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In a Class of Your Own

In a Class of Your Own
Essential Strategies for the New K–6 Teacher

August 2010 | 80 pages | Corwin

"This book includes a wealth of practical ideas for the new teacher. Written from a mentor's point of view, it is an excellent resource with relevant topics, concrete real-life examples, and strategies that can be implemented immediately."
—Jane Ching Fung, Kindergarten Teacher/Mentor, Alexander Science Center School, Los Angeles, CA

The field guide you need to become an effective teacher right from the start!

A teacher's early years are marked as much by learning as by teaching. Unraveling the complexities of the students and the classroom can be a challenging process. This guide provides straightforward, practical, and upbeat advice for novice elementary teachers.

Based on her years of experience working with student teachers and new teachers, Rhoda M. Samkoff demystifies the early stages of an education career and offers strategies for handling situations new teachers are likely to face. The book combines examples from real classrooms and advice from experienced teachers to cover a wide range of topics, including planning effective lessons, dealing with specific student behaviors, and communicating with parents. Chapters include:

  • TIPS, or theory-into-practice strategies, that clearly outline workable solutions
  • Frequently asked questions that address common concerns of new teachers
  • Time-saving start-up materials, including forms, rubrics, and checklists

Filled with humor, wisdom, and encouragement throughout, In a Class of Your Own is like a mentor in your very own classroom.

About the Author
1. Preparing
You Are Not Alone

Taking Care of Yourself Before Taking Care of Others

Keeping Your Sense of Humor

Defining Your Role as Teacher

Work Relationships

Community Connections

2. Anticipating
Strategies for Preventing Common Mistakes

Frequently Asked Questions

3. Organizing
Efficient Storage and Retrieval Systems

Purposeful Projects

Using Teaching Space Wisely

Health and Safety First

4. Managing
Keys to Managing Groups

Exercise and Productivity


Handling Paperwork

Behavior Issues and Disciplinary Options

5. Communicating
Miscommunication Happens

Meeting the Parents

The Parent Conference

6. Instructing
Formulating Clear Objectives and a Plan

Differentiating Instruction

Review, Review, Review?


?Take Out Your Homework?

7. Observing and Being Observed
Be Yourself? and Be Prepared

Learning by Observing

8. Respecting
Providing for Differences and Disabilities

Cultural Diversity and Your English Language Learners

Teaching Values

9. Reflecting
Self-Assessment: A Sign of Professional Growth

References and Additional Resources

“This book includes a wealth of practical ideas for the new teacher. Written from a mentor's point of view, it is an excellent resource with relevant topics, easy to read, rich with concrete real-life examples, and filled with strategies that can be implemented immediately.”

Jane Ching Fung, Kindergarten Teacher/Mentor
Alexander Science Center School, Los Angeles, CA

“The contributions from this delightful, caring, mentor-on-the side approach will assure the new educator that all issues can be addressed by working together with resources already available—including this book! The practical T.I.P.S. are a teacher’s gold mine. The book offers a great balance of useful information—very pleasing to the busy teacher’s time palate.”

Cathern Wildey, Adjunct Professor of Education
Nova Southeastern University

“This is a wonderful guide for new teachers. The anecdotes from actual classroom situations help develop a connection between the author and the novice teacher. This helpful guide is practical, upbeat, and the ideas are easy to implement. Everyone needs a positive coach to encourage his/her development as an excellent teacher!"

Patricia Palmer, Sixth-Grade Teacher
Wynford School, Bucyrus, OH
Key features
  • T.I.P.S, or Theory-Into-Practice Strategies, are strategically placed at the beginning of each section within the chapters to provide easy retrieval of workable strategies for teachers
  • Anecdotes from actual classroom situations appear in each chapter
  • Time-saving reproducible "start-up" materials such as forms, rubrics, and checklists are included throughout
  • Frequently Asked Questions, which address many new teachers' concerns, are included at the outset

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: Preparing

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