My advice to a good friend starting his first teaching position Monday with New Teacher Orientation:
- Get all the free stuff you can (some bigger districts have Office Max, Grad Schools, etc. handing out free stuff).
- Join your union. Even if your union doesn’t have a lot of power in your state and even if you think the fees are a lot. Most unions will provide you with a lawyer (and some give you insurance) in the case that you are sued. Also, if there are problems with how you are evaluated or, god forbid moves to let you go, the union is the only help you will have. Don’t join the union? You won’t have help.
- Bring a snack. I always get hungry.
- Bring a jacket if the place holding it is air conditioned. I always freeze at these.
- Smile. Everyone is a little nervous.
- If there is a really good presenter (which does not always happen), make sure to write a name down so you can send a thank you card. It is just good form.
- Make sure your phone is on vibrate. You don’t want to be that person.
- It is ok if you forget most of the clerical stuff they go over. You’ll hear it at least 10 more times.
That’s all I have for those orientation days. Anyone else have something to add?