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For Teachers

Teachers Survival Guide Part 1

Here are five ideas that should help new teachers, this year and for the rest of their teaching career.

by Jennifer Cartwright

You have survived the first day of school and all the rest there after.  Hopefully, it has gotten easier as you have gotten to know your students and their parents.  You have a daily routine and developed some systems to make things work more smoothly in your classroom.  As the school year wears on, you will find that you will need to fine tune your systems.  Here are five ideas that should help you this year and for the rest of your teaching career.
  1. Make Friends.  You probably have friends in your personal life that you have been able to count on to support you and help you out.  You will need the same at school.  You  will need to make friends with the following people: 

  • Mentor
  • Cafeteria Workers
  • School Secretary
  • Custodians
If your school has not assigned you a mentor, find one for yourself.  It is really helpful to have one person that you can count on to help you out when you need to know how to fill out the Field Trip Form or to explain all the things that the administration forgot to mention and expects you to do anyway.

Most school secretaries have a lot of power and knowledge of the school, the people who work there, and how it runs.  It is important to have them as your allies so that things run smoothly for you.  Making friends with custodians can possibly lead to you receiving preferential treatment.  I always made sure to learn the names of the custodians in my school and to talk to them when they came into my room to do work.  Tony often stopped to chat as he came by my room.  I had a cabinet that had broken doors, which couldn’t be repaired, and it was taking up valuable space.  I filled out a request to have the cabinet either fixed or removed.  I was told by the head custodian that the cabinet could not be fixed and that it couldn’t be removed because it was bolted to the wall.  I looked at the back and saw that it was not bolted into the wall.  The next time Tony came by, I asked him if it could be removed.  When I came in the next morning, it was gone.  Custodians can be very good school friends!

Biography for Jennifer Cartwright

Jennifer Cartwright B. A., M. Ed., Ed. D. Candidate, 
has been a classroom teacher working with children with disabilities for the past 29 years.  She began her career working with institutionalized severely and profoundly mentally impaired, multi-handicapped children and has, through the years, worked with children having various disabilities.  Jennifer has taught in public schools in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Georgia.  She has been a co-presenter for workshops on ADHD in New Hampshire.  She currently lives and teaches in Georgia.Disclaimer: Any names used in this article do not represent any real people or children, but are based on the experience of Jennifer Cartwright in her many years of teaching experience.

No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any form without the express permission of More4Kids Inc © 2006


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