Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What Teachers Need to Know but May be Afraid to Ask

The other day while on a walk with the family, my 10 year old asked us to solve the following riddle, “Mary’s mother had four daughters, their names were April, May, June, and what was the fourth daughter’s name?”  He smiled knowingly while the rest of us paused to consider the question and attempt to solve it.  Of course it’s one of those questions that you know the most obvious answer is the wrong one and the correct answer is right in front of you but you don’t see it.  When someone is new to the profession, or even just new to a building or position, there will be many questions and often time’s people are afraid to ask for fear the answer is right in front of them.  As you walk down the freshly waxed hallways this September and see the faces of your new colleagues, remind yourself that what is obvious to you may not be to them.  The fourth daughter is named Mary.

  • What does that acronym stand for?
  • What assessments am I required to give and when?
  • How do my colleagues and fellow staff members prefer to be addressed in the presence of students?
  • How do I get the supplies and materials I need?
  • What protocols are followed if I am having a volunteer or guest speaker visit the classroom?
  • Are there any passwords I need to have? (Copiers, printers, laminators, computers, tablets…)
  • Who are the individuals I need to introduce myself to as soon as possible? (Custodians, secretaries, specialists, department heads, technology director…)
  • Where is that room located?
  • What committees should I consider joining?
  • What traditions exist?

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