Page 1

New Teachers Handbook

Oregon Education Association Âś OEA/NEA www.oregoned.org

1


To help you work better and smarter… NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION www.nea.org PARENTS AS TEACHERS www.patnc.org/home.html NATIONAL PTA www.pta.org RETHINKING SCHOOLS www.rethinkingschools.org PARTNERSHIP FOR FAMILY INVOLVEMENT IN EDUCATION www.pfie.ed.gov NATIONAL CENTER TO IMPROVE PRACTICE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION www.edc.org/NCIP WWW FOR TEACHERS www.4teachers.org Indexed collection of online resources made by teachers for teachers, which includes information on professional development, technology tools, and integrating technology OREGON DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION www.ode.state.or.us

To learn more about how OEA can help you, visit our web site: www.oregoned.org 2


Congratulations! Welcome to the education family. We’re glad you’re joining us in a career where we truly do make a difference. Teaching is exciting, rewarding and satisfying. It is also difficult, draining and sometimes heart wrenching. Our work is far reaching. We are shaping the life and the learning of every one of our students. Our work can change our communities. The work we do demands dedication and the ability to give and grow year after year. How will you deal with the daily roller coaster ride of teaching our children skills they must have to succeed? We want you to know that the Oregon Education Association supports you. We are ready to back you starting today, all the way through your retirement years. That support is provided in a variety of ways: Professional Development: You’ll discover that you need to continuously update your own education to help students improve theirs. Professional development opportunities are offered by OEA, your district, the Educational Service Districts and the Department of Education. Contract bargaining: Students’ learning conditions are your working conditions. We will be there to help you get the tools you must have to reach your highest potential. Political action: You are on a team with your local association, the OEA and the National Education Association. Our collective strength makes us a powerful advocate in the public and in Salem for improving the working and learning conditions for our students and for you. Remember to take care of yourself as you start your career and all the way through your years of teaching. Thank you for choosing a career that will touch the lives of all those you’ll teach. I also look forward to helping you continue this challenging and exciting journey in teaching. Welcome! Sincerely,

Hanna Vaandering OEA President

3


REBATE OFFER for Former Student Oregon Education Association Members If you join Student Oregon Education Association (SOEA), you also become a Student National Education Association member. If you are an SOEA member any time while you are in school, then you join NEA in your first year of membership eligibility as a teacher, you are eligible for a cash rebate in that first year you teach. Here is how it works: You can apply for your rebate only the first year you teach. You must apply for the rebate before May 1 of your first year of teaching. You receive $10 back for each year you were an NEA Student member for up to four years. You can get up to $40 back for the years you were a student member! All you have to do is fill out the application below and send it to NEA Membership Records, Attention: Student Rebates, 1201 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036-3290. NEA will verify your student membership and a rebate check will be mailed to you.

DETACH AND MAIL BY MAY 1 Social Security Number (required for processing) _______________________________ Name:_____________________________________________________________________ Former last name, if applicable:_______________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________________________________ City: _____________________________State ___________ Zip ____________________ I certify that 2014-2015 is my first year of active membership eligibility and I am an NEA active member. My local affiliate is: ________________________________________________________ My state affiliate is: _________________________________________________________ Below is a record of my former NEA Student membership: College or chapter & state

Year(s) a member (i.e. 2013-2014)

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


OEA’s Guide for New Teachers Table of Contents Starting the Year Off Right 6 Activities for Elementary Teachers 10 Activities for Secondary Teachers 11 Classroom Management 14 Time-Saving Tips 17 Stress Management 19 Time Management 19 Successful Parent Conferences 20 Parent Involvement 24 Acknowledging Cultural Differences 28 Helping All Students Thrive 34 Ways to Relieve the Stress of Teaching 36 Your Partners in Education 37 Building a Team with Your Assistants 38 Substitute Survival 40 Keeping Student Information Private 42 Using Technology Wisely 43 Enhancing Your Job Security 44 Your Right to be Represented 46 Your Professional File 48 Feedback 49 Resources Strategies to Build Thinking Skills 12 11 Ways to Extend Thinking 13 Ideas for Parent Involvement 26 Ways to Promote Cultural Diversity 32 5


Tips to Start Your Year off Right

Planning at the beginning of school can pay big dividends as you go through the year. Getting started right can make all the difference. Here are some tips to consider as you plan for the months ahead.

1. Build relationships. Introduce yourself to the entire team in your building including the school secretaries, custodians and bus drivers. 2. Establish rules. If you want discipline to work during the year, establish class rules at the beginning. Let the students have a role in establishing them and they will have a tendency to follow them. Rules should be posted. 3. Check your District’s policy. Know what the rules of the road are as it applies to controversial curriculum. Also be sure to review your District’s policy on the use of the internet, including social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. If you intend to teach anything controversial, be sure you are within board policy. Keep personal views on religion and politics to yourself. 4. Keep records. It helps you be more organized – you never know when you may have to produce a document related to your job. During the year, you may have expenditures that could be deductions on your income tax. Set aside a place to keep track of them. 5. Develop resources. Develop sources of information. Know where to get help when you need it. How can you deal with the lack of instructional materials? Keep your eyes open for free or inexpensive materials. Each issue of OEA’s magazine, Today’s OEA, has a section on sources and resources. Also, check out OEA’s website at www.oregoned.org, for information and links to other sites. Determine what materials you want for students and when you will need them.

6


The NEA Professional Library is also a great resource to turn to for relevant materials to your teaching practice. The NEA Library publishes a monthly e-newsletter called First Edition, which offers the most current information about new books, merchandise, and special offers from the NEA Professional Library. Sign up for First Edition and access other NEA resources at: http://store.nea.org/NEABookstore. 6. Be prepared for special students. You may have students with special needs. Plan how you will deal with them in the best interests of the student, yourself and the class. Ask for ideas from veteran teachers. 7. Find a mentor. Every teacher needs someone to turn to for advice or to unload about challenges. If your district doesn’t have a formal mentoring program, seek out a teacher to be your listening “buddy.” 8. Communicate with parents. If you teach primary, send a note home early informing parents that you need to get to know pupils before you can comment on them. List the process and times for parents to get in touch with you. Introduce yourself and include your policy on homework. Consider writing a fun newsletter once a month and sending it home with students. (Always have someone else proofread it before you send it out). 9. Support your Association. Join your local education Association for the support of others who understand your job. Read your contract and your school board policies so you will know your rights.

