Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Teacher Tip #7

Continued from "Things I wish someone had told me before I started teaching (or maybe they did and I just didn't listen)"

7. Get involved in professional organizations. There are two things that I've found to be categorically true throughout my first three years of teaching: 1) school staff development is never quite as good as you want it to be, and 2) at least a few weeks of burn-out are inevitable every year. The best cure for both of these ills comes from professional organizations. Getting involved in an organization that specializes in a topic that's interesting to you gives you access to all sorts of resources, ideas, and opportunities that you wouldn't otherwise have. Some of the best professional development experiences that I've had have come from attending conferences for the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics and the International Reading Association. Even when I only attended for a day, I left the conference completely recharged and motivated to get back in the classroom and try all sorts of new ideas. You can't always rely on your school to provide professional development that meets your needs or interests, but you can always craft those opportunities for yourself. The more involved you are, the more resources you'll have available to you. It looks great on your résumé as well.

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