**This is a guest blog by Laura Becker, (NEAG Graduate)
Approaching the start of a school year can be exciting yet overwhelming. As you begin your position in a new school, there are a few things that can help you to have a positive and meaningful experience.
- Discuss expectations. Make sure to clarify what the schools’ expectations are for you. What are the expectations for lesson planning, debriefing, feedback? Also, make sure to express anything you need from your supervisors and school in order to help you be successful.
- Write an introduction to be included in your classroom or school newsletter. It is so important to start community building as soon as possible. Make sure that the students and families know who you are and gain a sense of your dedication to teaching their children and being a part of the school community.
- Create a communication log. Write down everything! Keep track of any feedback you get each day. Take notes during meetings, professional learning community sessions, and professional development opportunities. Also make sure to track parent communication you make whether it be by phone, email, or in person.
- Establish behavior expectations. Make sure to ask your supervisor/cooperating teacher to provide an overview of the behavior expectations in their classroom. Discuss management styles (their style and your style). Make sure you have a full understanding of the routines and procedures. Understand that the established routines should be followed but add your own style along the way once you feel comfortable.
- Develop a timeline for your internship/student teaching placement. This includes when lesson plans should be submitted and when you will get feedback. Set deadlines for your inquiry and portfolio work to keep you on track during your time there.
- Be reflective! After each day, think back to what went well and what could be improved. Be willing to discuss this with teachers at your school. Understand that teachers are constantly changing their practice to grow and improve. Things do not always go right but how you change and adapt that will help form a strong teaching practice.
- Self-care. Teaching can be stressful and overwhelming. Add in your college courses and work you may have can elevate stress even more. Make sure to take time to take care of yourself. Ask for help if you need it and communicate with your professors and internship supervisor/cooperating teachers. Remember that the university and your school are there to help you succeed!
- ENJOY THE JOURNEY! This is an exciting time in your life. Enjoy the students, the experiences, and the learning.