10. Set a positive tone. You have the opportunity to help your students realize that school can make a difference for each of them. Extend the positive tone by communicating with home, also. 11. And finally. . . Keep these three qualities of good teaching in mind: be flexible, be patient, and have a sense of humor.

7


More Survival Tips For Your First Year Document everything and let administrators in the school know about problems before they get out of hand. Take care of yourself. Block off time in your calendar to take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Renew your energy. Cut yourself some slack. Treat yourself the way you treat your students: with patience, compassion and respect. Love learning, love your students and love teaching! These tips offered by both first-year and veteran teachers are taken from an article in What to Expect Your First Year of Teaching, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. For more details, see the publication at http://www.ed.gov/pubs/FirstYear/index.html/.

Questions You Should Ask During the First Days of School • Where and how do I secure supplies? • How do I make arrangements for a field trip? • What are the procedures for taking a class to an assembly? • When am I responsible for locking my room? • What equipment/technology is available for me to use— copier, computer, whiteboard, smartboard, digital camera? • What are the attendance accounting procedures for students, and what are my responsibilities in atten­dance record keeping? • What do I do with any money I collect? • What are the grading guidelines for the school system? What documentation must I provide?

8

• To whom do I report serious problems with a student’s health or behavior? • What student records must I maintain in cumulative folders? • What should I do if I must leave my room during class? • What should I do in case of a medical emergency in my classroom? • How do I report a disciplinary problem? • How do I arrange for a substitute? • How do I apply for personal, professional, vacation or sick leave? • What is my salary and what deductions are taken? • Are there any unwritten rules for teachers in my school? • What is my personnel file, and what is in it? • Where do I go if I am having trouble? • How do I know if I am doing a good job?


9


Activities for Elementary Teachers n n

n n

n

n

n n

n n

n n

10

Greet the children at the door as they come in. Explain procedures for entering the room each morning: where to hang coats, when to be in their seats, how much conversation is permissible. Tell how you will start each day – then have them do it. Describe how the lunch count, attendance and other daily tasks will be handled. Explain the procedures for absences and tardiness. Do this in small chunks and repeat for a few days until it becomes the “habit� for the class. Be specific about rules for behavior. Remember, students can help design the rules. Establish a specific location on the chalkboard or bulletin board for daily schedules, homework assignments and reminders of events and deadlines. Schedule a restroom break early in the morning the first few days. Tell your class what is about to happen before they leave for physical education, lunch or other outside activities. Tell younger children how you want them to line up and have them practice a couple of times. Vary activities and the pace of lessons every day. Reserve the last 15-20 minutes the first day to clean up and review what has been covered. Hand out any notices for parents or pin them on younger children. Explain procedures for dismissal and bus loading. Be sure to allow enough time for the latter. It is confusing, and buses must leave at scheduled times.


Activities for Secondary Teachers n n

n

n

n

n n

n

n

Stand at the door to greet students. Introduce yourself, including your background and special interests in your subject. Then, introduce the students to one another. Hand out any notices from the school office and have students complete any forms that are required by the school. Outline your procedures for recording attendance and tardiness, giving assignments, collecting papers, make-up work and hall passes. Post rules for classroom behavior on a bulletin board, poster, or – for the first few days – on the board. You might want to have the class help make up rules, but remember that they have no choice about some rules, so don’t pretend they do. Establish a uniform heading for student papers. Discuss and outline the basis on which students’ grades are determined. They must understand the procedure. Review the course syllabus with each class. Tell the class your objectives for the week and for the year. Tell them what they will study and why it will be interesting and relevant. Allow a short period of time for each class to ask questions about what is expected of them and about any of the procedures that you have established.

11


Resources Strategies to Build Thinking Skills RECALLING Who, what, when, where, how________________________________? COMPARING How is______________________________similar to/different from? IDENTIFYING ATTRIBUTES AND COMPONENTS What are the characteristics /parts of______________________? CLASSIFYING How might we organize_______________________ into categories? ORDERING Arrange ________________into sequence according to ____________? IDENTIFYING RELATIONSHIPS AND PATTERNS Develop an outline /diagram / web of ________________? REPRESENTING In what other ways might we show/illustrate _______________? IDENTIFYING MAIN IDEAS What is the key concept/issue in _______________? IDENTIFYING ERRORS What is wrong with _______________________________? INFERRING What might we infer/what conclusions might be drawn from _____? PREDICTING What might happen if ______________________________________? ELABORATING What ideas/details can you add to _________________________? SUMMARIZE Can you summarize _______________________________________? ESTABLISHING CRITERIA What criteria would you use to judge/evaluate ____? VERIFYING What evidence supports / How might we prove/confirm _________?

12


11 Ways to Extend Thinking REMEMBER “WAIT TIME” Provide at least 10 seconds (possibly longer for special needs students) of thinking time after a question and after a response. ASK “FOLLOW UPS” e.g., “Why? How do you know? Do you agree? Will you give me an example? Can you tell me more?” CUE RESPONSES TO “OPEN-ENDED” QUESTIONS e.g., “There is more than one correct answer to this question. I want you to consider alternatives.” USE “THINK-PAIR-SHARE” Allow individual thinking time, discussion with a partner, and then open up for class discussion. CALL ON STUDENTS RANDOMLY Avoid the pattern of only calling on those students with raised hands. ASK STUDENTS TO “UNPACK THEIR THINKING” e.g., “Describe how you arrived at your answer.” ASK FOR A SUMMARY TO PROMOTE ACTIVE LISTENING e.g., “Could you please summarize our discussion thus far?” PLAY DEVIL’S ADVOCATE Require students to defend their reasoning against different points of view. SURVEY THE CLASS e.g., “How many people agree with the author’s point of view?” (thumbs up, thumbs down) ALLOW FOR STUDENT PARTICIPATION e.g., “Richard, will you please call on someone to respond?” ENCOURAGE STUDENT QUESTIONING Provide opportunities for students to generate their own questions.

13


Create a Consistent Design for Discipline Helping students to govern their own behavior in ways that help them learn is a longstanding goal of all teachers. There are a number of ways in which a teacher can promote good discipline in the classroom. ¶ Know school guidelines for discipline procedures. ¶ Be fair, positive and consistent. Be the kind of person young people can like and trust – firm, fair, friendly, courteous, enthusiastic and confident. Keep your sense of humor. ¶ Provide a list of standards and consequences to parents and students. Make sure they are consistent with district and school policy. When in doubt, ask your principal. ¶ Get to know your students. Learn their names quickly and use them in and out of class. You will soon develop a sixth sense for anticipating trouble before it begins, but don’t act as though you expect trouble. If you do, you will almost certainly encounter some. Learn the meaning of terms, especially slang used by students.

