Ways To Jump Start Your Teaching Career

In every university in the country, there are ambitious and starry eyed graduates who are preparing for a career in teaching. A lot will be looking for relief teaching positions as this becomes the more accepted way to start your teaching career.

If you want to fast track your teaching career as a relief teacher, you need an advantage so you stand out.

1. Offer to volunteer to work in school. You can work as an aide in schools. By taking on the working world of teaching even before you have your degree, you will be able to present yourself to employers post graduation as someone who has real world experience in the classroom. Most schools look for relief teachers they know.

You will also learn the ropes which is tremendously valuable to a school administrator with a spot to fill because it reduces the concern that a new graduate who has never faced a classroom full of restless children.

2. Another way to get a jump start on the market before graduates flood the schools for jobs is to start your search early in your last semester of uni.

Schools in Australia know by October if they will have jobs to fill for the next academic year. Because of generous leave provisions, relief teaching positions become available first. So if you begin your search early, you can often land an interview before many of your contemporaries.

3. Spend some time narrowing down exactly what kind of teaching position you want and at what level you feel your personality and teaching style will benefit students the most.

By knowing well in advance where you want to teach, you can target those kinds of relief teaching positions in your job search and improve your chances of finding that teaching job.

You should make the phrase "leave no stone unturned" your motto for hunting up the teaching jobs that in your community.

4. Check the HR or employment offices at the schools you would like to be a part of and keep an eye on their employment bullion boards. Use the internet wisely, watch the newspaper and even get in touch with placement agencies that are known for placing new and relief teachers.

5. Network, network, network. Use every contact you have and forge new relationships to get the inside scoop on jobs before they even become public.

Networking is the best way to find relief teaching vacancies. Most teachers know who is leaving in their school - sometimes before Admin.

An if there is a vacancy, there is sure to be a relief teaching position.

Bob Brandis has 40 years experience as a principal, teacher and relief teacher. These strategies and more are yours for the taking.

Receive a FREE 50 page eBook, "50 Ways to Be a Better Relief Teacher" when you visit his site, Teaching Tips for Relief Teachers. Become a Member (for free) and enjoy hundreds of teaching resources to support your classroom activities.

Teaching Youth Leadership Skills

This article proposes three topics to incorporate into your curriculum when teaching youth leadership skills. The concepts are based on the research of John Maxwell who is a noted author, speaker, and leadership guru. Youth are guaranteed to gain valuable insight to maximize their leadership potential.

3 Topics

    21 Laws of Leadership

Everything begins and ends with leadership. John Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership are packed with wisdom. Even a veteran leader benefits from knowing them. Maxwell presents the laws and gives interesting examples from leaders in various fields to illustrate the points. The law of the lid, for instance, asserts that leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's level of potential.

Hence, if one is low in leadership ability, he will score low in potential. Here, John Maxwell uses the McDonald brothers to explain the law of the lid. Although the brothers were able to break into the fast food business and achieve some success, their lack of strong leadership affected their ability to sell the franchise concept and grow the company like Ray Kroc. According to the law of the lid, the brothers' low leadership ability negatively impacted their potential.

    21 Indispensable Traits of Leaders

Youth need to know what great leaders are made of, and John Maxwell's 21 Indispensable Traits of Leaders is an excellent reference tool to rely on when teaching leadership skills. It covers the qualities of great leaders. Some of the traits include character, charisma, commitment, courage, focus, passion, and positive attitude. First of all, teens will learn which qualities are essential to being a good leader. Again, John Maxwell provides models to demonstrate how the traits relate to the leader's effectiveness. Secondly, participants discover which qualities they already possess as well as those that need to be developed. Be sure to mention that no one person has all of the characteristics outlined in the book.

