I was recently asked what advice I would give a brand new teacher. Well, I’m not a new teacher but I felt like one when I moved to a new school last year. After my experiences last year, I would always suggest posting a daily schedule!! Who knew a classroom schedule could be a game changer and bring calm to a classroom of fifth graders?
Up until last year, I was a departmentalized 5th grade teacher with no control over my schedule. All that changed last year when I moved to another school. Suddenly, I had a lot of control over when and what I taught AND I was self contained… meaning I taught all subjects except specials and science to a fabulous group of 5th graders. Wahoo!!! There was just one problem….due to the specials, not one of my days’ schedule was the same!
Looking back, “Hello, Captain Obvious. a posted schedule is the answer!” Well, I never claimed to be the sharpest pencil in the box! It was a rough couple of beginning days….”What’s next?”, “What books do I need this morning?” “What specials do we have today?” I could go on, but it is just too embarrassing!!!
About the third day, after answering way too many questions about “What are we doing today” or “What books do I need to have?”, I had a moment of clarity after the students left!!! I literally walked over to the white board at the front of my room and wrote the next day’s schedule on the white board. My classes were listed in one color; specials and non-academic activities such as assemblies in a different colors.
Nirvana!!! No, not the grunge band…but perfection! No more, “I don’t have my math book!”, “I thought today was computers, not media!” No more clamoring from the students as to what the day would bring as students came in. Suddenly there was peace in the classroom!
graphic by http://www.mycutegraphics.com
Let me know what you think. Leave me a comment!