Math Educators

I’m starting my first teaching job mid-year teaching Algebra 1 and Honors Geometry. Any advice?

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Come in strict. Expect a difficult time as they will test you. Find a support system of other teachers.

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Depending on the circumstances, you may need this phrase "we can't worry about the past; lets focus on today and the future." Don't let them bait you into talking about the old teacher or how they did things.

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Realize that half the kids will hate you because you are not their former teacher, and half will love you because you are not their former teacher. Be sure to set up classroom routines that work for you from day one. Be strict but fair, and I would definitely start with a seating chart (of your choosing, not the students) at the minimum to get to know names as quickly as possible. Remember you are starting behind the students as far as school and classroom culture are concerned, so listen to and acknowledge their concerns, but always maintain that it is YOUR classroom now, and that things need to change in order to get the students where they need to be by the end of the year. I would also send a letter to parents/guardians letting them know that you are taking over the class and "look forward helping their student finish strong in order to be prepared to move on." Also, do not assume they were taught anything you haven't taught them. This includes basic arithmetic skills unless they show you they can do it. Plan on incorporating topics from previous classes a lot at first until you get to know what they do and do not know. Know the schools discipline policy like your life depends on it...it does.

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Be stern, tough and make sure you stick to your guns!! Hold your ground! Also- what Texas said- it’s YOUR classroom, not the other teachers. Your name is on the board. This will be the hardest thing to change- you know the content, so that will be the easy part.

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