Classroom Management Expect the unexpected. Schedules can be changed without warning and unanticipated events can occur. Be flexible in responding to the unexpected; ask your professional colleagues for suggestions on how to deal with situations like the following: 14

• It rains at recess time • Your class arrives too early at the cafeteria • A student tells you her pet died • A student tells you she is pregnant • A child wets his pants • A student is verbally abusive • A parent is angry and unreasonable • Non-English speaking students are assigned to your class


¶ Begin class on time and in a businesslike manner. ¶ Make learning fun, rigorous and relevant to the students’ lives. ¶ Don’t threaten or use sarcasm. Never use threats to enforce discipline. Never humiliate a student. ¶ Let the students know you care. Determine jointly with the class what is acceptable in terms of behavior and achievement and what is not. Show interest in what students say, whether or not it pertains directly to the lesson. ¶ Treat students with the same respect you expect from them. Be mobile, walking around the room as students work or respond to instruction. ¶ Keep your voice at a normal level. If “disaster” strikes and you trip over the wastebasket, don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. ¶ Grade assignments and return them as soon as possible. ¶ Keep rules simple. Establish as few classroom rules as possible, and keep them simple. ¶ If you “blow” the first week, don’t worry. Just re-evaluate your rules and policies, tell the class you are making some changes and be consistent from them on.

• You have no textbooks • A student falls asleep • A student cuts her head falling out of her desk • You are called to the office in the middle of class • A student refuses to do what you ask • A student has a seizure or goes into a coma

15 15


Classroom Management, cont. Remember — your profession as a teacher is held to a high standard, 100 percent of the time. Above all, be fair to your students. Your classroom management will be most successful when you model the behavior you want to see. Here are some ways to help you win respect of your students: n

n

n

n n

16

Be consistent in application of discipline and fair in your requirements and assignments. Don’t refuse to let a student tell you his or her side of the situation. Be willing to consider mitigating circumstances. Don’t talk about the misdeeds of students except to those who have a right to know. Don’t openly compare one student to another. Apologize if you have treated a student unjustly. Make sure punishments are appropriate for the misbehavior and explain to the student why he or she is being punished.


Time-Saving Tips for Educators Lesson plans. Parent conferences. PTA/PTO meetings. Newsletters. Bulletin boards. Grading papers. Preparing tests. Planning activities with colleagues. Faculty meetings. Working with students individually. Field trips. Creating visual aids and other materials. “Aaaauuugghhhh!” to quote famous student Charlie Brown. Can a teacher do all this and still have a life, too? We know there are many educators who have come up with successful ways to manage the tasks they must accomplish each day because we’ve collected their ideas for saving time both at school and at home. The following tips are responses to “How do YOU do it?” They have been suggested by educators. So spare a few minutes, if you can, to look them over— it could save you enough time to get a life later. n

n

n n

n

I do as much work as possible during the school day. I try not to take any grading home on weeknights. I take anything left home on the weekend and plan my Sunday afternoons for getting caught up. Just knowing that I might have to give up part of my weekend makes me work harder during the school days. Put basic weekly schedule in a plan book or a computer template; then you don’t have to rewrite each week. Make lists for almost everything you do. It will help you stay on task. Take a couple of minutes at the end of each day to review your use of time that day. Learn the computer program your district uses to record and compute grades. Store as much information on the computer as possible. Papers can be (and often are) misplaced, but letters, lesson plans, etc., can be pulled up, reviewed, revised and reprinted in a matter of minutes. Be sure to name the files something you recognize instantly, and always keep back-ups.

17


Time-Saving Tips for Educators n

n

n

n

n

n n

n

n

n n

18

Keep a notebook with a page for each child. When students borrow a book from the classroom to take home, write title and date on page, paper clip a slip of paper to each book for parents to fill out. Organize materials into folders for individuals and groups. The time spent setting it all up is more than worth it in time saved later. You may want electronic folders as well. Use grading sheets or rubrics to grade essays and limit what you’re looking for in each essay. Computerize as many of your school functions as you can. It will save lots of hours over the long haul. Check with your District policies about timelines for lesson plans. If you are able, complete lesson plans by Thursday for the following week. Set priorities. Stick to them. Have a nightly “stop time” for any work-related tasks — anything not done by then can wait. Communicate your deadline to family and friends. Make and return all phone calls at a set time, such as between 8 and 9 a.m. and between 3 and 4 p.m., unless it’s an emergency. Deal with paper only once — make a decision, respond right away on the same sheet or trash immediately. If you teach a foreign language, tape oral tests ahead of time. Leave the lights out in your classroom when you’re there working — people may not know you’re there and you’ll work undisturbed.


n n

n n

n

n

n

n

n

n n

Learn to say no.

Clean off desk before going home each day, leaving only a to-do list for the next day. Avoid school politics and gossip. Write something on the board for students to answer or complete as they come into the classroom — this will cut down on transition time and get productive time going right away. Time and date everything you take notes on for future organizing. Leave yourself a message on your answering machine if you want to be certain to remember to do something later. Outline the whole year’s curriculum; change as necessary and refine as you go.

Stress Management Reject guilt. Have a comfort zone in your home where you do not do school work. Give yourself some instant gratification — do some small, easy things. To reduce longterm stress, do some of the tough things quickly.

Time Management Get to school an hour or more before classes begin — that can be a quiet, productive time. Put all your keys, papers and other belongings at the door before going to bed — it will save time looking for them in the morning.

Color-code your calendar with different colors for school and personal events. You’ll get a better idea of the balance. Highlight some days just for you and don’t let anyone or anything interfere with them.

Take pictures of your classroom walls and bulletin boards once you’ve got them looking like you want them. Next year, you’ll have the pictures to use to set up quickly.

Delegate, delegate, delegate! You don’t have to do everything yourself. Students can do much of this.

Always ask people to write things down; try not to accept verbal requests.

Use parent volunteers.

When leaving a conference, workshop or meeting, go through all materials and discard those you know you won’t look at again.

Create an organizational system. Everything should have a place.

