Beginning your first year of teaching can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. Getting a classroom ready and planning those first few weeks can be all encompassing. Here are a few suggestions to make your transition to teaching in Jordan District a little easier:
1. Create an account in JPLS:
Here’s a new acronym for you to learn: Jordan Professional Learning System (JPLS). This is the district portal to find professional development classes offered in the district. To set up your account, you will want to contact the Help Desk at (801)-567-8737. The link is: https://jpls.truenorthlogic.com/U/P/Channel/-/Guest/Login
2. Sign up for a JPAS class:
JPAS (Jordan Performance Appraisal System) is our district evaluation system. Each year the JPAS department offers classes to help new teachers and veteran teachers learn how to work through the evaluation. New teachers even receive a stipend for taking the course if you attend the face-to-face version. Now that you have an account on JPLS, you can sign up for a class! Here’s their course schedule: http://jes.jordandistrict.org/educators/trainings/
3. Become familiar with Employee Access:
Do you know where to enter a sick day? Employee access is where you can find out how many days you have, what your current salary is, and even get a check estimate for what your next paycheck might look like. If you need help figuring this out, your mentor may be a great resource. (Have you met your mentor yet?) Here’s the link for Employee Access: https://skyfin.jordan.k12.ut.us/scripts/wsisa.dll/WService=wsFin/seplog01.w
“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
~John F. Kennedy
“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.”
“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”
~Alexander the Great Your contributions of time, talent, and support offer great opportunities to kids, truly making a difference in their lives.
Thanks for all you do!
Plan for Parents
Another stop along the path to a growth mindset school culture is to develop a plan for sharing information about the malleability of the mind with parents. It is important to get parents educated so that the children can hear a consistent message at home and school.
Parents often struggle with the nature/nurture debate and can contribute a child's success or lack of success to genetics. Adult role models should never blame genetics for perceived capabilities or low expectations.
Children will eventually try to avoid anything where they are not sure that they will be successful rather then view the situation as challenge to arise to. Here are some suggestions for building resilience in children
- Use growth mindset praise
- Model flexibility
- Adopt a " glass half full" mentality in the home
- Help children find their niche
How can Parents Communicate to a Growth Mindset Message To Teachers?
- Always start with the positive- Tell the teacher something that your child loves about the class.
- Share what brings out the best at home-Include a relationship between resilience, motivation, effort, or other aspects you want addressed. Show how this changes the child's performance.
- Share what does not work-
- Establish the partnership- Make the teacher part of the plan of action that incorporates your beliefs, as well as his oh her practices.
Chapter 6 illustrates the importance of all three groups-students, teachers, and parents-to work together when building a growth mindset culture. The most important of these is the adopting and of and maintaining of a growth mindset in children.
As you look to plan for next year, what are some ways than you can provide information to parents about having a growth mindset at home? How can you continue to build your mindset skills as a teacher in the classroom?
Chapter 7, will discuss if gifted education and a growth mindset belief can coexist?
We have very likely heard the quote concerning an ounce of prevention. However, when it comes to effectively managing the classroom, many of us forget and attempt in a futile gesture to instead focus on cures. We attempt to stamp out the behaviors instead of finding preventative solutions. According to Bill Gates "treatment without prevention is simply unsustainable." Luckily, we know what works to prevent a majority of behavioral mishaps. Recently, the USOE published the http://www.schools.utah.gov/sars/Behavior/ManualPrint.aspx to help educators understand and implement best practices concerning student behavioral management. On the topic of prevention, they state that "All students benefit academically and socially when their classroom and school environments are positive, preventive, and responsive" (LRBI, 27). So, it is not just a way to relieve teacher stress (though it might do that too). Taking positive actions to control behavior is an essential component of an optimized learning environment. The first pillar in prevention is establishing rules. It would be difficult to overstate the importance that establishing and maintaining rules has in the classroom. Unfortunately, not all rules fall in the effective category. In fact, classroom rules sometimes cause problems they are intended to prevent. In order to ensure that classroom rules bring about the desired consequence of preventing behavioral problems, a few recommendations should be satisfied (LRBI, 28).
- Prioritize expectations by limiting the number to three to five classroom-wide rules.
- State expected behaviors positively.
- Use developmentally appropriate language in the wording (vocabulary appropriate to student age, functional level, and skill level).
- State explicitly what the behavior looks and sounds like.
- Make rules observable and measurable (able to be counted or quantified for monitoring).
- Post the rules publicly for all to see.
After rules are written, it becomes necessary to set them in motion and keep them in motion throughout the remainder of the school year. For further help with how to do this, please refer to the http://www.schools.utah.gov/sars/Behavior/ManualPrint.aspx. Additionally, our district offers a course called Effective Teacher Training: How To Get Your Students to Do What You Want them To Do. Taking the course will help to do just as the name suggests. More information and registration for the course is found in JPLS.