“Public School Teachers … An Inside Look”
This must-read ebook offers a different spin, as vs standard teacher information. It gives us interesting glimpses into the personal lives of teachers, in and out of the classroom. Beginning teachers may find some of this information particularly useful. There are three very good chapters that cover lots of territory, from the start of a teaching career to its conclusion.
Chapter 1. The Early years
Chapter 2. The In-Between Years
Chapter 3. The Retirement Years
Imagine yourself in an inner-city school hallway after a nice long, relaxing summer vacation. Now, imagine the first day of school with you watching 35 hyperactive teenagers knock and tumble into your classroom. The first day of school is a guaranteed traumatic experience, especially for new middle school teachers.
Without fail, your students will sit with their best friends and dare you to move them. You, the teacher, are an annoying authority figure to them … interfering with important peer-chat. Welcome to middle school mayhem. – It is “Teenage-ness” at fever-pitch. What you do on the first day is critical. It will cement the rest of your relationship with these students.
Never take the first day lightly as it sets the pace for the months to come. Some new teachers do not fully appreciate the importance of the first day and live to regret it. They could not anticipate the full effect of middle school students in “excite-mode.”
The following helpful steps are designed to aid inexperienced middle school teachers: … continue
Students react strongly to seating arrangements. Some arrangements are more conducive to comfort and learning than others. It is important to get seating right because there are significant benefits to be gained. Classroom control is improved when the desks are smartly arranged and positioned. Seating influences the way students interact. A break from the tradition seating arrangement may be just the right thing.
“Angling” your desks can create an unexpected classroom environment. Desks are, traditionally, placed parallel to the walls and students are conditioned to the placement. When students walk into a room where the seats are angled, they are captivated by the uniqueness of it … which means you have captured their complete attention and can cash in on it.
If atmosphere and environment play a role in learning, seat-angling can be a refreshing change — If there is enough space try angling your chairs diagonally to the walls. Or try placing them in a semicircular arrangement. Any break from traditional seating will modify your classroom environment. … continue
Lorna experiences an eerie sense of foreboding as soon as the alarm goes off — something isn’t right. As she lay there half-awake she chides herself for having the jitters, “Snap out of it Missy; you have a job to do, and young people depending on you!”
Lorna Elizabeth Brooks is a Public School Teacher who, at the moment, is seriously debating whether to call in sick. She’s nervous about the ominous feelings assaulting her this morning. It is a tough decision for her because Ms. Brooks doesn’t do “absent.” In eleven years at the high school, she hasn’t missed a day of work.
A restorative breakfast and a soothing shower get her going. She proceeds to dress for work. “Good morning Ms. Brooks!” … that is Mia, one of her favorite students entering the classroom. Mia is, literally, the ideal pupil – quiet, well behaved, motivated, and she consistently earns high grades. So, Mia’s warm smile is almost enough to wash away the apprehension that is once again creeping up on Ms. Brooks’ senses.
Mia’s plentiful smiles aren’t quite as frequent, lately. She is more subdued. Ms. Brooks stares at the pattern of tiny cuts near her temple. The skin looks scraped in that spot. Is that a slight limp Mia is trying to hide?
When Ms. Brooks confronts Mia with a few probing questions, she shrugs it off and says, “It’s nothing Ms. Brooks, I stumbled down the stairs at home. I’ll be all right, thanks.” That’s when the alarm bells go off in her head because Mia lives in a rambler. There are no stairs. Apparently, Mia has forgotten that Ms. Brooks made a “positive” home visit last year to inform her father of Mia’s outstanding performance at school. … continue
Martha Cannon is so content with the world. The warm, friendly Public School Teacher is on life’s natural high, feeling no pain. It will all change on this gray, stormy Monday at work. Today’s lesson is for the teacher.
Mrs. Cannon is tall and dignified. She has a gentle military bearing. Most people look up to make eye contact with her. Only close friends and family know that despite the strong appearance, she breaks like a little girl when life gets intense. She is all-woman on the outside but just a tiny girl inside.
She broke down when the principal summoned her into his office that afternoon. She knew him well. His tone of voice made it clear that something wasn’t right. She found out that she was being placed on an indefinite leave pending an investigation into her conduct. The statuesque teacher is just a mess of tears, twisted facial features, and great gulping sobs by the time she hears the full story.
Those who work with her know no teacher is more dedicated. No teacher is more honest in relationships. Martha is a teacher’s teacher, a role model for teachers. Now, here she is in the principal’s office this afternoon simply because she gave a student a dollar to take the bus home from school. … continue
It’s hot outside, and the birds seem louder than usual as Joyce lounges on her sofa enjoying the warm, afternoon breeze. Mrs. Joyce Berry is a retired teacher who is far too comfortable to move at the moment. However, the idea of a refreshing, thirst-quenching, cool drink forces her up and off the couch. Before she can understand what is happening, she is on her back on the floor, groggily staring at the ceiling.
Her right knee gave out three steps away from the sofa. The old knee is troublesome, but this is the first time it has completely failed her. She jokingly refers to the bothersome joint as her “retirement knee” … “kinda like tennis elbow,” she explains. The knee started bothering her the same year she retired.
Joyce Berry and her husband Perry never had children. Perry died just last year. He, too, was a teacher. Perry died at the kitchen table with a mouth full of peas & potatoes and a Mountain Dew in his hand – a massive heart attack. Part of Joyce died right along with him. … continue
Mr. Watson is getting old. The beautiful head of white hair is thinning fast, and he’s got a definite paunch going on. His kindly smile is the same, though. Mr. Watson is planning to retire at the end of this school year.
His students love him. They like and appreciate his caring nature. He is a good teacher too. His peers fondly refer to him as “Scotty” because of his thick accent. Early every morning, Scotty is out on the vast schoolyard lawn with his golf clubs in tow, polishing up his swing before classes begin.
Mr. Watson’s favorite student is a senior named Ricky Montalvo. Ricky is intelligent, respectful, hardworking, and quick to grasp a concept. He is also humble. Ricky is part of Mr. Watson’s work-study program. Ricky helps the freshman students find solutions to simple problems. He is a tremendous help to Mr. Watson.
In May, Ricky receives an “A+” from all of his teachers and graduates with scholarships. Mr. Watson hates to say goodbye to the exceptional student. At graduation he notices Ricky laughing and talking with friends and family. It is a chilly, May afternoon when the senior class is dismissed into the world. … continue