    Levels of Leadership

In addition to introducing teens to the laws of leadership and the traits of leaders, instruction regarding the levels of leadership is essential. John Maxwell outlines five stages (position, permission, production, people development, and pinnacle) in his book 5 Levels of Leadership. These steps reveal the natural progression that is required to lead winning teams. The goal is to move from level one to level 5. At level one people follow you because they have to. However, at level five people follow because of who you are and what you represent. If youth understand them, they will gain momentum and be better prepared when tackling their first leadership position.

Bonus Tip: You're invited to visit http://www.specialreportontraining.com to receive a FREE special report on 7 things to avoid when designing youth leadership training. Stephanie Harbin, a motivational speaker and training specialist, has developed and presented a wide range of programs for business, government, educational institutions, and non-profits. Her focus is on leadership, strategy, training, career and personal development.

Teaching Ideas for Longer Lessons in High School

Teaching Ideas for Longer Lessons in High School

This is the second of two articles on long lessons. Long lessons of over one hour have been introduced to increase timetable efficiency in some educational authorities.

This article is about how best to use the time available. There are some negatives with longer lessons.

1. A teacher can't 'ad lib' in lessons with any success.
2. There will be fewer teaching periods per week - three instead of perhaps five.
3. There will be less opportunity to set homework.
4. A student's absence from the lesson means he/she misses a significant percentage of the class time for that week.
5. Many students find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time.

Consequently, lessons must be well planned to give students the best opportunity to learn.

On the positive site, the longer time allows the teacher the opportunity to use a greater variety of pedagogy. This will have a positive effect on those students who learn in different ways.

Below is a list of the different ways you can use this extra time.
• Practical lessons;
• Short excursions;
• Teach and assess a small unit;
• Use computers, software, internet and hands-on material;
• Watch a video, film, DVD;
• Use the library;
• Give regular revision quizzes in the middle and lower secondary classes;
• Group discussion;
• Co-operative learning;
• Break the class into different ability groups to give more specialised support/teaching;
• Conduct surveys;
• Check individual's progress on assessment tasks, homework and have one on one discussion with the student;
• Experiment with a variety of teaching approaches/strategies;
• Teach a whole topic thoroughly from go to whoa;
• Break the lesson into two parts and teach two topics;
• Set a variety of homework tasks in an effort to create recency /frequency aspects of learning;
• Team teach with two or more classes with individual teachers using each other's expertise to enhance the interest and learning of their classes.
• Have a guest speaker/teacher talk or teach a number of classes assisted by the other class teachers;
• Administer assessment tasks (both traditional and non-traditional);
• Groups of short exercises such as seen in Brain Gym can be used to create whole brain learning;
• Mentoring/peer tutoring. Giving help to the less able and absentee students on their return;
• Give regular, short, sharp problem solving/critical thinking exercises;
• Guided internet research;
• Model for your class verbally how you would solve or approach an exercise or an exam question;
• Students conduct class surveys; do report writing or library research;
• Do last lesson review of work to be tested just prior to the assessment being done.

In shorter lessons, it is difficult to find the time to teach some, if not all, of the skills list below to a satisfactory level. Lip service is often the best that can be done. The long lesson gives the opportunity to develop these skills and teach a new topic at the same time.

Below are listed skills that a teacher must consider teaching to his/her students. It is, by no means an exhaustive list, simply a guide to get you started.

• Core/basic skills of your subject discipline
• Concentration skills
• Communication skills
• Listening skills
• Problem Solving/Critical Thinking
• Creative Thinking
• Dictionary skills
• Logical Decision Making
• Homework skills
• Study skills
• Calculator skills
• Computer skills
• Concept of a solution/argument/essay
• Text book skills
• Preparing physically for each lesson
• Examination skills
• Cooperative learning skills
• Organisational skills

Finally, you will need to remember these issues if you are to use the longer lesson time effectively.

No one can teach effectively for 60 or more minutes without a break. No student can concentrate for that period. Therefore, long lessons must be broken into parts preferably using different teaching strategies and not more of the same. The length of the parts will depend on the age and interest of your class.
Plan each lesson very carefully making sure you have extra activities or lesson ideas to use up the whole time.

