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Home : 2002 : Jul : 31

    Lessening Anxiety
    By Shannon

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    I have never taught second grade, so I don't have any specific advice. However, like you, I was freaking out about my first year. I have some advice on how not to be so anxious.

    First of all, when you decorate your room, make it your own. Buy yourself a seat cushion for your chair. Get an air freshener for the classroom. Put up pictures of your family, and a few posters or knick-knacks related to your hobbies. Decorate the bulletin boards with cute fabrics, borders, or themes related to something you like. (For example, I like cats, so I bought some "Cool Readers" bulletin board accents that featured cats reading.) Make your own little secret candy stash.

    I realize none of this will actually help you get ready for teaching per se, but it will make you feel a lot better and more accomplished. The thing is, it's not a good idea to buy too much or prepare too much until you know you school's policies and see what works in your classroom. (I spent a lot of time making a chart to do lunch count, and it turned out my school didn't require it. I also tried to do the job chart like every other teacher, and it turned out that didn't work too well with our departmentalized teaching set-up.) Point is, nothing works at all schools and for all teachers. So the best thing you should do is get a basic plan going. (You're wise to figure out the discipline plan, and I hope others will give you some more grade-specific advice.)

    Also, in regards to asking the principal questions ... my advice would be to find another teacher who can help you. This sounds scary to have to reach out to somebody, but you'll find people will actually reach out to you. I drew up a huge list of questions to ask the principal, thinking he would be impressed by my preparedness, and he just seemed annoyed, like he had to babysit me. Depending on your principal, this may or may not happen, but I would play it safe and find another teacher to help you. (Besides, teachers will give you the real low down, whereas the principal might just answer in terms of ideals.)

    Good luck!



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