California Educator

August 2016

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47 GET PERSONAL, PROFESSIONAL DOCUMENTS ORGA- NIZED. You never know when you may have to produce a document related to your job, such as certification, past evaluations, professional development records. Set up a good recordkeeping system. Consider keeping it in an electronic file on a flash drive. 48 KEEP TAX RECORDS. During the year you may have expenditures that may be used as business deductions on your income tax. Keep track of them. Keep receipts and note on the receipt the exact purchase. Those materials you buy all year long add up! 49 IMPROVE YOURSELF. Consider improving your profes- sional skills in at least one area during the year. CTA has conferences and leadership programs to help new and experienced teachers improve their cra; see Ask your local president how you can attend. Register at 50 DEVELOP RESOURCES. Develop your own sources of information and resource list. Check,,,,, and, for starters. Consider Evernote, Google Drive or another online file storage sys- tem to organize lesson plans, materials. 51 BUILD RELATIONSHIPS. Be friendly to the school secre- tary and the custodian. Network with your CTA site representative and colleagues. 52 CHECK SCHOOL POLICY. If you plan to do anything new or unusual this year, make certain you mention it to your principal in advance. In the classroom, keep your per- sonal views on religion and politics to yourself. Have plans on how to deal with parental concerns about con- tent and curriculum. 53 GIVE YOUR CLASSROOM SOME CLASS. Check out Pinterest for organizing and decorating ideas. Put your per- sonality into the classroom decoration to help build relationships with your students. 54 INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Create a video or slide show, or fun true/false quiz to help students get to know you. Sometimes a student may find something in common with a teacher and is able to strike up a relationship that could be a positive learning experience. 55 ESTABLISH THE RULES. Set class rules, consequences and rewards — perhaps as memes — and let students have a role in establishing them. If they feel part of them, they will have a tendency to follow them. Post no more than five rules where all students can see them; revisit them throughout the year. 56 BE REALISTIC. Don't let your sincere concern for each child turn into a depressing experience through a fear of failure. You will not win every battle with every student. Sometimes it is months or years before our positive influ- ence is felt. 57 DO YOUR BEST. Determine what factors may keep you from doing your job during the school year. If you're not sure how to deal with a wide range of abilities, seek out the school psychologist, resource or special education teacher. If you're having difficulty with disruptive students, ask a seasoned teacher for help. 58 SEE YOUR SITE REP IF YOU HAVE OVERAGES. Your locally negotiated contract dictates how many students should be in your classroom. If you have more students than contracted for, contact your site rep. 59 BE POSITIVE AND HOPEFUL. Get in a positive frame of mind by watching for something hopeful. It may be those students who give you an indication they learned some- thing new. Check online forums on Twitter, for example, #edchat, #caedchat, or contact CTA's instructional staff (@ctaipd). 60 TURN TO A "BUDDY." Every teacher needs a colleague to turn to for advice or to discuss a classroom challenge. Find a "buddy" or reach out and be a buddy to someone else. Ask your site rep if there is a buddy system. It's OK to be assigned a buddy, regardless of how long you've been teaching. 61 KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Read your contract so you know your contractual rights. Study district policies to know other rights. See your CTA site rep with questions. 62 BE PREPARED FOR SPECIAL STUDENTS. Plan ways to deal with students with special learning problems or physi- cal challenges that are in the best interest of the student, yourself and the rest of the class. Before school starts, check with the special ed teachers about students with IEPs; get a copy of the IEP so you can review accommoda- tions and instructional needs. 25 Tips to Start the Year Off Right 44 teaching & learning

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