Resources New Teachers Can Use Next Semester

By the mid-point in the year, you’ve already gotten your feet wet as a new teacher, have had your first parent-teacher conferences, and have likely followed the advice of the Wongs in The First Days of School. You’ve made some lesson plans that worked and others that didn’t.

As you take a breather from school for the holiday break, you may be planning how to structure your spring semester. Luckily, there are many resources out there that benefit new teachers. Resources new teachers can use in the spring semester include Google Arts & Culture, other teachers at the school, and local museums. Here are resources new teachers can use next semester:

Resource #1 for new teachers: the National Education Association (NEA)

The NEA’s support of both education and teachers is apparent in the wealth of information available on its website. There are archives with lesson plans and teaching strategies, as well as articles and resources that pertain to classroom management and other aspects of teaching. Lesson plans can be filtered by grade level, month, and subject.

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Resource #2 for new teachers: cultural centers, libraries, and local museums

Remember to visit local cultural centers, libraries, and museums in your town or in neighboring towns. Such places will often have student-specific programming that you can take advantage of if you’re able to visit with your class. Some may even offer lesson plans or resources that can help you introduce the field trip or extend concepts beyond the visit. If a location doesn’t have programming, don’t be afraid to ask—many are willing to work with you to put together an experience that will benefit your students. You can also try less obvious places that will stretch your students in productive ways, such as:

  • Community food pantries

  • Community gardens

  • Recycling centers

Resource #3 for new teachers: other instructors at your school

This is perhaps the most underrated resource you can find. Especially as a new teacher, your hands may be full throughout the day, with little time to speak with colleagues beyond required meetings. If you’re able to carve out the time, get in touch with teachers at your school whose teaching style you admire or whose projects have inspired you in some way. Teachers of all ages and experiences have a great deal to offer. Any teacher who has been at your school longer than you will also have an added perspective on what may work with your administration, students, and parents.

Resource #4 for new teachers: SchoolTube and TeacherTube

We’re all familiar with YouTube, but you may not know about TeacherTube or SchoolTube. Both are free resources where you can find student-friendly videos on a range of topics. As a community member of TeacherTube, you can upload your own videos in addition to browsing hundreds of others. You can attach supplemental files to your videos too. In addition, you can join or create groups to connect with other educators who share your interests, which builds community and multiplies resources. SchoolTube is a similar platform that collects, as its tagline says, “The best videos from students and teachers everywhere.” Try either out to add a multimedia aspect to your classroom.

[RELATED: 5 Benefits of Using Videos to Learn]

Resource #5 for new teachers: Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture is a virtual museum that brings together documents, photographs, videos, and other items from a number of institutions around the world. Through Google Arts & Culture, you can take a virtual field trip with your students that you may not otherwise be able to afford, both in time and money. You can also use it as a resource for a history project or interdisciplinary project, or find lesson plans through the World Wonders education project.

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Beyond these resources, try to seek out professional development besides that which is required on professional development days. Your principal may have funds or other ways to support you as you learn and grow as an educator. Don’t try everything at once; take your time implementing new strategies so you don’t overwhelm yourself in this exciting first year.


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