Ask yourself these questions:
Are you a new teacher?
Have you been teaching for a while but are struggling with classroom management?
Do you wish your classroom were neater and more organized?
Do you need tips, techniques, and strategies on how to have more organization in your classroom to save time?
If you answered YES to any or all the questions above, keep reading.
Having an organized classroom is helpful for various reasons.
First, it could help with classroom behavior issues.
Having an organized classroom where systems are in place is critically important with respect to classroom management and behavior issues. When students come into class and observe that there is a system in place, they don’t try to create their own. Instead, they follow what has been set in place by you as the teacher.
Second, it could help save you time.
In a messy classroom, it is hard to find documents, previously used lesson plans, resources, games, and supplies. The teacher can spend 20 minutes or more looking for things under the desk, in the closet, behind the bookshelf when that time could have been spent on other important tasks. To save time and become more efficient, the teacher can utilize some tips, techniques, and strategies to improve classroom organization, much like the ones listed in this article, below.
Third, it could help improve your teaching and their learning.
If a classroom is organized there will be less distractions. This will help students focus a little longer and help them learn better. It will also teach the students in the class certain organizational strategies that can help them in their personal and professional lives in the future. If the room is organized, the expectation is that they keep it that way. In turn, they develop good habits.
To have better organization, here are tips, techniques, and strategies, click below to access the downloadable checklist.
You can also click here to get access to the checklist that can be used on a daily or weekly basis to have an organized classroom.
Questions to Consider:
Are you an educator needing to set SMART goals?
Are you an administrator helping teachers set their SMART goals?
Do you think setting SMART goals will help you improve your teaching and, ultimately, the students’ learning?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, keep reading!
What are SMART goals and why do we need them?
It is generally agreed that the SMART acronym was first written in 1981 by George T. Doran. Even though it first was used in the world of business, it became popular over the past several decades because of its ease of use and transferability. SMART goals do not need to be used just in the business world; they can be used in personal life and professional life. They can be used across many professions and careers.
Doran’s original SMART goal criteria included:
Plus, Evaluate and Reevaluate
The reason for the SMART goal, or SMARTE goal popularity is due, in large part, to how it helps a clear foundation for the path to success. It does not guarantee that the goal will be met or achieved; it just lays the groundwork on how to get there.
Typical Goals for Teachers
Like all other professionals, teachers also set goals at the end or at the start of each school year. Usually, the goals have to do with lesson planning, organizing, parent connections, and technology integration. Teacher goals could also revolve around making the most out of class time, raising student engagement, and strengthening student discussions.
The reason why teachers set goals is because they want to, ultimately, improve their teaching and their students’ learning. They want to be better at their jobs.
Teaching is One of the Most Rewarding Careers in the World
A teacher would tell you it is the best feeling in the world when a student learns a concept and feels that sense of accomplishment. The student’s accomplishment becomes the teacher’s accomplishment. New teachers already know or suspect this. That is why they go into teaching in the first place.
There are so many great reasons to consider teaching as a career. Working with young people is rewarding and gratifying. However, it is important for a person who has just graduated from college and is thinking about choosing it as a profession to know that it is not easy.
The Unexpected Factors New Teachers May not be Prepared to Handle, and How to Address Them
1) Teaching requires some showmanship. In order to keep the kids’ attention and get them engaged, the teacher must be able to teach the lesson well enough to keep the audience captivated or they will lose interest. Great teachers find ways to keep kids engaged and learning.
2) Teaching is 50% delivering of content effectively and 50% social-emotional support. Teaching is not just about the content being delivered – it is about being able to listen and support students, and sometimes even the parents.
3) Students can be disrespectful and disruptive in the classroom despite the teacher’s best efforts.
4) Teaching requires grading – especially depending on what you teach. Just like lesson planning is time-consuming, so is grading.
5) A teacher must be open to learning and improving no matter how many years he or she has been in the classroom.
6) Teaching is not one of the highest-paying profession out there. In fact, there are many teachers who do side jobs to generate extra income.
7) There is lots of administrative work that must be done that teachers do not often realize until they get into the profession.
8) Because teachers are role-models, and there is some added pressure involved, much like a celebrity. It can be overwhelming for some teachers to be in the spotlight, placed there by students, parents, and other stakeholders.
Administrators can help teachers, especially in their first year, to feel supported and empowered to succeed.
· Are you spending a lot of time each day planning lessons?
