Lori Goodson, Editor
Mary Hammel, Technical Editor
Name: Brendan Clary
School district: USD 230
City/State: Spring Hill, KS
Class/content area taught: Computer Science
What you are most excited about with your new career: Opening a brand new building! Having a great facility to build a school community we are proud of!
What you enjoy most about teaching: How every day is different and a new adventure!
Ways your school/district has supported you: Amazing peer teachers around my room support me by answering my hundreds of questions a day, providing opportunities for professional growth and responsibility.
Ways KSU especially helped prepare you for your new career: Matched me up with amazing teachers in the profession for cooperating teachers in student teaching and my other experiences.
Suggestions/encouragement for new teachers: Keep at it, the bad days happen, but remember the great days and keep striving for them.
We asked some of your Curriculum and Instruction professors what five items new teachers need the most in their desk drawer. Here is their growing list of responses. (Feel free to email us your own go-to items in your desk drawer!)
Cyndi Kuhn (Technology) –
- Flash drive
- Power cords for technology (go buy a second set and keep a set at home)
- Your favorite motivational quote, so every time you open that drawer, you are inspired.
Dr. Brad Burenheide (Secondary Social Studies) –
- A great pen
- Flash drive
- A picture of your spouse or significant other to look at when times are rough
Dr. Todd Goodson (Secondary English, Speech/Theatre, Journalism) –
“Forget about the drawers. They will be full of clutter and useless in a week. The most important thing you can have on top of your desk is a book (appropriate for the age group you are teaching) that you are currently reading. If every teacher in the building demonstrated a lifelong love of reading for students, that would do more than any instructional program to improve students’ literacy skills.”
Dr. Sherri Martinie (Secondary Math) –
- Crackers for hungry kids.
Dr. Lori Levin (Literacy) –
- Breath mints
- Band aids
- Granola bars (both for you and for the child who never seems to have had breakfast or bring a snack),
- Chinese take-out menu,
- Lots of post-it notes (invaluable for jotting notes, collecting data, and last-minute exit tickets).
Kaylee Myers (Elementary Education) –
- Safety pins
- Colorful writing pens
- Chapstick (talking lots=dry lips)
Dr. Tom Vontz (Elementary Social Studies) –
- Coffee cup
- Grading folder
- Parent contact info
Dr. Tonnie Martinez (Secondary Language Arts) –
- Mints for the face-to-face conferences (for you and the students)!
- Hand-sanitizing lotion that smells good
- Vending machine change
- Granola Bars
Dr. Vicki Sherbert (Secondary English/Language Arts, Speech/Theatre, Journalism) –
- An extra flash drive
- Colorful pens
- Encouraging notes you’ve received from students and parents
- Tic Tacs
Dr. Phillip Payne (Music Education) –
- Audio recorder
During your winter break, don’t forget to enjoy a few K-State events! Maybe go Bowling in Memphis? Or a little basketball at Bramlage? The campus may get pretty quiet during break, but there is still plenty going on! Here are some purple items to add to your calendar.
- Football, 2019 Autozone Liberty Bowl, K-State vs. Navy, 2;45 p.m. Dec. 31 at Memphis, TN. (Bowl Info)
- Women’s basketball vs. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 2 p.m. Dec. 28 at Bramlage
- Men’s basketball vs. Tulsa, 5 p.m. Dec. 29 at Bramlage
As we move through the school year, please feel free to share the link for this newsletter to anyone who might find it useful. Even if they’re not from the Land of Purple!
Before you walk out your classroom door for a well-deserved winter break, spend a few extra minutes preparing for the new semester that will be here sooner than you think. By taking care of some of these before break, it’ll be a much more welcoming room when you return.
- After the students are gone from the building, tidy your room. (I know – I sound like a parent, don’t I?) Collect stray papers and materials. Get your students’ texts and other resources neatly stacked under their desks on on a book shelf or wherever is appropriate.
- Now clean up your desk. File any extra papers. Make your work area as uncluttered as possible.
- Now – pull out a few resources you’ll need to start the next semester (textbooks, handouts, etc.).
- Make a list of tasks to do once you return from break – no matter how minute they may seem, so you’ll be more prepared when you return.
- Want to try a different room arrangement? Need to streamline the students’ path to some materials? Now is a good time to experiment.
- Take a few minutes to write a brief note or two or verbally thank some people for their support during your first semester. A librarian who signed you up for the computer lab when you forgot? A custodian who cleaned up that spilled coffee for you without even grumbling? An office person who chose not to scold you when you messed up your third purchase order form? (OK–that one is based on personal experience…I’m not sure I EVER filled out a purchase order correctly during my entire teaching career.) Be sure to let them know you appreciate their help.
- Before you close that classroom door and lock up for several days, take one more glance around your room. You’ve made it through the semester! Congrats!
- Now…walk out that door, lock it, and enjoy a rejuvenating break taking care of yourself, spending time with family and friends, and (hopefully!) not grading a single assignment!
As you move through the school year, don’t miss a thing! Be a part of EdCATS!
We want to help beginning and early career teachers like you thrive in your career! Check out #WeAreEdCats for teaching tips and to stay in touch with the COE! Check out the website at coe.k-state.edu/forever-edcats.
Why don’t you send us a photo of you at work in your classroom! Or, do you have a question about classroom procedures? A suggestion for a topic we should address in Before the Bell? Want to add your name to our mailing list? Or provide a different email for our list? At the very least, just email and say hi!
And thanks to all of those who have emailed! We love the updates!
Early-career teachers, feel free to jump in and offer suggestions to those who are following your career choice!
We’d love to hear from you, so please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go, COE Cats!