Making New Teachers Feel Welcome!

Our school system revitalized the mentorship program, and I spent my afternoon trying to put together a “care package” for our new English teachers.  I probably spent way more time thinking about this than I should have, but it was either this or dusting my classroom.  I really dislike dusting.

The gift boxes...

The gift boxes…

If you have new teachers at your school– whether you’re a mentor or not– remember to make them feel special and supported during their first weeks.  Feel free to adapt this list to your own subject area, budget, etc.  Even a simple gesture like a coffee or a candy bar can go a long way when one starts to feel overwhelmed.

Your Box o’ Stuff: A Gift from Your English Peeps

  • Recycled Notebook

Because you need to remember to see worth in the students that others have passed by

  • Tissue

Because you or the students may be sick or crying and some students may just need to stretch their legs (And because it’s hard to teach if you’re not at school and hard for your students to learn if they’re absent)

  • BandAids

Because people get hurt (and because someone is going to try to get out of class and go to the nurse for a Bandaid and you’re going to have a Bandaid ready and shut that down)

  • Hand Sanitizer

Because some of our students are gross (and because they deserve love, high fives, and fist bumps, too)

  • Magnets

Because you need a place to hang the many flyers that will end up in your mailbox and to showcase exemplary student work

  • Wall Hanging Mounts

Because you will want to take pride in your environment and provide your students with a place that makes them want to learn (And there’s a good chance someone will go crazy if you use duct tape or hot glue on these new walls)

  • Post-Its and Stick-Its

Because you will feel overwhelmed with the amount of information coming your way in the next few weeks and now is the time to employ all those note-taking strategies you teach your students

  • Highlighters

Because you should never forego an opportunity to shine light on those who have gone above and beyond

  • Binder Clips

Because organization keeps you from losing papers (and your mind)

  • Electronic Wipes

Because we are blessed with technology and we want to take care of it (And remember to organize and plug-in classroom iPad and lap top carts or you WILL hear about it)

  • Red Pens

Because students need consistent constructive feedback from you and from each other

  • Purple Pens

Because students also need positive praise from you and from each other

  • Pencils

Because students who are forgetful or lacking shouldn’t be punished academically for failing to have supplies on hand (Just give them a pencil, book, paper, etc. There are bigger battles to fight.)

  • Thank You cards

Because you will want to thank people like Phillis Gaines, Nancy Reyes, Becky Ruhlman, Wanda Neilson, Judi Brown, Dotty Miller, Mrs. Oliver, Mrs. Huskey, the counselors, assistant principals, Mrs. Lambert, and especially the janitors, because they will take care of you

  • Tech Tip Sheet

Because you will want to showcase all your accomplishments and ask for advice when you need it

  • Popcorn

Because it’s going to take a few days to get back into our school schedule (a 12:40-ish lunch time is a loooong time to wait until our tummies adjust to the schedule)

  • Relaxing Face Mask

Because you’re going to be tired and maybe even cranky (And you deserve some me-time so that you can face the little monsters… um, students… tomorrow with your best self.)

  • Hot Chocolate

Because it’s chocolate… Duh! (And because you need to reward yourself for bell-to-bell, engaging instruction, efficient classroom procedures, and fair but firm classroom management)

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