Integrating the Australian Curriculum Using Web2.0
This year I am beginning my teaching career. I am privileged to be working with a year 6 class for 2011 at one of the top schools in the state. I have a very strong support base of teachers around me as well as a history with both the school and the students I will be teaching. The conditions are in a word perfect and I could never have hoped for a better start to my teaching profession. 
With all this in mind I am still anxious about starting and have no idea what is going to be expected of me over the first few weeks. It's funny how I never did a prac on their first day, I literally have no idea what to do with them. We were always told to be firm and in control in the first couple of months of the year, but how does a teacher who is naturally very relaxed do that? Do I become the teacher I know I should be, or the teacher that I am? I am a little worried about how my already formed relationship with the students is going to impact on the classroom climate.  As a prac student, I was fun, I took these kids on camp and was like their older brother, we were in control but we allowed them all to enjoy their camp experience. I know that if I let this occur in the classroom they will run riot and we won't get anything done. How do I integrate all the Web2.0 technology that I am so craving? Where do I get the resources that are required, comprehensions, spelling, homework, templates, maths problems etc. 
From that great support base I mentioned and the many great teachers/mentors I have around I have come to one main solution; I don't have to be the greatest teacher in my first year. I will make mistakes, I will have to try different things, and I will have to become 'different teachers' to get the best out of my students. Consequently I have this terrible thought in my head that I am somehow disadvantaging the students in my class as the other two year 6 teachers are excellent accomplished teachers.
Everyone keeps saying how much work we will have to do this year, being the first year and the lack of resources etc but I honestly don't mind the work, I am more concerned that I am going to miss something or that I'm going to make a fool out of myself. 

Enough complaining

How to start the year (plans). Every year must start with time to get to know the teacher, decorate the room, set the rules and explain what is going to happen, or in other words set the expectations.  This will involve some ice-breaker games aimed at getting to know the students and conveying the idea that it is their classroom which they should take pride of and hopefully care. I will do an online safety session and gauge their understanding of online technology (trying to get them excited about it).  I will also have to do some assessment. I am currently thinking how I can engage the students but comprehensively assess their writing, reading, maths literacy etc. 

Maybe i'll just let them all go outside and we can play sport all day. Sounds fun easy and sure to win me some votes! (kidding)
Louise Leyden
01/14/2011 20:20

Hi Josh,
It was so interesting reading your post. It almost felt like you were reading my mind in 2010, because those were exactly the emotions, concerns and thoughts I was having prior to my first year. Here's a couple of ideas for you...
1 Plan day 1. If you go in confidently, have a good structure or timetable for your day, you will immediately have everyone on your side. Think about unpacking school items, checking who hasn't bought stuff in & what you will do with that.
2 Form a plan of where you want to take the children by December. Think of their educational outcomes, experiences, social/behavioural gains and map it on a line. I think if you know where you want to take them, it is invaluable. All you can aim for is to move everyone forward, beyond where they are at when you began the year.
3 By term 2 and definitely term 3, you will have an amazing relationship with the group. They want to respect you, feel that you are fair & consistent, and that their class is the best in the school.
4 Keep parents in the loop - big time. The more they know what is going on, the more supportive that they will be. Put a note in diaries often, give rewards, invite, invite, invite to check out your blog.
5 You will be amazed at yourself in December. This won't be your most perfect year of teaching, but a massive year of professional growth and personal gain.

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