6 Winning Items That New Teachers Need For The New Year

     No one can empathize with a new teacher better than a veteran teacher. We know what it feels like, both good and bad, to begin a teaching career. Our "If only I'd known then what I know now" conversations are rich with wisdom and experience,

     To help out any newer teachers that are cracking open their first, second, or third year of teaching, I've put together a list of 6 things that I wish I'd known about during my first years. A couple of them might not have been invented then, but they're winning tools, just the same!

     This list has a theme: Organization! This concept can make or break any teacher. It's actually not about how cute or color-coordinated your stuff looks. It's about whether you can find it when you need it. Here's the list:

1) Organizational Storage

You can never have too much. As you shop for the new year, buy whatever your budget will allow. You'll need:

  • large containers like Sterilite drawers on wheels
  • smaller plastic drawer units 
  • buckets
  • bins
  • containers that close with a lid, good for stacking 
  • square containers like crates 
  • smaller containers like pencil cases
If you can, overbuy. You'll almost certainly find a need for them.

2) 3-Ring Binders

Three-ring binders have been a life-saver to me. I learned the hard way that laying papers down in piles - and forgetting what was in the pile - spelled certain disaster. 

I learned to store things standing up. When binders with clear plastic covers were invented, it was even better! Acquire binders for every topic that works for you. Make a cover for each one and don't forget the spine! It'll save you so much time pulling out binders looking for titles.

3) Sticky Notes

Slapp a sticky note on your to-do list, a pile of papers, or your purse and you'll save yourself time and energy. In addition, they are a marvelous teaching tool. Kids can use them to answer survey questions, to quickly share opinions or answers, to give feedback to classmates, and for personal organization.

4) File folders and labels

This amazing duo is another super organizational tool. You can print off multiple sets and have them ready when you suddenly need a new set of student folders. You can create folder games, organize center materials and directions, and keep yourself organized.

5) A great electric pencil sharpener

Yes, they can be pricey, but my life changed for the better when I could finally shell out for one. Sharpening pencils each day was faster and quieter. My kids did fine using it, but consider making your pencil sharpener off-limits to students until they can prove they'll be careful with it.

6) A Go-To Book

There are so many times during the year when you have just a few minutes before the next task and you want to spend it wisely. I remember times like just before lunch or a class change, having to hold students in class for a few minutes for an unexpected reason, or when you need revitalize the class with a brain break. 

The books I always depended on included joke books (especially math jokes), critical thinking books with short problems to solve, a book with trivia-type facts on different subjects, and great poetry books by authors such as Shel Silverstein. Having books like this improves the quality of your instructional time and can improve your classroom management.
Share this list with any new teacher you know. They'll appreciate having a place to start!

Growing Grade By Grade
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[name=Pat McFadyen] [img=https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WsQ2WGbGKhw/WpNrBnYYvfI/AAAAAAAATcs/Gbqf3hYwwjwX2smDpvLCmtgfWB3ur47mACLcBGAs/s1600/Pat.jpg] [description=My purpose is to support YOU and your students with practical solutions and curriculum materials that teach, play, practice, and assess.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/GrowingIn5thGrade/)

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