· Are you finding yourself “winging” lessons because planning for them takes so much time?
· Are you looking for an organized system for planning lessons?
· Do you think some strategies for planning lessons effectively could help you improve your teaching?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, continue to read this article for effective ways to plan a lesson to help you stay organized, and save you time in the long run!
Why Lesson Planning is So Important
Planning a lesson allows a teacher to systematically deliver content in an organized way to maximize learning. In other words, a teacher plans out how much time there is to deliver a content by thinking about the process in advance. Since teacher efficacy is one of the top factors that affects student learning, it is important to plan and deliver a great lesson each and every time to see results.
Components of a Lesson
No matter what subject is taught and the length of the lesson, there are components that must be thought about, in advance, by the teacher. Most experts agree that the components of a lesson include:
Madeline Hunter, a UCLA professor and educational author, came up with what is called The Hunter Method, which delineates 7 components of any great lesson plan. Since each day of the school year is different, a teacher must decide and plan what is to be taught and how that content must be taught in the most effective way possible. This is daily lesson planning. The more effective the lesson plan is, the stronger the results will be in terms of teaching and learning. The Hunter Method was first introduced in 1982. Since then, the WIPPEA Model for lesson planning was presented, building on the Hunter Method. Its components include:
· Do you work in education?
· Are you looking for ways to communicate more consistently with your students’ parents?
· Do you think it is important for parents to be informed about their kids’ schools?
· Do you think consistent and organized ways of communicating are important in education?
If you answered YES to these questions, continue reading for ideas and strategies to increase communication with your students’ parents!
Why are parent engagement, involvement, and communication important?
Parent engagement is important for kids to succeed emotionally, personally, and academically. In fact, parental engagement is one of the best predictors of student success in school! A strong body of evidence suggests that when parents are engaged in their kids' education, academic achievement increases, behavior issues decrease, and social skills increase. The more parents are involved, the better the students’ motivation, behavior, and grades! Parental engagement creates a positive learning environment for students.
The main difference between parental engagement and parental involvement is the role or responsibility the parent assumes for the child. Parent engagement is when parents share the responsibility of helping their kids learn and meet educational goals. Involvement means the parent is aware of the student’s school mission, goals, important events, child’s grades, teachers, etc. Engagement is different because it requires the parent to be involved and participate in the child’s education. In other words, it is not enough to simply know the teachers; the parent must meet with them and actively understand what they can do from home to help the child succeed. It’s not enough to know the school’s goals; when a parent is engaged, he gets involved in committees and advisory groups to help take the goals to the next level.
To have engagement and involvement, there must be strong, positive, frequent communication with parents. For students to learn and succeed, schools must create many opportunities for communicating with parents as possible. According to the National Education Association, the benefits of strong parental engagement include:
What are the most common ways schools communicate with parents?
The most common ways schools communicate with parents are through:
Black History Month begins on February 1 and lasts an entire month. As educators and leaders, we can do our part to recognize, celebrate, and appreciate Black History Month. The idea is to plan ahead by figuring out how the celebrations and recognitions will occur, get organized, and efficiently prepare! Waiting until the last minute may only add unnecessary stress and anxiety so let's start thinking ahead about what we can do.
Celebrating and recognizing Black History Month is so important because we realize the importance of various cultures and backgrounds. We help the younger generations appreciate diversity, and at the same time, understand how much we all have in common as human beings.
Resources and Ideas for Celebrating and Recognizing for Planning and Organizing
Here are some ideas and strategies to organize and plan schoolwide or classroom celebrations. Choose 3 to 5 ideas that you can do as a school site. It would help to discuss the ideas with teacher leaders and/or student leaders to have buy-in for celebrations.
1. Have students put together PowerPoint slides on Black History Month.
Set limits on how many they should do, what the slides should include, and whether or not they will share their findings with their classmates.
Take some of the slides and put them together to make a Youtube video to post on your school website! Be sure to give students whose slides you are using get credit for their work by posting their names at the bottom of the slides or a slide at the end called "Contributions from Students."
2. Share 4 to 5 videos with teachers that they can share in their classrooms - one for each week of February. Videos can easily be found on Youtube.
Weareteachers.com provides 37 videos compiled into one webpage that you can peruse to find ones that would work for your classroom.
3. Read one children's book by a Black author one day each of the 4 to 5 weeks of February.
You will help support African-American authors by doing this and help students learn and appreciate stories and perspectives. Here are some examples of books you can read:
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