Dear Future Teacher... Week 2

This week I’m linking up with the Dirt Road Teacher and several other awesome teacher bloggers to discuss tips for new teachers.  But veteran teachers…stick around!   I think you'll find a lot of great tips as well, to get your school year started off right!!! 
Since I teach middle school, my schedule is obviously different than elementary teachers.  We have six 60 minute periods each day, with the exception of 3rd period, which is extended due to lunch.  Although I only teach English/Language Arts (and I use the term 'only' very loosely), this certainly doesn't mean that each class does the same thing.  I teach all levels, ranging from advanced to general, so each class is going to look somewhat different.  They may all share the same objectives, but how I differentiate for each class (or even each individual/group) will be somewhat different.  

At our school the ELA dept. writes, on average, 4 units, and we complete 1 unit each quarter.  This allows our students to all learn the same objectives/skills in a certain quarter, but how we teach the objectives may be different.  For example, to the right are the basic concepts we're teaching in unit 4, but we may use different novels, short stories, etc. in doing this.  

In regards to my lesson plans, I use a FREE website called Chalk, which is incredible!  It allows you to upload any documents, videos, Common Core Standards, etc. and you can include as many classes as necessary.  For instance, if you teach 4 different classes, you can set each of these up and add the lessons plans for each course.  I explained this in depth here, and included a couple tutorials on how to use Chalk, as well.  

A couple of lessons I always use at the beginning of the year are my Student Interest Task Cards and Student Interest Survey.  They're both a great way to get to know your students and can be used for grades 4 and up.  

Check out more tips from other teacher bloggers below:


  1. Thanks for sharing! It is always so nice to see how others set up their schedules too!!

    A Teacher Mom

  2. Thanks for the tips! I will have to check out the Chalk site for sure!

  3. It's nice to read about middle school schedules. Thanks for sharing so many nice resources!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you liked it!