I am a first year teacher and have just been hired for a new K classroom starting in January. I love this bulletin board as it will help me learn their names and about them as well as do some quick informal assessments as well!Do you have any tips for starting a new class mid year? Thanks for your help!
Thank you for your comment. Congratulations on your new position! Please keep in contact and let me know how I can help you. Last year I came back from maternity leave in January. So, it was like starting mid year with a new class although I did start in August with them. Still they had the substitute for several months and I had to retrain them.
The first and most important thing is establishing your relationships at the same time as your routines and expectations. They need to know there is a new teacher and there will be changes and possibly different expectations. You also have to get a feel for their ability levels.
Classroom management is usually the hardest area for new teachers so think out your routines and look into different ways to manage the class. You will find with kindergarteners they have to practice behaviors over and over. (I still have to do it with my class months into school to remind them) Scholastic has a great New Teacher Helpline that can give you tips. http://community.scholastic.com/scholastic/board?board.id=emergency
Of course building the relationships is extremely important so you can build your classroom community. You can have them talk in circle time about what they liked in kindergarten so far. You can even ask what they didn't like. Making a class book in the beginning where each child writes a page with a drawing or sentences depending on comfort level to tell about themselves is a fun way to learn about them as well as assess writing abilities.
Again most importantly establish your routines and expections with behaviors. How are you going to get their attention? What do they do after so they finish so they are not always asking? Taking the time to teach them these things will make your life much easier and the rest of your year smoother. Hopefully, your class is a sweet class that will adjust quickly. Please let me know any other more specific questions that you need help with throughout the year regardless of it being management or academic. You are going to have such a great time with these little ones!
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