19


Tips for Successful Parent Conferences Communicating with parents is one of the most important things teachers do. When we work with parents, we improve learning. Most successful teacher-parent “teams” begin with a conference, usually before there’s a real need to meet. While parent conferences can be helpful, we also know that they can be discouraging or occasionally turn into confrontations. Here are some tips to help make your parent conferences productive and successful. *You’ll find more details at the online resource pages. INVITE THE RESPONSIBLE ADULTS. Family structures vary; but it’s important for the responsible adults to attend conferences. Misunderstandings are less common when parents/guardians hear what you say, and you’ll be able to gauge the kind of support the child receives at home. MAKE CONTACT EARLY. You’ll get your relationship off to a good start if you contact them early, perhaps with a memo or newsletter sent home. Give an outline of what their children will be studying, and let them know you’ll be happy to meet them during the year. Be sure to say how they may contact you for conferences. ALLOW ENOUGH TIME. Schedule plenty of time for the meeting. Twenty to 30 minutes is usually adequate. If you’re scheduling back-to-back conferences allow enough time between them so you can make notes on the just-concluded conference and prepare for the upcoming one. BE READY FOR QUESTIONS. Be prepared to answer questions such as: • What is my child’s ability? • Is my child working up to that level? • How is my child doing in specific subjects? • Does my child cause trouble? • Does my child have any specific skills or abilities?

20


GET YOUR PAPERS ORGANIZED IN ADVANCE. Assemble your grade book, tests, samples of student work, attendance records and other data ahead of time. That way you won’t fumble through stacks during the meeting. BE WELCOMING: You’ll alleviate anxiety and frustration. Nothing is more confusing to the uninitiated than wandering around look-alike hallways trying to find the right room. GET THE NAME RIGHT. Don’t assume that Jennifer Peabody’s mother is Mrs. Peabody. Check records to make sure you’ve got the parent/guardian’s names right. AVOID PHYSICAL BARRIERS. Arrange conference-style seating so you’ll all be equals. OPEN ON A POSITIVE NOTE. Begin on a warm note to get everyone relaxed, with a statement about the child’s abilities or work or interests. STRUCTURE THE SESSION. As soon as the parents/guardians arrive, review the structure of the conference — the why, what, how and when. Be flexible so that the parents/guardians can get their questions answered, too. MAKE SPECIFIC COMMENTS. Instead of saying “She doesn’t accept responsibility,” point out “Amanda had a week to finish her report, but she only wrote two paragraphs.” SUGGEST ACTION. Offer specific direction that is non-judgemental. If Jane is immature, suggest parents/guardians give her a list of chores, allow her to take care of a pet, or give her a notebook to write down assignments. Ask the adults if they have ideas about how to do this. FORGET JARGON. Education phrases like “performance-based assessment,” “developmentally appropriate” and “least restrictive environment” is double-talk to many parents. TURN THE OTHER CHEEK. In routine conferences, it’s unusual to run into hostile parents/guardians. But it can happen. Try not to be rude, whatever the provocation. Hear out the parents/guardians in a pleasant manner, without getting defensive. ASK FOR PARENTS’/GUARDIANS’ OPINIONS. Let them know you want their opinions, are eager to answer questions and want to work with them to make their child’s education the best.

21


Tips for Successful Parent Conferences, cont.

22


FOCUS ON STRENGTHS. It’s very easy for parents/guardians to feel defensive, since they may see themselves in their children. You’ll help if you review the child’s strengths and areas of need, rather than stressing weaknesses. USE BODY LANGUAGE. Nonverbal cues set the mood. Smile, nod, make eye contact and lean forward slightly. Use your body’s language to let parents know you’re interested and approving. LISTEN TO WHAT PARENTS/GUARDIANS SAY. Despite the fact that we spend nearly a third of our lives listening, most adults are poor listeners. You’ll get more out of a conference if you really listen to what parents are saying. ASK ABOUT THE CHILD. You don’t want to pry, of course, but remember to ask if there’s anything they think you should know about the child (such as study habits, relationships with siblings) which may affect school work. FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS. Ideally, these conferences would be about positive events. Realistically, many conferences are held because of a problem. Things will go more smoothly if you’ll focus on solutions rather than on the problem. Discuss how you and the parents/guardians can help improve the situation. Plan together a course of action. DON’T JUDGE. It may not always be possible to react neutrally to what parents/ guardians say — but communicating your judgments of their attitudes or behaviors can be a roadblock to a productive relationship. SUMMARIZE. Before the conference ends, summarize the discussion and what actions you and the parents/guardians will take. END ON A POSITIVE NOTE. When you can, save at least one encouraging comment for the end of the conference. MEET AGAIN IF YOU NEED TO. If you need more time, arrange another meeting rather than rushing everything. KEEP A RECORD. You may find it helpful later to have a brief record of the conference. Make notes as soon as possible after the conference, while details are fresh. This article is adapted from the Virginia Journal of Education, a publication of the Virginia Education Association.

23


Parent Involvement At conferences, give parents the FACTS: Facts. Be sure you check the details first, but give parents the

facts. Don’t paint a false, positive picture if you think a student needs help.

Accuracy. Particularly if the news you deliver is negative, you must be objective and accurate.

Clear communication. Don’t confuse anyone with jargon, and be sympathetic. Build rapport by maintaining eye contact.

Timeliness. When something worth noting occurs – good or bad – let parents know immediately so they can react quickly, rather than unloading everything on them during a conference.

Start and end with something positive. If the student is

struggling, work with parents on an action plan to give them something positive to work on.

24


Parents can be your best ally. When parents/guardians become involved in schools, children do better, teacher morale improves, parents rate the school higher and the entire educational process benefits. Here’s what you can do to encourage parents to participate in their children’s education. n n

n

n

n

n

n

n

Take the initiative. Most parents want to be involved. They need to know how. Encourage parents to spend time at school. Add a “parent section” to the school library and provide office or lounge space where parents will feel comfortable. Tap into their knowledge. Give parents a chance to share their talents and experiences in the classroom, on field trips or before school-wide audiences. Send them a survey asking how they’d like to be involved, their concerns about their child’s education and the skills they could contribute to the classroom. Communicate with parents. Contact them through phone calls, e-mail and personal notes. Share positive as well as negative feedback. Provide information at the beginning of the year on what is covered in the class and what is expected from each student. Give parents a hands-on role in their child’s school work. Ask parents to sign off on homework. Invite them to spend a day in school with their child. Don’t play favorites. Children are quick to notice when adults favor some children over others—and it’s a sure-fire way to alienate parents. Be sure to give all of your students equal attention. Suggest home activities that support learning. Encourage parents to provide their children with a quiet study area, a good breakfast, time to read together and supervision over television viewing. Seek additional help. When parents are not available, reach out to grandparents, foster parents or volunteers who are serving as mentors.

