Kansas State University


College of Education

Category: December 2015

Before You Lock That Door

hand with keyBefore 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? 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!

So…What Should You Have in Your Desk Drawer?

desk-drawerWe asked some of your Curriculum and Instruction professors what five items new teachers need the most in their desk drawer. Here are some of their responses:

Dr. Brad Burenheide (Secondary Social Studies)

  1. Gum
  2. Notecards
  3. A great pen
  4. Flash drive
  5. A picture of your spouse or significant other to look at when times are rough

Dr. Sherri Martinie (Secondary Math) Crackers for hungry kids.

Dr. Tom Vontz (Elementary Social Studies)

  1. Coffee cup
  2. Kleenex
  3. Laptop
  4. Grading folder
  5. Parent contact info

Dr. Vicki Sherbert (Secondary English/Language Arts, Speech/Theatre, Journalism)

  1. Band-aids
  2. An extra flash drive
  3. Colorful pens
  4. Encouraging notes you’ve received from students and parents
  5. Tic Tacs

Dr. Phillip Payne (Music Education) –

  1. White-out
  2. Calculator
  3. Pencils
  4. Pens
  5. Audio recorder

Put Some Purple Into Your Break

basketball-footballDuring your winter break, don’t forget to enjoy a few K-State events!
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:

Women’s basketball vs. Western Illinois, 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at Bramlage
Men’s basketball vs. North Dakota, 7 p.m. Dec. 22 at Bramlage
Men’s basketball vs. St. Louis, 7 p.m. Dec. 29 at Bramlage
Women’s basketball vs. Iowa State, 7 p.m. Dec. 30 at Bramlage
Men’s basketball vs. West Virginia, 11 a.m. Jan. 2 at Bramlage
Football, Liberty Bowl, Arkansas vs. K-State, 2:20 p.m. Jan. 2 in Memphis, TN

In the Classroom

Lisa Mead, a recent graduate of KSU, works with students in her classroom at Decatur Community High School. She teaches American Government, U.S. History, and World History. “It has been a good year so far. I am starting to feel like I am getting the hang of this teaching thing,” she says. She’s also created a classroom library. “My students have used it quite a lot so far; they seem to like the selection of books I have.”

Keep In Touch: Send Me an Email!

e-mail iconDo you have a question about classroom procedures? Or 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 mailing list? Or, if you’re in your first year of teaching, send us a photo of you at work in your classroom!

Second-year 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 lagoodson@k-state.edu.

Go, COE Cats!