Afternoon lessons require frequent changes especially with young or disinterested classes. The lesson must contain many activities during hot summer afternoons in particular.

Include a short five minute break in the middle of the lesson not so much as a reward for hard work but simply as a time to allow them to revive their spirits to begin again. Make sure your class realises that this is a privilege not a right and one which can be removed at any time.

You will need a strategy to allow absent students to catch up.You may simply give a quick review followed by handing out printed notes and worksheets. When a student is absent from a class where notes and work sheets are used, write down the names of the absentees on these sheets to hand out next lesson.

Our author has a career in the classroom of over 45 years. In that time, he worked with teaching period lengths that varied from 35 minutes up to 70 minutes. In the last ten years of his permanent career as a Head of Mathematics, he had to implement, with his staff, a 70 minute teaching period. Later, other schools invited him to provide a workshop on the best way for them to implement the longer teaching period. The contents of that workshop and his experience in implementing the 70 minute period are what this article and "The Young Teacher's Guide to Longer Lessons" contains. For further ideas on other classroom issues, go to http://www.realteachingsolutions.com

Teaching Your Kids Responsibility

One of the most challenging things a parent faces is whether they're teaching their children responsibility. You can love your child to the end of the word and back, but if you don't teach them how to be responsible, your child will grow up to be... well, not responsible.

So how do you help your kids grow into mature and responsible adults? Try these tips to ensure your kids grow into the adults you will be proud of.

Tip #1
Make them do chores.
While this may seem like such a little thing, it's a HUGE thing for a child. Doing chores teaches them a lot of things. It teaches them to pitch in, and to "earn their own keep". Things aren't always handed to us, and everyone working together and doing their part helps to keep a household running smoothly. It also teaches them how to clean their own house when they finally reach adulthood.

Your child may argue with you, or may do the chores so badly that you want to dismiss them from doing them, but do NOT do this. Make your child do the chore over until it's right. Teach them how to do it right, and explain to them that everyone must do their part. In the long run, it will be worth it. You'll have a clean house, and your child will have gained valuable life lessons.

Tip #2
Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries, such as curfews, or rules (no eating after dinner, get homework done before they can play, etc) will help your child learn to follow rules. You set rules for them to follow because following rules provides order. If a child disobeys one of these rules, you must follow through with a disciplinary action (taking away TV, making them do an extra chore). In life, adults have to follow rules as well. Going to work on time, for example. Setting boundaries and sticking to them is an important key to raising responsible children.

Tip #3
Give them freedom
Kind of seems like an oxymoron, doesn't it? Giving them freedom allows your child to make the right choices. It tests them every time. Take the curfew for example. Your child has to make a choice every time they have a curfew. If they make the right choice, they'll be home on time. If they don't, that's when you have to enforce the disciplinary action. Whether it's to take the freedom away, or whatever you chose, it teaches your child that making the right choice brings rewards, while making the wrong choice brings yet another learning experience.

Raising your kids to be responsible is a learning curve for parents too. As long as you remember to do the best you can, and to teach your children to do the best they can, the rest will come.

Teacher Week- Day 2 & My Sewing Project

Technology Tip Tuesday

Okay, so I have pretty much been trying to think all day long about the best technology tip I have to share with you. One that maybe hasn't already been posted 100 times. I'll probably repeat. I'm sorry.

1. USE POWERPOINT. Seriously. I can't stress this enough. I get asked all the time what program I use to make things with & I think people are shocked to learn it's Powerpoint. I learned this the hard way. I used to basically pull my hair out over trying to position something in a word document. Powerpoint makes your life so much easier. I'm actually in the process of moving all items I created in a word document to Powerpoint so that I can edit them easily when necessary!

2. PIXLR EXPRESS. I love this site. I used to be a devoted Picnik user for editing pictures, like cropping and adding frames, but then they shut down. Pixlr express is now my new favorite site to do this on!

