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Kelsey Nelson Wheatridge Middle School Gardner, KS

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1 Kelsey Nelson Wheatridge Middle School Gardner, KS
The First 9 Weeks Kelsey Nelson Wheatridge Middle School Gardner, KS

2 Student Teaching Cedar Hills Elementary (Blue Valley)
Chisholm Trail Middle School (Olathe) Go the extra mile! *Cedar Hills: Elementary student teaching is physically exhausting because of the schedule and the requirements of your students. *Chisholm: Grades 6-8 *Take every opportunity you can to get involved! For the elementary school, I did Drums Alive! For the middle school, I took every opportunity to do what I needed to do to get my name out there. I volunteered to work at an after school events, helped with Megan’s JC Jumpers group, etc. You have to make a good impression on that teacher, they hold the key to helping you get a job! I could not have done it without Megan. *Work on your KPTP periodically and don’t try and wait until the last minute. The quality of your work is important and this is a showcase of everything you have worked on for the past 4 years… Do a good job!

3 Job Search and Interviewing
When to Start Looking Where do I look? Resume Tips Tips from a Principal… Social Media When to start looking: I did my student teaching in the spring and I started applying as early as February because I saw there were job interviews. The only issue with that is that you haven’t really had the time to get the recommendations you made need from your cooperating teacher. It’s NEVER too early to start looking! Where do I look?: Go to the district webpages for school districts in the area you are wanting to teach in. You can simply google it, but that doesn’t always show up all of the options. I knew I wanted to be in the KC area so that is where I started looking at. Word of mouth is huge.. Dr. King let us know about jobs as she heard about them as well. Use every resource you have. Resume Tips: GO TO THE CAREER CENTER!!! I went and had Kelsey Ploeger at our career center go over my resume, edit, correct, suggest new things, etc. Principals don’t have unlimited time to go over these resumes, so they pick the ones that stand out.. Use knowledge you have about people are looking for: I have a QR code on my resume that I made that goes straight to my website. I know that not all principals will spend the time getting out their phone and scanning it, but they did ask me about what it was, how I came up with the idea, etc. and they were impressed to see a PE teacher using technology. Use what you already have! Tips From a Principal: I asked my principal what the first thing he does when looking at a candidate and he says he googles their name… BE AWARE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. Typically, this is one of the first things that comes up and it can either make or BREAK you. Even if there is something on your facebook page from 5 years ago, if it’s accessible to the principal, he might take it into consideration. **Talk about the resume he saw with the quotes**. Resumes: GRAMMAR. If something is grammatically incorrect, the resume goes in the trash or to the bottom of the pile. Things that impress him: When someone comes in with a list of questions.. Not about salary, but something along the lines of “I saw this on your website and…” This shows him that you have put time and thought into the interview, and you are genuinely interested in the school. Asst. Principal:   I always look for past experience working with kiddos. Volunteering at camps, tutoring, coaching a league, or even babysitting. I want to see that they have an interest in kiddos- not just as a career. I also look for involvement in student activities in college and high school- this shows they can get along with a variety of personalities. In interviews I look for someone who is prepared, willing to admit areas they need to grow in, and artifacts. Positive perspectives are big and I can usually pick that up pretty quick in the first initial 5 minutes. Smiles go a long way!

4 What Comes Next? Keeping In Contact Summer Planning
Talk with co-workers, HR, any one you can during the summer before you teach! Get with your partner and start working ahead! *Your best source for info is going to come from those already at the school… Get to know as many people as you can during the summer. Even if it’s just via , it helps coming into the school year when they know who you are because of contact you have already made with them. *Get to know your HR secretary also. She is important when it comes to having everything you need to teach by the first day of school. Also, it’s important to touch base with who ever does your payroll and your insurance so that that person can help you with your benefits. **GET WITH WHOEVER YOU ARE TEACHING WITH AND WORK AHEAD!!! Tanner and I met twice during the summer for a couple of hours and just got to know each other and talked about what we thought would work best for us as teachers. Tanner and I spent the summer time to decide how we wanted to grade students, policies on dressing out, doctor’s notes, testing students, fitness testing, units that were most important, etc. Before we had even started the school year we had put together our PowerPoint that we showed the students on the first few days of school. WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT? Although you typically have about a week of time to work on things once school starts, time can come and go very quickly. We had to go through new teacher academy, go to specific sessions at specific times, and this limits your actual time. GOOD NEWS: as a P.E. teacher, you don’t have a “typical classroom set up” like most teachers, so you don’t need as much time as others. But you do need time to organize your P.E. equipment room, your office, your class rosters, locker room, etc.