25


Resources Successful parent involvement includes crafting a clearly defined plan that integrates any combination of the following activities: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

26

Ask parents and grandparents to come in to read to young students. Let parents feel that they are part of their child’s education. Try anything possible to get parental involvement. Create opportunities for student performances. Have snacks for meetings, planning sessions, work nights. Recognize them at PTA. Call parents on the phone sometimes. Be honest with them, yet be positive. Send newsletters home. Let them know you enjoy their children. Include them on field trips. Listen to them. Make them feel comfortable. Let parents know they can call you (or call on you) if there are problems or questions. Don’t be afraid to call parents. Weekly newsletters and reports keep the lines of communication open. Assign family projects. Invite them in for special events, i.e., plays or special days. Make It/Take It activity nights. Convey positive growth about their child, not just the negative. Have an open door policy. Ask parents for help as helpers or readers. Develop a card box for records. Keep notecards with the names of parents and the best time to contact them. Keep a record of all contacts on the backs of the cards. Use parents as experts for your content areas. Invite them to come and speak, i.e., a newspaper columnist can speak about the writing process.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • •

Involve parents in daily activities. Use voice mail communication. Develop and utilize parent workshops. Focus on positive student behaviors and achievements. Keep parents informed of these. Beg, plead, borrow...whatever it takes to get them in the building. Send notes and phone calls from the heart - praise notes. Hold parents accountable for their child’s education. Give parents your home phone number with limits. Pick your moments to call carefully. If you have only a few students, maintain some sort of daily communication. Put yourself online. Make your classroom open to parents at all times to observe, not just to conference. Be appreciative for any and all support they give. Utilize parents’ knowledge when studying specific areas. Organize family volunteer program(s). Ask parents, grandparents and other family members to help copy, work fundraisers, volunteer for field trips, etc. Interview family members. Bring the responses back, and invite the family members to visit your classroom. Develop a “Monday Folder” of notes and information for parents, deficiency reports, school rules, etc. Parents should sign a daily planner with all class assignments listed on it. Invite parents to share their special talents or to participate in a job fair. Ask parents to be in charge of classroom parties, etc. Develop and utilize committees. Hold open houses, parent fairs and parent days. Develop a help box of learning activities for parents to keep at home. Encourage parents to become active in the PTA/ PTO.

27


Acknowledging Cultural Differences

SCHOOLS ARE A TAPESTRY OF CULTURES. During your teaching career, your classroom will have students from different countries, cultures, and ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Acknowledging our differences lets students feel recognized and gives all of us a chance to learn more about one another. Think back to your earliest experiences with people outside your own cultural or ethnic group. How did those experiences influence your attitude and opinion about people from other groups? What experiences did you have that led to positive or negative feelings about your own cultural background? If you ever have felt discrimination for any reason, remember how it felt. What was your first experience with someone who was physically or mentally disabled? Review your district policies carefully. Be aware that there may be some designated “no test� dates due to religious observances. Cultural differences often mean differences in religions, which inevitably lead teachers to questions about how to handle religious holidays. Teaching about religious holidays in public schools is permissible. Celebrating religious holidays is not permissible.

28


Information about holidays may focus on how and when they are celebrated, their origins, histories and generally agreed-upon meanings. If the approach is objective and sensitive, neither promoting nor inhibiting religion, this study can foster understanding and mutual respect for differences in belief. Ignoring ethnic, religious and other differences among the students in your class may be sending the wrong message in a learning environment. Before making your lesson plans, ask yourself these questions: n

n

n

n

Is this activity designed in any way to either promote or inhibit religion? If so, dump the lesson plan. How does this activity serve the academic goals of the course or the educational mission of the school? Will any student (even just one) or parent be made to feel like an outsider, not a full member of the community, by this activity? Though Easter bunnies are not considered religious, some children won’t get “a visit from the Easter bunny.” If children are doing an activity to learn about Easter, make sure all of them are also learning about the meaning of Passover and other spring holidays from cultures all over the world. Are you prepared to teach about the meaning of this holiday that enriches students’ understanding of history and cultures? Hanukkah is not “the Jewish Christmas.” Kwanza celebrations began here in the United States, not in Africa.

29


How to Avoid Unintentional Slights Are you hurting some of the students you come into contact with by your assignments or language? Are you being unintentionally insensitive? Here are some questions to ask yourself. n

n

n

n

n

n

n

n

30

Am I giving important tests or assigning something that can’t easily be made up on a religious holiday when some students are required to stay home from school? What is the Halloween policy at my school? If some kinds of costumes are not to be worn, am I sharing the policy with students, parents and discussing why in class? When discussing Thanksgiving traditions, like what people have at dinner, will all of my students have an elaborate meal? Do I incorporate contemporary Native American issues as well as historical ones? Can my students name any African-American leader other than Martin Luther King Jr.? Do they know about contemporary leaders who are African-American? Latino? Asian American? Native American? Do my students learn about female role models, heroines and leaders as well as male ones throughout the year? Do I allow my students to use any derogatory term in class? Do I help them understand and be comfortable with the physical, intellectual, emotional and cultural and other differences that exist among their classmates? Is my classroom safe for gay and lesbian students? How many students will be impacted if I assign an art project for Mother’s or Father’s Day? Am I sensitive to children from single-parent families or other kinds of families when I talk about families in general? What do I do to guide students who tease others or who are teased about being too fat or too skinny or too short or too (fill in the blank)? Are my expectations for appropriate and respectful behavior clear and do students learn from their mistakes?


Remember, the goal of multicultural education is acceptance, support and appreciation of similarities and differences. Pursuing the goal of multicultural education and sensitivity to all of your students will bring a richness that will go far toward preparing your students for the future.

31


Resources Ways to Promote Cultural Diversity Educators have an obligation to prepare young people for the future. The future will be culturally pluralistic nations and a rapidly shrinking world. Therefore, we need to prepare all students to be culturally literate citizens of the world. Teaching students using a multicultural perspective is one way to achieve that goal. Educators need to become sensitive to learning needs and abilities, to personal interests and motivation, and to ethnic and cultural differences and similarities. Here is a list of steps educators can take to provide a multicultural classroom experience: n

n

Recognize and understand cultural differences.

n

Vary your teaching style to accommodate different learning styles.

n

Recognize and correct historical distortions.

n

Examine all curriculum material for ethnic and cultural bias.

n

n

32

Affirm and validate students’ ethnic experiences by inclusion of the experiences of different cultural groups in the classroom; i.e., bulletin board displays, projects and presentations.

