I’m taking a year off from teaching the high schoolers to work with the teachers. I’m really excited to visit different schools, students, and contexts as I support Boston Teacher Residency Graduates. For the past week, I’ve been working with people to get their classrooms up and running. I’ve been giving the same advice a lot, so I thought I’d consolidate it.
1) Keep it simple. Better to do fewer things more in depth/well than be scattered. If you have shortened periods, don’t try to cram things in. As my boss put it, students will remember the “how” more than the “what.”
2) Don’t forget the “how”! Especially at the beginning of the year, it’s important to outline expectations for how things get done. Make sure you know how you want everything done and can explain it concisely.
3) What’s the purpose? Backwards plan even “Unit 0.” Know exactly why you are doing each activity. Tell students why and how what they’re doing connects to the course.
4) Be positive and enforce your expectations. Do it. From Minute 0.
Happy first day of school, BPS teachers!