When you are in your first year of teaching it can be a huge challenge to navigate all of your responsibilities. One of the biggest challenges for a first-year teacher, either completely new or in a new grade-level or content area, is content delivery. There is a lot to take in, a lot to prepare for, a lot to overwhelm you.
Chances are new teachers will walk into some sort of program or established curriculum including lesson templates, resources for delivering content, power points slide shows, and consumables. I highly recommend you use all of those resources to their fullest potential. It is going to be very challenging for you to have time and the ability to create a ton of new resources and content in your first year.
The main focus for a year one teacher during content delivery is to observe to how students are learning the content. What are the specific things they are struggling with and thriving with? What are the ways you had to adjust your language or the way you were approaching lessons? These are the ideas to think about as you teach content for the first time.
Year 1 is not the time to create a ton of resources, projects, or redesign the way units operate. It’s the time to look at how the student effectively and ineffectively learns the content and standards you are in charge of teaching. For skill-based subjects such as Math, Science, and ELA, ask these important questions:
How is the content delivery method increasing the number of students succeeding or struggling?
What were the ways you had to teach it the second or third time to get the students to click?
Could you teach that way the first time next year?
What are the ways the students are really grasping an understanding of the content?
For more of an informational subject like social studies for informational science units:
What are the concepts you are teaching that engages the students?
What are the concepts or methods that increase understanding?
What are the concepts or methods where students can make real-world connections?
What are the big topics that they are struggling to wrap their heads around?
Focus on what the students are doing during the learning to help build your approach towards year two. Year two will allow you to tackle some of the other strategies we will talk about later. Year one, sit and reflect during the lesson and after the lesson how the students interact with the ways you were teaching and what are the best ways to do it moving forward. If you can pull those concepts and takeaways out in year one, you will be in a position to tackle year two in a completely different mindset. You can start to think about other things to redefine and enhance your teaching practice. Year one, I highly recommend you focus on how the students interacted with their learning and what allowed them to learn to their fullest potential.