting it to them. Because not only are you paid to teach, but also to be a supportive colleague. Even when your students make comments about how much they love the transition videos and the music, and that other students are jealous they don’t have your, be circumspect. If you can teach what they require and quietly do it with your flipcharts, you will be successful and rehired.
You can download the first day’s flip chart and watch videos of the first week, here
If you feel that this fits your teaching style, let me know and I’ll be glad to help you. Welcome to the profession, I’m so delighted to be your colleague.
Remy Duran asked today on the FB Teaching Page for IFLT / NTPRS / CI
Anyone in Texas have tips on still doing CI with our new evaluation system?
Since CI is so teacher driven and our new system is requiring more student output to grade us.”
My reply is in this video.
I just wanted to let you know how much my students love your musical videos! Yesterday I played feliz lunes and today they wanted to know why I didn’t have a feliz martes. I told them I would write to you to ask if you were planning to make any other happy day songs? Also they love saquen la tarea and we have a race each day to see how fast they can take their HW out as they are singing La tengo! Thank you for all of your hard work and I am looking forward to your future musical videos
This is the last Sunday I can truthfully tell people I am in my 50s. I am going to use some of it to respond to this colleague’s message on Facebook.
Ryan wrote: Saturday night rant: . . . Does anyone feel the way I do about education websites, apps, platforms? It seems like every week they’re throwing something new at me . . . I just don’t have enough time to work with them all to create cohesive lesson plans that take advantage of their capabilities . . . It’s more peer pressure from younger teachers than admin pressure. . . still have my Amiga 500 in my closet btw…)
Ryan, welcome to being an old teacher! I started my teaching career in my 30s and impressed all of the school with my Wang Word Processor from which I printed papers to be run off on a purple-page-creating mimeograph machine. Yep, I miss representing the newest, freshest and cutting edge of teaching. Sounds like you do, too, and are beginning to transition into being one of the older teachers in a building that serves, and perhaps, prefers youth.
Let me speed up your learning curve for you. When someone has a brand new (fill in the blank) gizmo, listen intently, and give them your version of this dialogue:
“That is so interesting. I can see why you want to try it with your students. I’m going to take out my phone and put in a message for us to discuss this in June. I really want to hear about your experiences and if it got the students speaking, reading, and writing more Spanish or if it was just one of those flash-in-the-pans that was exciting but then hard to manage. I really appreciate your doing the beta on this for me. And if you need help with managing parents or the admin or a difficult class, I’ll be glad to help you.”
As one of the oldest teachers in the building, and a tech mentor, I realized that youth doesn’t value experience because they don’t have it. Since I started honoring my experience with others, I am able to revel in my new status as being wise and not cutting edge young.
Here are some of my lines I drop into conversations:
“I can look at you and type because I learned how to keyboard on a typewriter with covered keys.” (This freaks them out because the students can see on the board that I am writing even as I non-blink speak to someone.)
“In the six thousand students I have interacted with over the years, my experience is . . .”
“This is the 150th time I teach this concept and you need to be patient and work on this concept – it almost never comes quickly to students.”
“It’s been an honor to be part of the learning curve for over 25 new administrators and in my experience. . . ”
I’ve interacted with over 5,000 parents, and in my experience, the hardest thing for parents is . . .”
“I’ve worked with over 500 colleagues over the years and I’ve noticed . . .”
Also, being a reflective teacher, I know when I teach ‘¡hola!’ the students will be surprised that there is an h and an inverted exclamation mark. I tell them in advance not to talk aloud or to themselves and flip through my slides where I have in Spanish “Sí es importante” with arrows to these items. As one student whispered to another last year, “she know our questions before we do!”
Ryan, stay steady with keeping in your bag of teacher tricks what brings results. Let others report their experiments and experiences back to you. Own and share your age and experience. Oh, and if this wasn’t the first weekend of my school year, I definitely wouldn’t be spending my Saturday nights reading teacher rants. Well definitely maybe!