Promote and foster healthy interaction among diverse groups for making decisions and solving problems. Help students become responsible for their own intellectual, social and emotional development.


n

Promote students’ ability to understand and cope with an environment that can and will change.

n

Infuse multicultural concepts whenever possible in all areas of the curriculum.

n

Develop problem-solving and higher level thinking skills for a global society.

n

Teach students sensitivity to and appreciation of similarities and differences.

n

Be aware of elements of culture including language, food, clothing, time, space, gestures, ethics, values, religion, sex roles, rights and duties, esthetics, etc.

n

Promote effective interaction between and among individuals and groups.

n

Promote effective communication for interpersonal relationships.

n

n

n

Look for connections. Interpret events from an international perspective, but also illustrate the interrelatedness and interdependence of cultural groups. Remember that the goal of multicultural education goes beyond dancing and eating ethnic foods. It is the acceptance, support and appreciation of similarities and differences. It also recognizes the right of different cultures to co-exist. Familiarize yourself with your district’s racial harassment policy. Every district is required to have one (as well as a sexual harassment policy).

33


Helping All Students Thrive You show up on the first day of school and discover that your class of 25 includes three students with a variety of disabilities — physical, developmental and cognitive. How do you make sure they are accepted and progressing satisfactorily? Or perhaps an education support professional joins your classroom. How do you determine how to work with your special needs students and the other adult? The following suggestions are provided by the University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration. The suggestions support your success working with students with disabilities: WELCOME THE STUDENT WITH DISABILITIES as you welcome any other. When you refer to your students, make sure they’re all your kids, not “my kids” and “the special ed teacher’s kids.” BE SUPPORTIVE AND FLEXIBLE. You may need to modify some of your assignments so the student with disabilities can acquire the same skills or knowledge as the other students.

34


MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH THE FAMILY. Ask for their support and include them in the learning process. BE AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SUPPORT TEAM. Together you can discuss problems and develop strategies for working with students with special needs. As a member of a student’s individual education plan (IEP) team, you will have a say in the goals, which should reflect the most critical items for the student to achieve in the general education classroom IF A STUDENT COMES INTO YOUR CLASS WITH AN ESTABLISHED IEP, meet with the special education team and parents if possible, to determine priorities. Try to limit yourself to the top five items, a number that is easy to remember and workable. BE PREPARED FOR QUESTIONS FROM OTHER STUDENTS. When students ask a question about a student with disabilities, answer it in the context of the classroom. For example, if children ask why a student with disabilities is doing an assignment differently from everyone else, you can answer that everyone learns in different ways. Remember that an IEP is private information, so you can’t discuss details on a students’ goals with the entire classroom. ENCOURAGE INTERACTION AMONG ALL OUR STUDENTS. Some children may be afraid to communicate with a classmate who has special needs, or simply don’t know how. Show them what to do. If a student is in a wheelchair, for example, get down on his or her level physically to communicate. If a student has difficulty speaking, ask another student to help you determine what that child is trying to say. Allow all students time to communicate in their own ways. Resist speaking for another or interrupting. ENABLE YOUR STUDENT WITH SPECIAL NEEDS TO PARTICIPATE. He or she shouldn’t always be on the receiving end. Look for ways that he or she can share interests and ideas. Participating in an activity, classroom duty or discussion boosts self-esteem and confidence. SEEK HELP FROM OTHER TEACHERS. Talk to someone with more experience. Find out how others handle specific situations. Look for ways you can support each other. If problems arise, discuss them with the special education teacher, building principal or student support team. Create a collaborative planning team to address classroom issues on a regular basis and also celebrate your own.

35


Ways to Relieve the Stress of Teaching There’s no way around it. Teaching — while being a most rewarding profession — is extremely stressful. Teachers who survive without getting “burned out” learn to manage stress, so they can survive and thrive. Keep these pointers in mind: ¶ Recognize what stresses you and what upsets you. If you can do something about a problem, do it. If not, don’t get frustrated trying to accomplish the impossible. ¶ Set goals. Be sure to set realistic goals for yourself. Don’t try the impossible, but if there are things you want to accomplish, decide to do them. Divide them into reasonable ‘chunks” and start chipping away at them piece by piece. ¶ Control time. Recognize when not enough time becomes your enemy. Set personal and professional priorities — and act on them so that you spend your time on the activities you really value. Anticipate when you will get in a time crunch, ask for help and head off problems. ¶ Do the “musts” early. If you do the absolute “musts” early in the day, you will avoid feeling frantic. Do important things when you have the most energy. ¶ Learn to say NO. No is a responsible answer if it won’t result in losing your job. n be direct and honest n be brief and to the point; n avoid defensiveness n suggest alternatives to the asker ¶ Find someone to talk to. Try to have a colleague in whom you can confide and from whom you can get feedback and new ideas. Find a sympathetic “civilian” who can help you put your frustrations into perspective. ¶ Concentrate on the positive. Rather than worrying about something, focus on what you can do to make it better. Think about the things that went right today. ¶ Get healthy. When you are well rested, eat well and get enough exercise, you will naturally reduce your stress level. Consider if you need to make a change in eating, drinking, sleeping or exercise habits.

36


Meet Your Partners in Education Among the new people you will meet at school are some powerful advocates for the education profession, even though they are not required to hold professional teaching certificates. They are Educational Support Professionals (ESP) and are usually the first people students see when they enter the school. As ESP, they are on the front lines in every school across the state, working hand in hand with teachers and administrators. Many ESP in Oregon are members of the Oregon Education Association, too. ESP are an integral part of the school system and community. Take time to get to know the support staff your students come in contact with during the school day. In addition to helping out in the classroom, ESP are grounds and building custodians, secretaries, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, library and payroll clerks, health workers, machine operators and more—from kindergarten through higher education.


Meet Your Partners in Education, cont. As you make your list of who’s who in your school, find out: Who does what in the front office? Fnd out who tracks attendance, who calls parents, who routes phone messages, and who controls the copier. If you are expecting a visitor, find out who needs to register the information. Who works with you in the classroom? In many schools, classroom teachers have assistants, paraprofessionals or volunteers who share the day-to-day responsibilities. The expectations and duties of these folks vary, so you’ll want to know what help is available and exactly which of your responsibilities can be shared. If you don’t have an assistant or paraprofessional assigned to you, find out what the custom is for using parent or community volunteers. Who fixes things? A broken pencil sharpener can be as disruptive to a lesson as a fire drill. You need to know how to get help fast. Do you call different people for climate control and broken chairs? Who has the requisition slips for repairs and supplies? When are the floors washed, waxed or vacuumed? Lots of lessons continue from one class period to the next, often over the course of a few days. Can students leave projects on the floor? Are chairs to be stacked on top of desks certain days? Who do you call when there’s a spill or accident in your class? Who drives the buses? Your interaction with bus drivers will vary with your teaching assignment. Primary teachers will want to meet the drivers and find out what the bus rules are so they can be discussed and reinforced in the classroom. If you take a field trip, you’ll want to include the bus driver in your preparations. Sometimes the bus drivers do courier work between the buildings. Find out how you can take advantage of this service. A great school includes all of these people—and others—people who work as a team to keep the schools running efficiently and to create a positive learning environment. While your classroom is certainly the focal point of your students’ education, it’s the whole school staff family that makes a good education possible. ESPs are an integral part of the school system and community.

