Saturday, April 19, 2014

10 Pieces of Advice for New World Language Teachers

1.  Start with classroom management on day 1.  Routines and procedures are CRITICAL for classroom success. 

2.  Begin using (mostly) the target language from day 1.  It is possible!  You can do it!  Act things out and use drawings. 

3.  Trust your instincts.  As a first-year teacher, you are finding your footing; trust what your gut tells you to do.  It will take time to develop your own teaching style, and it begins by being true to yourself.

4.  Listen to your students.  If students offer suggestions and ideas for improving, take them. 

5.  Find the best teachers in your school and become their friend.  It is important to surround yourself with uplifting teachers who can guide you to success.

6.  Use the mentors and help offered to you.  Being a new teacher is overwhelming.  Accept offers of help and ask for it.

7.  Use the curriculum and/or materials created by your world language colleagues.  It is easier to edit than to create; you need to begin somewhere. 

8.  Know that you are not a super hero.  One of the difficult parts of being a new teacher is working with veterans with much more experience than you.  You will have that knowledge too (one day), just not in your first year.

9.  Be nice to everyone.  Smiles and kindness lead to genuine connections with students, faculty, and staff.

10. Become a part of your school community.  Attend games, send cards for big announcements, and go to wakes for those within your school.  You will become part of the school's fabric and improve the school culture too.