5 First Day of School Classroom Expectations Slideshow
Making an Impression Make a positive impression! Firm, but Fair *For our first day of school we had a ½ day, so Tanner and I just began going over a little about us. On the first FULL day of school, we began going over our slideshow that talked about all of our expectations, grading, dressing out, rules, etc. It is VERY important that you make a good impression that first day of school. Don’t come out of the gates ready to jump on every bad behavior the students exhibit. Be firm, but fair. Otherwise, you are never going to make a good impression on your students.

6 What Works For Us Make Up Worksheets P.O.W.E.R. Principle P:Prepared
Find an article 1 week to turn in for full credit 2 weeks for half credit P.O.W.E.R. Principle P:Prepared O:On Task W: Well-Being E: Empathy R: Responsible ** Tanner and I value our classroom and what we teach very much. We believe that when someone misses a day of class, they are expected to make up the assignment just as they would if they miss science, math, or language arts. Therefore, we require our students to complete a make up worksheet and turn it in 1 week from the day they were absent to earn full credit, and 2 weeks from the date for partial credit. While student teaching, I saw this method utilized and it was EXTREMELY effective. You can decide how long you want to give them to complete it, but this is how we use it. We also have 5th graders using this as well. It is most difficult for them, which is why I keep a file folder of make up articles that are age appropriate so that if they struggle, they have options. ***POWER PRINCIPLE: Tanner learned about the POWER principle from his student teaching experience in the Blue Valley area. After speaking, we figured out that this was the best system for us to use. We use this principle to set our expectations and also to help us grade the students. Each letter stands for something different, and the students get 1 point for each category. We went over this in details the first couple of days and made posters to put in the gym and locker rooms.

7 Parents and Communication
Think first, type later Record EVERYTHING! Follow-up Have someone sit in on phone calls. Remember, first and foremost your priority is the student! As a first year teacher new to a district that is in a small community, I learned very quickly that news travels fast around here. You should, and need to be prepared to handle yourself when a parent has questions or questions what you are doing. There is no perfect answer for anything, but giving yourself time to come up with a response is crucial. There are times when I get an and I want to react immediately before giving myself time to really think. I try and give myself the 1 hour rule. I wait at least 1 hour when replying to a parent that is unhappy or has concerns about the class. If they just have a question, I answer immediately, but if there is an issue I try and wait before responding. This helps me gather my thoughts and come up with a well thought response that isn’t solely based on emotions which is a lot harder to do than you think! RECORD EVERYTHING: I keep a log that includes the parents name, student name, what hour I have them, their phone number, what we discussed, and what I need to do further to help the situation. I also make a point of following up about a week later. Whether it’s a phone call or a quick checking in to make sure the issue has been resolved, it means a lot to the parent and it shows you really care about the student and their success in your class. Sometimes there are tough phone calls to make and things can get heated. If you ever anticipate something like this happening, it’s a good idea to have someone sit in on the phone call with you to both help you and be witness to what is said. Parents will claim just about anything if they get backed into a corner, including negative things you may or may not have said. We have mentors in our district, someone who has been there many years and that wouldn’t be questioned, so I would have her sit in on any tough phone calls. Don’t ever let any bad situation with a parent make you forget that you are there for the students and that they are your main priority! Don’t hesitate to remind the parents of this as well.

8 The Little Things As an educator, you are now part of a team. Help each other out! Your new BFF’s: The Janitor (s), The Secretary, and the Nurse! *If someone asks you to cover their duty, stay a little late, or needs you to grab something on your way to the office…. DO IT. There are times that you are going to need their help, and they are FAR more likely to do it if you can spare a few minutes and help them out as well. *Get to know your janitor, your secretary, and your nurse IMMEDIATELY. They hold the key to your happiness… not really but they do make your life a lot easier. Tips for the nurse: Set up a protocol with her about students sitting out or find out what the school has in place. For us, we worked out with our nurse (and principal) a system for parent notes and doctor’s note.

9 Last Minute Tips Be Organized!! Be Confident! Stay Healthy
Be organized! I cannot tell you how incredibly important this is. Keep a planner, have lots of sticky notes handy, and know what works best for you. Once school gets started, you have more meetings and s than you know what to do with and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Take it one day at a time and use those around you to help you out. For me one of the hardest things was adjusting to being not only new to the building, but new to the profession (especially since everyone knows it!). There were times where someone (and adult or student) would question me and instead of being confident, I caved on things or was hesitant enough that it created doubt. You all went through an amazing program that has prepared you for everything that is going to happen in the next year or two. Yes, at times it’s hard to believe that because you have a bad day, or a parent is really on your case, but don’t forget it! Staying healthy is extremely important for both student teaching and when you get your own job. If you are coaching, this will also be VERY important as you will have late nights and early mornings. Although you are there for the students, make sure you are keeping track of yourself as well. You are important too!

10 Questions… If you ever have questions or want to come see us in Gardner you are more than welcome!

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