New York Teacher Archive: New Teacher

April 19, 2012

Test prep season

As my 3rd-graders prepare to take the state tests, I imagine they’re thinking something like this: I used to love school. I used to skip there every morning after breakfast. I used to run as fast as I could to get to my classroom (except when an adult was in the hall — then I walked as fast as I could).

April 5, 2012

Restlessness: A rite of spring?

With warm weather around the corner, students may become restless. Teachers trying to complete a demanding course of study by June will be doubly challenged if students misbehave. That’s why at this time of year teachers often find themselves brushing off those classroom management strategies they used when the school year began.

March 22, 2012

Solar-powered teaching

“The really fun thing about teaching is when your students come to you excited about something and want to discuss it without your having to bring it up,” said Tom Wilkens, in his first year as a full-time teacher. It helps when the subject matter is nothing less dramatic than earthquakes and tsunamis, which fascinate his students.

March 8, 2012

Certification requires proof of teaching experience

You may not realize it, but as a candidate for a professional teaching certificate you will need to provide proof of three years of teaching experience. This information isn’t automatically reported to the New York State Education Department by your school. You’ll have to gather your proof and submit it.

February 23, 2012

To catch a plagiarist

My teaching career is not yet “very long,” but I have honed some particular skills during my years in the classroom. Spotting plagiarism is one of them. I assigned my high school Spanish students the following project: Choose one holiday from a list of celebrations in Spanish-speaking countries and write a three-page research paper, including a picture.

February 2, 2012

Licensing and certification checkup

Do you know what state certificate you hold? Your requirements under that certificate? Your deadlines for completing requirements? What city license you’re appointed under? The UFT gets many questions from newer teachers looking for clear and reliable answers about certification, licensing and appointment.

January 19, 2012

Smart cookie

Having worked his way up from pot washer to executive chef, Christopher Burgos knows his way around a kitchen. Now he’s getting a feel for the classroom.

December 22, 2011

A Plan Book for Social Justice Teachers

Recommended by Margrit Pittman-Polletta, PS 24, Brooklyn: I get great ideas from “A Plan Book for Social Justice Teachers” (http://justiceplanbook.com) which is filled with resources for teachers of all grade levels and subjects, including links to lesson plans.

November 24, 2011

Blessings in disguise

In the summer of 2010 my world was turned upside down with seven words: “I have to move you to kindergarten.” Here I was, with just two years of teaching under my belt (teaching 4th and 5th grade), being forced by my principal to move. I panicked! I had no idea that a year later I’d be looking back on my kindergarten experience with fondness and a sense of accomplishment.

November 10, 2011

Tenure: What the DOE’s new framework means for you

Do you expect to be up for tenure? If so, become familiar with the Department of Education’s new Tenure Decision-making Framework. The new framework, which was introduced in the 2010-2011 school year, guides principals in making tenure decisions. There are important changes to be aware of.

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