3. SAVE AS PICTURES. When making something with Powerpoint, always click File- Save as pictures.. this will save each slide as a .jpg and makes your life so much easier to create previews of a unit, or upload images to TpT & TN.

4. PicFrame & Label Box. These are 2 apps on my iphone that I use all.the.time. to put pictures together [like the one below] I definitely suggest purchasing them! 
Label Box

Now, my sewing project I shared with you yesterday...


I've had that ugly fabric, cut with scissors and safety pinned around a tension rod up for 2 years. 2 YEARS, folks. That's a long time! My mom is basically a sewing ninja, but I don't like to bother her to do this stuff for me. I am so excited that I have my own sewing machine and tackled my own project!

It's obviously too long, I guess I rounded up my measuring without realizing. I can still cut and hem it again though so no worries! I'm pretty proud of myself!

Teacher Week-- Day 1!

Must-haves Monday!

When thinking about my must haves, there are a million things I'm sure I could list, but I tried to think of what allows me to keep my sanity during the school day.

First things first, coffee. I'm one of those who is not awake until I have my coffee.

No, I don't go to starbucks every morning--I wish! But I hope to make it there more Friday mornings this year than last year.

Second things second, my lesson plan book. If I showed up to work one day without this, I would probably have a mini meltdown on the inside.

Click the photo to see my post on making your own planner--like this one!

Third things third, my Erin Condren planner. I would most definitely have a huge meltdown on the inside without this. I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I need my own routines & schedules, just like my kiddos do!

Fourth things fourth, flairpens, crayola markers, and/or sharpies. I use a combination of these three on a daily basis. Every entry in my planner is color coded. i.e. lime green=meetings, pink=blog designs, etc.

Fifth things fifth, bins and containers. I am a a self-admitting bin hoarder. I buy bins as if I were a personal shopper and I was going to dress someone in them. Even when I buy new bins, I'm afraid to let the old ones go. It's a problem. I'm always keeping an eye out for a "perfect bin" for that "perfect organization" that keeps me from losing my mind every day!


What are your classroom Must Haves? If you haven't already, save the picture above and head over to blog hoppin to link up for Teacher Week!

P.S. I'm attempting my very FIRST sewing project on the sewing machine I got for my birthday. It's a classroom project so I hope to show it off soon!

Closing Teacher's Notebook

Thank you for answering my poll questions! I have decided to close my Teacher's Notebook store. There are a few items, and free items left in my store, but I will not be adding any of my new items to my store.

If this inconveniences any of my buyers, I apologize. I find that keeping up with 2 shops and selling blog designs is bit much for me. Especially as I am editing/updating all of my shop items.

If you are interested in still shopping my items, you will find all of them at Teachers Pay Teachers!

Thank you for understanding!

How to Add Fun to the Start of the School Year!

....with an air-cast walking boot! Yep. This is real.

I have a stress fracture in my ankle--from running.

 I will be starting a school year with a robot leg. I feel like I have a toddler sitting on my foot. I'm sure this should make things really interesting. I can't get up and down from the carpet that well, and since I teach 3 & 4 year olds, that's where I like to be. Praise the Lord I have no "runners" in my class this year.

At least I don't have crutches with it.

And I only need to paint 5 toes instead of 10 toes.

And I got all of my classroom furniture moved BEFORE the boot. [not before the injury...]

Let me tell you, this thing is truly exhausting to walk around in. And my shoe selection is very limited to whatever shoe brings my right foot to the same height as my left one...

But if it rains, I'll only need 1 rain boot!

Have you ever had the pleasure of wearing one of these things? What tips can you offer me--I'm open to any suggestions!

Thank You, Help Me, & Pirate Numbers!

First off, thank you so much for all of the purchases you made from my TpT store during the sale! I can certainly say it was a success! :) I enjoyed making some purchases myself (and then found myself still making purchases on Tuesday after the sale had ended!)

Now, I need your help. Big time. Because I'm really indecisive, and these decisions will impact you as my TpT & TN buyers!

