Note from Dr. Semingson-We will be showcasing guest blog posts from teachers and UTA faculty. Stay tuned. Please feel free to leave comments below. Which of Katelyn’s tips can you relate to? Thanks for the guest post, Katelyn!
My name is Katelyn Issleib and this is my second year teaching Pre-school Special Education. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education. I am very passionate about teaching students with disabilities and my teaching philosophy is: “If a child does not learn in the way you teach them, teach in a way they learn.” (Ignacio Estrada)
Here are a few teaching tips I have learned over the past two years:
- Don’t stay late every day. It’s important to get the job done well, but that doesn’t mean staying at school until 8:00 or 9:00 PM every night. Pick one or two nights to stay late to work, and leave at a reasonable time the other nights.
- Make friends with the school custodian and the school secretary. These are the people that can usually help you with projects when you really need it.
- Don’t spend too much of your own money. I used to buy a lot of things for my classroom out of my personal budget and forget to turn in the receipts to get reimbursed. Be sure to track what you spend and then turn it in, teachers don’t get paid enough as it is!
- PLAN PLAN PLAN! It can be tempting to write a lesson idea on a sticky note and use that as your plan, but it really is beneficial for you and the kids when you write out what you are going to teach ahead of time.
- Ask for help. As a new teacher it can be overwhelming at the beginning of the year and I know I had a LOT of questions. Don’t be afraid to bug people to get your questions answered. Remember they were a new teacher at one point, too.
- Finally, take time to really listen to your students. I know it’s easy to get wrapped up in “to-do” lists, but it always brightens my day when I just sit down and have an authentic conversation with the kiddos and really listen to what they have to say. It makes them feel valued and it always reminds me why I do what I do.