Friday, July 18, 2008

Advice from Last Year

Nobody knows better what it's like to be a new teacher at Chets Creek than those teachers who have actually walked in your shoes. Here's some advice from last year's "new to Chets" teachers.
Advice from first year teachers
Advice from last year's "new to Chets" 2nd Grade teachers-
Denise Evanko (pictured 2nd from left on the top, who came straight from an Ohio college) says: Soak in and visit your team members' classrooms. You will be amazed by how much you can learn to help your class! Take mental pictures, or even real pictures, to help you remember.

Lourdes Santiago (pictured on the bottom far right, a Special Education major who took the General Education test last year to co-teach) says: Ask for help when you need it. I have not been turned down and have learned so much from members of my fellow CCE family.

Advice from 1st grade teacher Tenean Allyne (on the right) pictured with teammate, JJ Ossi -
Tenean (who interned at Chets with Debbie Harbour) says: For those teachers who will walk in my footsteps, I would tell you to continue to learn. Know that you are never done learning. Not just from fellow staff and teachers but also from your students. Learn from your mistakes, and master what you're good at.

Advice from Rachel Happ (on the left) who joined the existing dynamite Kindergarten team of Randi Timmons and Elizabeth Conte -
Rachael (who joined Chets when she graduated mid-year from UNF) says: If you have questions about the curriculum or you need help coming up with fun/ creative/ exciting/ meaningful lesson plans... go to dayle who is the high-priestess of pretty much everything!

Advice from teachers who transferred from other schools
Katie Symons on the far right is shown with friends Lindsay Hoffman and Lynn Patterson - Katie (who landed in 5th grade Math after being surplussed to Chets from Finnegan Elementary) says: Chets Creek truly is an amazing place. All of the teachers go above and beyond for their students. The teachers really become invested in the kids' lives and love them. Just come in with an open mind and open heart. Smile and have fun!

Cheryl Dillard shown on the left with her fantastic paraprofessional Nancy Phillips - Cheryl (who taught Kindergarten last year followed her best friend, Maria Mallon, to Chets even though she had been the Teacher of the Year at her the previous school) says: Always read the Memo -tons of great information to help keep you on track and organized.

Shea Boudreau on the right, is pictured with Jennifer Scarola. Shea has to be one of the most flexible "new to Chets" teachers as she began the year in regular education and then moved to Special Education when Jennifer left for maternity leave - Shea (a National Board Certified Teacher who transferred from St. John's county) says: The keys to being successful at Chets Creek are - Be flexible. Manage your time and stay organized. Communication is vital. Learn from a mentor (or two!). Read, read, read and research some more. Surround yourself with professionals. Avoid isolation.

Advice from those returning from the "mommy track"
Julie Johnson, on the right, is pictured with super paraprofessional Barbara Ellis. Although Julie was an experienced teacher, she returned to teaching last year after being at home with her 4 children!! She has two school age children at Chets and twins at home! Julie (who spent last year as a kindergarten safety net teacher out of Maria Mallon's room) says: Soak up all the knowledge you can!! There are so many people willing to help and lend a hand. If they don't know the answer, they will find someone who does. Visit as many different classrooms as you can!

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