today’s tip is pretty straightforward…beg, borrow, and steal.
i remember doing my student teaching eight years ago and my cooperating teacher said to me one day, “go into my file cabinets and make a copy of everything in there.”
at first, i didn’t understand why. but as i started spending time in front of the copy machine making probably hundreds of copies, i began to get it. i didn’t have anything to start my teaching career with. sure, i had my bulletin board stuff and school supplies. but i didn’t have the materials that i needed. as i made more and more copies, some of the other teachers in the social studies department started handing me a copy of whatever they thought i needed. most teachers were willing to give me anything and everything to help me. but some were weird about it. they didn’t want to share their seemingly genius ideas. it’s okay, i didn’t need their crap anyway.
so as you begin teaching…
beg – ask the people in your department/grade level for ideas and materials. nine times out of ten, they are willing to give you whatever they can to help you. a lot of times, they can give you an idea of what will work and what to forget about. if you believe that a particular thing will be great for your classroom, ask for it! i’ve only been turned down a couple of times. as long as you have a solid reason for buying something, your principal will at least listen to your explanation.
borrow – if someone has a lesson or materials that you think would work for you, borrow them. the web is also a great place to get ideas from people. find a few blogs that you can read regularly. (i keep those on my bloglovin’ list so that i only have to go to one place to read them.) pinterest is one of my go-to places for ideas too. i keep a couple of different boards so that it’s easier to find ideas.
steal – now normally, i wouldn’t condone stealing, but with teaching it’s almost necessary. if there’s something left on the copier that you like, make a copy. if you hear someone talking about a good idea, take it and adapt it to what you’re doing. if you see another teacher do something awesome, try it. workshops are a great place to get ideas from other people or the presenters. i keep a binder of the things i get from workshops so i can go back to it when i want to use one of them. a big part of teaching is trying things to see what works so “steal” an idea and see if it fits your classroom.