Friday, July 13, 2012

Two Sites, a Canadian Book, and a Timeline

The French Canadian Version Is Here!

Although my books have been printed in several languages, it is always thrilling to see them. I recently received my author copies from Cheneliere Education Publishers in Canada. This is the French Canadian versios of my book for middle and high school teachers: The Secondary Teachers' Discipline Survival Guide. I am always amazed at the universality of our concerns as teachers--no matter what language we speak!

Radio Interview with Rae Pica, Bonnie Harris, and David Bloomfeld

I recently had an opportunity to participate in an online conversation at BAM Radio hosted by Rae Pica. Our discussion centered around the frustrating problem of how to manage not to snap when students push our buttons. If you would like to listen and have just about ten minutes, check out this URL.

Fantastic ally AMAZING and FREE Classroom D├ęcor Site

I recently came across a great site for teachers who want to save money while decorating their classrooms. At Block Posters ( you can upload any photograph and then blow it up to giant sizes—at NO COST and in three super simple steps. What a great way to use photos in your classroom.

Hopefully Helpful Excerpt

If you are trying to get ready for the new school year, this excerpt may help you organize the zillions of tasks you have to do. It’s from the third edition of The First-Year Teacher’s Survival Guide that I am currently working on.

“A Checklist for the Start of School

Because there are so many tasks that all teachers must complete in the few weeks and days before the beginning of a school term, it is very easy to be overwhelmed. If you were hired some months before the start of a new term, you  have an advantage over teachers who are not as lucky.

            If you were offered your position just a few weeks or even a few days before the beginning of school, you will have much to do to catch up. Either way, the time line  that follows will help you prioritize your responsibilities and avoid being overwhelmed with too much to do in too little time:

A Month Before the Term Begins

  • Hit the back–to-school sales for supplies.
  • Make sure that your wardrobe reflects your professional status.
  • Order any supplies your district allows.
  • Gather the other supplies you may need.
  • Begin searching the Internet for information about the subjects you will teach.
  • Pick up or download your district’s calendar for the school year.
  • Pick up or download your state and district curriculum guides.
  • Pick up teachers’ editions and supplementary materials.
  • Begin reading and studying the course materials.
  • Create your professional goals.

Three Weeks Before the Term Begins

  • Create a course overview for the year.
  • Join at least one professional organization.
  • Decide on the resources you will need for each unit of study.
  • Create unit plans.

Two Weeks Before the Term Begins

  • Create a syllabus or planner for your students.
  • Make sure that the equipment in your room works well.
  • Brainstorm a list of classroom management strategies and solutions to possible problems.
  • Create your class rules and procedures.
  • Put together information for substitute teachers, in case you need them.
  • Put your classroom in order.
  • Set up your desk and files.

One Week Before the Term Begins

  • Obtain the school forms you will need.
  • Work with a mentor in order to get answers to your procedural questions.
  • Make sure that you are prepared for emergency drills.
  • Create a daily routine for attendance, lunch counts, and other student business.
  • Write a letter to introduce yourself to parents and guardians.
  • Investigate the Web site you will use to set up your class Web page.
  • Write out your first three weeks of daily lesson plans.
  • Study your class rosters in order to familiarize yourself with your students’ names.
  • Create an alphabetical seating chart.

The Day Before School Starts

  • Finish any last-minute tasks.
  • Ask any last-minute questions.
  • Exercise, eat well, and get enough rest.
  • Make a plan to manage your work-related stress.”

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