Tuesday, December 6, 2011

your turn

As I'm planning for the posts for the next few months, I'd love to be responsive to what you, dear readers, are concerned about and interested in learning about. For the most part, I've been going on what I hear from the new teachers that I work with and what I know about new teacher concerns. But I know you have ideas about what you need and are interested in learning more about.

So, this week, I want to hear from you. Post a comment with your ideas for future posts. I will work on answering them within the next few months.


  1. Hi Dr. Kelly!
    Here are some ideas I thought of:

    • What are some ways to assess whether the administration (principal, superintendant, etc.) is legitimate? In other words, are there some questions to ask them or things to listen and look for when applying for jobs? Or how about when you get a job—what do you do if the administration is less than ideal?

    • As a literacy professor, if you only had one hour to tell me everything you want me to know about effective literacy instruction, what would you say? ( Likewise, what would other professors want to say about their content area if given one hour to tell me what they think is most important?)

    • What would veteran teachers want to tell new teachers? AND What do new teachers want to tell veteran teachers?
    *Note* I am totally willing to interview new and veteran teachers at my school if you want me to!

    • Okay, so we all have those moments when things are REALLY bad—like the day I woke up at 7:55am and was supposed to be at school at 6:30am—anyone able to commiserate with me? “Oops” stories might be nice to read

    • How do I boost my confidence in a subject area I am nervous about? For example, I am nervous about teaching math effectively. Is there anything I should be doing outside of practicing, looking for resources, etc., to give my students the best learning experience?

    • Everyone knows “that kid”, right? What are some go to ideas to help the behavior-prone child, the introvert, the extrovert, the ring-leader, the class clown, --wait, am I talking about the Breakfast Club?!

  2. Here are some ideas that have been bouncing around in my head:

    When it comes to subbing, what are some strategies to handle a class and a curriculum that isn't yours?

    Is it good to have a lot of information about incoming students, or do you find that it usually leads to bias regarding their abilities? How much and what kinds of information do you think is necessary to be prepared for an incoming class?

    How do you handle parents who insist their student receive material at a higher level than they are ready for?

    If you had to pick the most common mistake that new teachers make, what would it be and how can we try to avoid it?

    What are some ways you would handle a student seems to categorically disrespect only female authority figures?

    I had a friend who taught at a terrible charter school with her first year out and never wants to classroom teach again. What are some ways I can be sure the schools I apply to won't make me crazy?

  3. Hi Dr. Kelly,

    Here are some of my suggestions:

    We spoke a few months ago about lexile scores and how they can be detrimental to learning. What is the theory behind lexile scores? Will they ever go away?

    There seems to be a shift between 5th and 6th grade regarding MAP and standardized test scores. Why does this happen? Maybe it was just the district I was in, but it seemed like as soon as students got to middle school, test scores weren't as important.

    I am very interested in standard based grading. Will we ever reach a point in which letter grades will disappear?