My first question, where do you shop more? TpT or TN? It's hard to keep up with both stores. I'm considering closing my TN store, unless you tell me other wise! Please take a second to answer these poll questions! :)

Where do you shop more?
Create your own poll

Now, next question!

Should I close my TN shop?
It's up to you!
Create your own poll

Thank you for answering my poll questions! Now, on to sharing my Pirate Number cards with you! I had a request for these to match my Pirate Alphabet Cards, so I created cards with numbers 0-25 on them.

Click me to purchase on TpT!

I also updated my Pirate Alphabet Cards to match these (with font)

Click me to purchase on TpT!

There are a lot of my files in my TpT store that I plan on updating. I made a lot of items with word when I first started out and my OCD is kicking in. I want everything to look the same, with the same credits page and so on. So bear with me while I gradually update some items! 

DJ Inkers License & Pet Unit

So way back here I posted about the pets unit that I created & then realized I couldn't sell it because it used all DJ Inkers clipart. Well, DJ Inkers now offers a license! [Someone PLEASE make sure that Kristin at A Teeny Tiny Teacher knows this!]

 I don't know if you know that or not, but now you do! I purchased my license this weekend and now I can finally post my Pets Unit on TpT! 

[To save you from making the same mistake I did, if you want to sell items on TpT, then you need to purchase license #2!]

Here's my pretty license, now displayed at the bottom of my blog.

So, before TpT's back to school sale ends,  I wanted to get my pets unit posted!  I did some updating to the cover page and credits page, but other than that the activities pictured in my first post are still included.

Click here to purchase this item on TpT! It's included in the back to school sale for the rest of today, and in the sale I'm continuing tomorrow (aug. 14th) for 20% off!

TpT Back to School Sale & Birthday!

The TpT back to school sale kicks off today! Head over to my store to save up to 28% on all items priced over $1.00! August 12th & 13th!

Be sure to enter the code BTS12 to get that extra 10% off!

But wait! August 14th is my birthday, and I want to celebrate that too, right?! My items priced over $1.00 will be 20% off on August 14th! [This will be perfect, just in case you miss the sale!]

Create Your Own Lesson Plan Book

There are 3 things I'm certain of.

1. We have all seen this post/image in blog/pinterest land.

Creating your own lesson plan book! [click photo for original post]

2. We all added this idea to our to-do lists.

3. We were all in tears when we realized there was no template available for this idea.

There was one 1 thing I was uncertain of.

1. Can I make a template for this myself?

Well, I am now certain that I can do it. Because I did. I made my own lesson plan book. Do I love it? ABSOLUTELY! I feel like it's my baby. No more writing in everything, EVERY. WEEK. and drawing those lines EVERY. WEEK. Here's how it turned out.

Sorry for the horrible lighting in the pictures

All ready to be filled in!

First I created a template for my lesson plans on word & was sure to change my settings to legal size paper. 

After some time of aligning, tweaking, and typing, it was time to print.

I had to babysit my printer through this process--maybe you won't have to. I then fed the paper back through the printer so that I could get double sided pages.

Next, I had to create my front cover & back cover. Legal size too!!

I purchased some legal size laminating pouches to use with my home laminator for my front and back cover.

All pieces ready to go to Staples!

Final step--drive 2.3 miles to your local Staples, Office Max, or Office Depot with all of your pages carefully placed on your lap & get your book binded for around $5 if you wait, or around $2 if you come back later!

I am seriously so in love with this thing! It turned out so much better than expected and will be such a time saver to not have to write in all the schedule info and lines every week.

NOW for the best news--you can buy a template for yourself! It's a word document so you can edit it, but I suggest googling and downloading the font "PlainPrint" so that the font does not show up funny!

When you purchase this template, you will also receive 3 editable cover options to choose from. Just edit and print your favorite one! Here are the options included:

Google and download the font "Champagne & Limousines" for the font used in the title pages. These too are editable to your preference, I just included my information to inspire you!

