top of page

Road map to help future teachers thrive during this time of need

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

So, your college courses just went online and you don’t know where to start? Did your student teaching get cut short? Now what?

This one is for all of the future teachers out there. We want to support and show ya some love during this tremendous time of learning and leading. As future teachers during this time of need, let’s take this time to lead. I have a road map for success for you all to consider. But, before we set out on our journey we must pack the car and get it ready, right? Just like we need to make sure we have enough gas in the car and a destination to go we must make sure that we take care of ourselves and set up a schedule and routine for ourselves to tackle this new normal.

⛽ Fill up your tank:

Three tips to fill your tank, get a routine together for the weekdays, set up a schedule, and take time for you. It is important to set up a new routine for this new normal. If you are taking classes try to keep to that schedule and routine.

  • Set up your study space and area so it is in a consistent place each time. Make sure you are set up ergonomically correct. That you can watch the classes and participate without getting uncomfortable.

  • Draw out a schedule for the day, week, or month to refer to, reference, and edit. Add in due dates for projects, tests, papers, etc.

  • Get up around the same time

  • Get dressed and get ready for the class like you actually going to class (cause you are, even virtually)

  • Plan your to-do list. There are lots of edtech tools that can help you (Microsoft to do, One Note agenda template, and Google Keep are a few of my favorites). Give yourself grace when completing your to-do list. Don’t feel like you have to get it all done in one day, friends pace yourself and set aside time to get your stuff done. Try to estimate how much time it will take to complete each task and then add 20 minutes (just in case)!

  • Eat breakfast and get your coffee/tea ready to roll for class

  • Make a schedule that includes class times (try to get into your virtual class 5 minutes early so you set up and ready to go)

  • Include study times and times to work on projects

  • Schedule in time for yourself and do something that you enjoy

  • Schedule in time to connect with family and friends (virtually host a coffee chat or brunch, game night, movie party, or host a dance party with shared playlist etc).

👋 Get your crew

Every road trip is better with friends, right? Imagine that you put your mixed tape (or CD) in the tape deck and get ready to ride! We've heard the term professional learning network (PLN) thrown around in classes. Or maybe you heard a few professors tell you that you needed one. You may be asking yourself, "Why? Why do I need one more account?" We all need people to support, encourage, challenge, and push us to be an educator of excellence. A PLN is available to help, support, lift you up, challenge, and be there to listen and bounce ideas off of. Get started creating a PLN now so you have that support system available to you even after graduation.

An administrator wants to see what you are learning about and how you are applying that knowledge to help kids! So, tweet out that great bulletin board you made or share a pic on Instagram of that hands-on activity you did with your 3rd-grade field class. Share your reflections on the biology lesson that didn't go so well and ask for suggestions from your community. Pin a picture of a meaningful takeaway from a class to document your learning.

A PLN is like having access to a mentor 24/7. Using your PLN to help you get ideas, resources, tools, and tips are like having a teaching mentor available to you anytime and anywhere. Post a question, join a Twitter chat, engage in conversation and there will likely be someone there to guide you. Current educators and administrators are excited to help you along the path of becoming an educator of excellence. They want to train up the next generation of educators.

Additional information about PLNs

🔎 Chart a course

It is important to take learning into your own hands, so let’s take the wheel and chart a course into your own learning journey. Now is a great time to take learning into your own hands and engage in content that you want to learn more about. Pick an area of interest and dive deep. For example, you can watch archived and live webinars here are a few places to get you started:

If watching webinars are not your jam, then consider reading all that you can. Use access to your university or college library and get articles on a topic that interests you and dig deeper. You may also want to check out the OER Commons and OER Educause for a variety of topics in education.

Friends, professional development doesn’t have to be a sit and get lectures and presentations delivered by your district. With mobile devices being ubiquitous nowadays professional development is just a click away and you are off to the races. There are so many amazing professional development resources out there for you to indulge your teacher brain in! We are all busy professionals, where can we find time to engage in quality resources and learning? That is where professional development on the go comes in! Professional development on the go are resources that you can use while you are o