38


Building a Team with your Assistants Establishing a good working relationship with your school’s education assistants is a must. Here are some suggestions. •

YOU ARE A TEAM. You, as the teacher, are responsible for planning and delivering the instruction. You are responsible for what each student learns. The education assistant works under your supervision to support your activities. Consider education support professionals part of the education team, however, and take time to plan with them.

GET TO KNOW YOUR ASSISTANT. Determine his or her strengths and how they can complement yours.

ESTABLISH CLEAR GOALS. Let your assistant know exactly what you want to achieve with the class. Each school district should have current job descriptions for education assistants. If none is available in your district, encourage your principal to ensure they’re developed.

DELEGATE SOME OF YOUR DUTIES. Decide which tasks you must do, and which you can transfer to the other adult. Be flexible. Allow your assistant to decide the best way to handle those transferred tasks.

COMMUNICATE AND COMPLIMENT. Keep your assistant up-to-date on your classroom plans. And let that person know when he or she is doing well! A little praise goes a long way toward job satisfaction.

DISCUSS PROBLEMS. If you feel your assistant is performing his or her job incorrectly, speak to him or her about it. If you’d prefer that something be done differently, clearly explain it. If the problem is serious and persists, discuss it with your building principal.

TREAT YOUR ASSISTANT WITH RESPECT. Remember that education support staff are important to the team. They have the capability of promoting a positive public school image especially if they feel valued and part of the team. 39


Hints for Substitute Survival You aren’t planning on it right now, but sometime in your future, you’re going to miss a day of school. This is the ideal time to begin preparation for that event because the questions you have now are the same questions a substitute teacher will have. Later, with the routine established, you may forget to think about such details. Like the elves in a fairy tale, subs do your work when you’re not there. And they’ll do it best if you make sure all the tools and materials they’ll need are handy. Label a file folder or notebook “Substitute,” and keep it in a place anyone would logically look. If you move around a lot, jot a note in your plan book as to the location of the file. Be sure to ask your department chair, team leader or principal what your responsibilities are in preparing for a substitute.

40


Here are some suggestions for what to include in the file for your substitute: n

n

n n

Your schedule of classes including regular classes, special classes (day and time), and an alternate plan in case special classes are canceled. Names and schedules of students who leave the classroom for special reasons such as medication, remedial or gifted program, speech, etc. Class roll, including your seating chart for regular activities and special work groups; Lesson plans or where to find the plan book (include alternate plans in case the lesson depends on resources only you have);

n

Classroom rules and discipline procedures;

n

Location of all manuals and materials to be used;

n

Procedures for use of AV materials and equipment;

n

Names and schedules of assistants and/or volunteers;

n

Names of pupils who can be depended upon;

n

Name and location of a teacher to call upon for assistance;

n

Procedures for sick or injured students: location of nurse’s office, policy on dispensing medication, notes on allergies or special needs, etc.;

n

Procedures for regular and early dismissal;

n

Opening activities: absentee report, procedures for reporting lunch count, etc.;

n

Floor plan of the building including emergency drill routes and procedures.

REMEMBER: Prepare your students and colleagues. Younger students need to be reassured that you will return. Older ones need to know that you will be in possession of information about their behavior and progress, and that you require proper attention and deportment. 41


Keep Student Information Private Much of the information you will deal with is private educational data on students and is protected by both state and federal privacy laws. Sharing information when there is no valid educational reason for doing so may subject you to discipline by the district and civil and criminal liability. When discussing students with colleagues, consider whether the discussion is really necessary to provide educational services to the student. Do not discuss individual students outside the school setting. Be sure that volunteers in your classroom know they must keep information on students private. n

n

n

n

Most student data is private and should not be released to anyone but the student, parents and staff with a legitimate educational interest. The statute covers all releases of data. If you can’t release something in written form, you can’t release it verbally. If in doubt, when asked for information, withhold the requested information until you check with your principal to determine whether it can be released. If anyone questions you about a student, whether it be the media or a parent of another student, respond simply that the information is private student data and that you cannot discuss it.

Be Smart About Social Networking Social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and Twitter provide great opportunities to connect with your colleagues on issues of importance to your school, local Association and District. However, be cautious about personal content you share on these sites. Material can easily be intercepted by a supervisor, a parent, or a student and used against you - even if the material is not work-related.

42


Use School Technology Wisely Computers serve as powerful tools to transform and enhance classroom instruction. Whether you’re surfing the Web or e-mailing colleagues, technology gives you an invaluable means to further your professional development. Technology, however, creates a new set of hazards for educators. Keep these tips in mind when you access the Internet or use e-mail: n

n

n

n

n

n

Check to see if your district has an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for Internet and e-mail use. Your district might have separate policies for student use and employee use of technology. The AUP should define where, when and how long school employees may use school computers and network services. Do not access, receive or transmit anything that can be interpreted as obscene or pornographic. Do not use your school’s computers for anything not permitted in the AUP. Grades, IEPs and all other private data must be secured, even on a computer. Just as you wouldn’t leave your grade books sitting on your desk, don’t leave your computer data unprotected. Do not expect your e-mail to be private. Do not send anything you wouldn’t want read by your employer. The school district —your employer — owns and controls the e-mail system. Even deleted e-mails can be retrieved, and used in lawsuits. Do not send any confidential or private e-mails at work. You might be held responsible for inappropriate student use of the Internet or e-mail. Check to see if your district has a “reasonable supervision” standard, because it is impossible to supervise student Internet use at all times. If your district makes the teacher responsible for all student use of the Internet, contact your OEA UniServ consultant. Do not use school computers for commercial purposes, such as promoting a summer business you operate.

