I’m not even sure where to begin.
I talked with the BTSA AP, and she’s listing off all sorts of things she wants the new teachers to do: standards compliant bulletin boards, backwards planning, text rich classrooms, and so on.
I’m wondering how to explain to them how to take roll on the first day and how not to get killed.
The worst part about being a new teacher is cognitive load. All those things listed above make your life easier, but you need experience to be able to do them. It’s a horrible chicken and egg problem – all the stuff that makes your life easier later on will only make it more difficult if you try to do it from the start.
As a result, my thoughts are that I need to pare back, heavily, on the information they get. I need to let them know what the small stuff is, so that they don’t have to sweat it. (thanks, sam). I need to make them aware that they’re going to be overwhelmed, and that their easiest way through is to focus on one thing at a time:
- Teaching the students your expectations.
- How to distribute their textbooks.
- Where to get supplies and how to make copies.
- Who to go to when they have a question (me, or one of two other teachers).
That’s five things – it already feels like too much. But I don’t know what to pare out.
(I plan on throwing more stuff at them, but less in a “this is what you need to do” way, and more of a “when you’re ready for it, this will make your life easier” way. Which means that I need to make clear to them the distinction between havetos and niceideas.)