So, you wanna be a teacher?
Updated: Aug 13, 2019
This month I read “A Wanna Be Teacher’s Guide” By Kathleen Trace. I first met Kathleen last spring as she volunteered to be a virtual co-op for one of my preservice teachers in an edtech class that I was teaching. She worked each week with a future teacher on edtech, feedback, and reflection. Later, I heard her on the EdTech Guy’s podcast share about her book and teaching journey and I knew I had to learn more about Kathleen. Earlier in the month Kathleen and I did a book swap we each read and reviewed each other’s books. I love how A Wanna Be Teacher’s Guide picks up right where EduMagic leaves off.
Let me share some of my favorite parts and takeaways from Kathleen’s book. First, I love that it is written in a conversational style. It immediately puts the reader at ease it’s like having a conversation with a friend about being a new teacher. Throughout her book, Kathleen includes teaching resource examples, syllabi samples, checklists, samples — all the things! It is not only a great read but a fantastic resource for teacher candidates in their senior year during the job hunt and first-year educators (FYI, Kathleen even gives you a list of education acronyms to brush up on before the interview!).
Let me highlight some of my favorite parts in a few of her chapters- you will have to read the rest to find out your favorites! Here we go!
Chapter 1: Teaching
Kathleen starts off with her top 10 list reasons why being a teacher is pretty awesome and I would have to agree! One that I resonate most with is that it keeps you young. Well, it does! Being a professor keeps me young at heart — I may not know all the “lit” lingo but I get to work with young people pursuing their dreams each day. It is so rewarding. One that I would like to build upon is the “in charge” statement. Yes, I agree that in teaching you are in charge - mostly, you want to have students voice and choice in your classroom. You should include them in on decision making, after all, it is their classroom too, right?
Next, she jumps right into the importance of social media as a new teacher. This part really spoke to me as a professor of future teachers, I work with future educators to create professional accounts on social media and to share their work loud and proud! Share it far and wide — you want your future administrator to find you online, you want them to find the positive and professional YOU.
It is mission critical to keep the personal private and the professional public.
Chapter 2: Ed. School
OK friends truth be told I really enjoyed reading this short chapter. One of the phrases I loved in this section was, “As teachers, we are always on”. It is so TRUE! You are ON in and out of your classroom. You are a role model to your students whether you like it or not. In this chapter, she focuses on student teaching and course load. As a teacher and teacher candidate you need to be able to prioritize, time manage, reflect and grow. By focusing in on your learning as a teacher candidate you can learn these vital teaching skills. This chapter really spoke to areas found within EduMagic.
Chapter 5: Planning the first day
If you are a seasoned teacher then you know the first day jitters. I remember my first day of teaching K-12. I had this out of body experience as the students came in I thought to myself, “Where is the adult? Oh yea, that’s me!” Then my teacher training kicked in after that little bit of nerves and I got into greeting students and the welcome lesson straight away. What I love most about this chapter is that is full of practical tips and examples. Kathleen bullet points your must-haves for the first day of school such as a parent letter (yes friends there is an example!), introduction presentation with screen snips from her own presentations (EduMagician tip 💡: Don’t let them know it is your first year!), do attendance in a fun way to get kids up and out of their seats and getting to know each other, and lastly create a list of expectations. Kathleen shares how she goes through with her students. I really enjoyed reading the class expectations instead of rules.
At the end of this chapter, Kathleen details a teacher checklist for the night before the first day of school, how to prepare yourself before the students come in (strike a superhero pose you got this), what to do before you leave for the day, and what to do when you get home. Like I said it is SO practical.
Chapters 9 and 10: Theory vs. Reality
As a professor, I enjoyed reading the perspective of hot topics like NCLB, differentiation, edtech, bloom’ taxonomy, and more. For each of the areas, Kathleen provided an overview of the concept and what that area looks like in the real classroom. Yes knowing these concepts are important to be an educator of excellence. They can help guide you but they may not always look like the way you read about them in your college textbook and that is OK.
All in all Kathleen’s book is fabulous for new teachers it is practical and provides excellent resources for you to reference and use in your own classroom!
Happy reading friends! Let’s connect!