Here is a close up of the schedule template and the page I made to go right after my cover page.

No, we won't be eating snack right after lunch. That header up there also includes nap/quiet/bathroom

Sorry this post is super long! I just had a lot of detail and information to share with you!

Click here to purchase this kit/templates on TpT! 

P.S. I will be participating in the TpT back to school sale, starting tomorrow! Go add this item to your wishlist now! :)

New Substitute Binder Themes!

I have been working on more themes for substitute binders. If you missed my first post, you can click here to check out the themes I posted the last time. Scroll down to see what's new and click the links under them to purchase each binder packet for $2.00! [The TN links are not active yet--they are having problems with the file up-loader!]

If you have any questions about them, or requests for a theme, just let me know!

Owl Theme
Purchase on TpT     Purchase on TN

Frog Theme
Purchase on TpT     Purchase on TN

School Theme
Purchase on TpT     Purchase on TN

Apple Theme
Purchase on TpT     Purchase on TN

Teacher Magnets

Welp--I took a week off from blogging. I spent some family vacation time in OBX this week without the internet. I hope you didn't miss me too much. But while I was gone, a special package came! I have been impatiently waiting to share this with you, but needed the actual item first!

Teacher Information Magnets!
I know you could really find that info if you wanted to, but hey, I don't need to broadcast it! :)

I saw someone do this last year, and I absolutely loved the idea. Then I remembered that *great* site I read about a lot. VistaPrint! I went to their website and sure enough, I found a *great* deal on "business card magnets"--I could get 25 of them for FREE!

I only have 10 students this year, so that is perfect! They offer lots of customizable options, which I played around with a lot. I finally decided that I just wanted to upload my own images to match the information packets I was sending home this year.

They got me at checkout when I found out that each uploaded image cost $3.47 but I was too in love with my design by that point. And hey--they were FREE to start!

I was pretty impressed with the quality too! Head over to VistaPrint now--hopefully you still have time to get your order in before your school year starts!

I hope my students' parents find this to be an easy way to keep track of my information and find it quick and easy when they need it!

Sticker Organization & Freebie

There are so many sticker organization ideas out there. I fell in love with Hadar's method last summer, but I don't think I have anywhere to hang such a thing. [Nor do I have that many stickers!!] 

Here I am stealing Hadar's pictures again...

This summer I fell in love with this idea at Kinder- Craze

How ADORABLE is that box! She made it with scrapbook paper! It's a shoebox! This idea was my inspiration to finally take the plunge and organize my stickers. The fact that I also bought close to a gazillion stickers this summer also has something to do with it...

First things first. ORGANIZE YOUR STICKERS.

I decided to organize mine in a large note card box. [I guess that's what you call those things] It was black when when I bought it, but I spray painted it light blue.

I also created and laminated a small label for the front of my box. I used A-Z card guides. Guess what. They are BLANK on the back. PERFECT. I created labels for each section and laminated them onto the cards for even more durability.

And voila--sticker organization! You can easily simplify this project by not painting your box, not labeling your cards with large labels, and not laminating your cards. I love having them in this box. Now I can easily move them around to wherever I am working and have all my stickers available-- I might get one student to do back flips for a Hello Kitty sticker, meanwhile the other student could need some sport stickers.

If you want the labels I used, you can download them in a powerpoint for free on TpT. This way you can edit them to add what categories you need.

Looking for a New Blog?

Well, I finally got around to updating my portfolio over at Creating & Designing and I have started taking clients again. [woo hoo--I think!] I will have a couple more designs to share with you soon. Be sure to follow Creating & Designing as I will be doing a post on each new design to share their look, and introduce you to some new bloggers out there!

In the meantime, check out the header images below of some of the designs I've been doing!

This was a "clean up" package

For some reason I couldn't find links to Mrs. Cox's Crew or Sweeties in Second. If you have those links please post them so I can share their designs too!