On teaching math:
- Find creative assignments to engage your students. It’s too easy sometimes to just use the book or the same old website. In some cases, our fallbacks can be great, but only when these resources’ challenge our students. The internet is becoming a better and better resource every day for math teachers to use. Unfortunately, I just don’t see too many textbooks doing that just yet. Look out for problems that are too easy and repetitive or give too much information.
- Use the following online resources: Desmos Activities (the bundles are a great place to start on teacher.desmos.com), Open Middle (to let your students answer in their own ways), Illustrative Math (to see standards come alive), Dan Meyer’s 3 Act Math Tasks (to make math meaningful), Eureka Math & Math Vision Project (when you need a steady online resource), Khan Academy (to send students to study and practice on their own), and follow the math teachers on Twitter and the various blogs they write by searching for the Math Twitter Blogosphere, #MTBoS.
- Don’t take on too much in your first year. First year teachers often find themselves running many of the following: sports, clubs, honorary groups, etc., but you definitely need to know your limits. By all means I think teachers should be involved in the schools, but remember you are a teacher first, and teaching takes time.
On staying organized:
- An organized classroom is…not my strong point, but good luck!
On classroom management:
- Be firm. It is challenging as a new teacher to uphold high expectations and be likable. In no way did being a friend ever help me out my first year. Students are going to learn best when expectations are clear and when the teacher makes sure the students live up to the expectations. You can be likable and friendly, but you are definitely a teacher not a friend. Start the year off with strong classroom management.