43


Enhancing Your Job Security THINGS TO REMEMBER n

Do a good job. Be well prepared. Meet your deadlines.

n

Study your copy of the contract. Keep it for reference. Know your rights and responsibilities. Ignorance of the contract, like ignorance of the law, is no excuse.

n

Develop a good rapport with your supervisor, your colleagues, other school employees, parents, and students.

n

Maintain a good attendance record – avoid unnecessary absences or tardiness. Always give prompt notice of unavoidable absences or tardiness.

n

Accept constructive criticisms gracefully, and try to heed them.

n

Initiate regular communications with your supervisor. Find out what is expected of you and how well you are meeting those expectations.

n

Maintain a file of all job-related documents. Save paycheck stubs, salary placement notices, notices of accumulated sick leave, observation reports, evaluations, commendations or thank-yous from colleagues, letters from parents, etc. If it’s in writing, and if it pertains to your job don’t throw it away.

n

Ask for help if you need it. Ask your supervisor about district policies and procedures. Ask respected colleagues for hints on doing your job effectively, and on getting along with your supervisor.

n

Ask your Building Representative to explain your contract rights and responsibilities.

n

Obey direct instructions from your supervisor. If you believe that an order is unreasonable, unfair, or in violation of the contract, you can raise an objection, and indicate that you are complying under protest. But always remember this principle: Obey first, then grieve. (The only exception is when ordered to do something illegal or which would cause harm or create an unsafe situation for you or someone else.)

n

Become an active participant in Association programs. Association activities provide an opportunity for you to develop a wide network of supportive colleagues while you also develop and demonstrate your leadership skills.

44


THINGS TO AVOID n

Don’t shirk your responsibilities. Make every effort to attend required meetings, meet required deadlines, and take your fair share of the load.

n

Don’t become a “workaholic.” The most productive persons are well-balanced employees, people who can mange their jobs and their lives. Avoid burnout.

n

Don’t get mixed up in the intra-faculty rivalries, or intra-school politics, and don’t indulge in gossip on the job.

n

Don’t be a chronic complainer. If your contract rights are violated, grieve, but don’t gripe. Try to contribute to the solution rather than to the problem.

n

Don’t confide details of personal problems to your supervisor or to colleagues you barely know. The exception is when a personal emergency impinges on your job. Then explain the situation briefly and objectively.

n

Don‘t lose your composure on the job – with students, parents, colleagues, or your supervisor. Tears and losing your temper will only work against you.

n

Don’t let yourself be pushed around. Whether you are a permanent, probationary, or temporary employee, you are a professional and are entitled to be treated as one.

n

Don’t lie or attempt to deceive your supervisor. Occasional lapses in judgment may be tolerated, but deception seldom is.

n

Don’t panic! If you find yourself in a situation where you may be subject to disciplinary action or if you become the subject of administrative harassment, call you Association representative immediately.

45


Your Right to be Represented The Association is the exclusive representative for the members in your district and therefore the only employee organization authorized to represent individual members in employment matters with the district. You have the right to be represented by the Association when: n

n

n

n

An administrator calls a conference with you and you have reason to believe that you will be subject to reprimand or disciplinary action. You receive a “does not meet standards” or “unsatisfactory” overall evaluation rating. You have a grievance. You are entitled to Association representation at every step of the grievance process, including the informal conference, unless your contract provides otherwise. The earlier you get help the more effective it may be. A meeting has been arranged to resolve a complaint about you – if the complainant is someone other than your designated evaluator, and an administrator is to be present. IMPORTANT NOTE An employee always has the right to halt any conference already in progress with any administrator if the conference becomes disciplinary in nature. You may demand postponement for a reasonable amount of time to obtain representation. If the administrator does not postpone the meeting, you are not required to answer questions without a representative present, and you cannot be disciplined for declining to answer. If you need to be represented, contact your Association faculty representative or an Association grievance representative or call the Association office.

46


What Do I Do If There’s A Complaint Against Me? You never think it can happen to you. Unfortunately, even the best educators sometimes face arbitrary or unfair situations. It is better to be prepared than have to fly by the seat of your pants. Get a copy of your local contract and read it. Your building representative and/or grievance representative are good people to get to know. Here are some other things to remember. If you are called to a meeting with administrators and the meeting becomes an accusatory proceeding where you are asked questions that could lead to discipline, respectfully decline to answer such questions until you have OEA representation. Request that the meeting adjourn until you can have representation. Contact your building representative, your grievance representative, or your OEA UniServ Consultant as soon as possible. It is important that you get advice early instead of waiting to see what happens. If the problem is serious, your UniServ Consultant will see to it that you have the benefit of legal advice and counsel, if needed. It is extremely important that you keep records of all conversations and copies of any written statements or correspondence related to your situation. If you receive material through the mail, keep the postmarked envelope, also. Before you respond in writing to requests from your administration, review the response with your Association representative. When you meet with your representative, he/ she will review the contract with you. It is important to be completely honest with your representative or consultant. They are there to help you be successful and to protect your rights.

47


Use the space below to remember the people who can help you in difficult times. Your Association Representative:_________________________________ Room No.: _____________________________________________________ Your UniServ Consultant: _______________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________________________ Email: ________________________________________________________

Documents to keep in your professional file Begin the year by keeping a professional records file folder with these documents: •

Your teaching license(s)

Transcripts of degrees and credits including attendance

Letters of hire

An individual employee contract if you signed one upon hire

Supplemental contracts for extra duty responsibilities

Your local Association’s negotiated contract

Yearly salary information and payroll notices

Records pertinent to your retirement

Records of leave accrual and use

Evaluation and growth plans

Commendations, awards, and honors

Teaching schedules

Records of incidents involving discipline or referral of students

Records of referrals of students with special needs

Copies of all correspondence from your employer

Proof of Association membership

48


Feedback OEA wants to hear from you about this handbook. Please answer the following questions and return this form to OEA. This sheet is a self-mailer — just cut out, fold, tape, stamp, and mail. The material presented was useful and informative: not at all somewhat

very

The material was presented in an organized manner: not at all somewhat

very

I know how OEA can assist me as a member: not at all somewhat

very

Suggestions for improvement: _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ Or, save a stamp, and write to us! Email feedback to: webadmin@oregoned.org.

49


Fold Here

Affix Stamp Here

Oregon Education Association Center for Great Public Schools 6900 SW Atlanta Street Portland, OR 97223


OEA wishes to thank the following for their help in creating this resource: The OEA New Member Advisory Council The OEA New Generations Task Force The Hillsboro EA New Member Committee The OEA Membership Task Force The Washington Education Association The California CTA Education Minnesota The Tennessee Education Association The West Virginia Education Association The Kentucky Education Association The Virginia Education Association


Handbook for New Teachers  
Handbook for New Teachers