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I wrote the following post on Edubloggers – a group for those people blogging about the K12 classroom including teachers, administrators, curriculum directors, professional developers, pre-service teachers, and college level educators who focus on k12 education.:

Please share with me websites or resources that would be helpful to future and preservice teachers. I am the site author of roadtoteaching.com – a free site that supports pre-service teachers.

Here are the responses:

  1. http://www.abcte.org – non-profit that helps people get certified to teach through an online program – we have $150 off in January as a promotion for people who want to get certified
    http://www.charterteacher.com – help for future charter teachers
    http://www.newteacherhotline.com – podcast for new and aspiring teachers
  2. New Teacher Center: http://www.newteachercenter.org – Since 1998, the New Teacher Center has served over 49,000 teachers and 5,000 mentors, touching millions of students across the country through comprehensive mentoring and professional development programs.
  3. http://www.cashforcreations.com – Educational Visual Aids, where teachers get paid for their original ideas of educational visual aids. Teachers can find other visual aids that teachers have used that have worked for them in their classrooms.
  4. I have a message board for pre-service and new teachers and answer questions about curriculum, organization, classroom management, working with parents, colleagues, administrators, etc. on scholastic.com. Advice is free. ūüôā
    http://community.scholastic.com/scholastic/board?board.id=emergency
  5. A few more ideas: for parental involvement, especially with the growing Latino student population, try Colorin Colorado at www.colorincolorado.org. On my LinkedIn profile page there is a list of sites specifically for improving parental involvement. Another idea is Teachers Pay Teachers at www.teacherspayteachers.com. It contains a lot of inexpensive resources that will benefit new teachers. I also suggest connecting with professional learning communities like edWeb at www.edweb.net. Good luck!

RESOURCES

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    Walking to my classroom I casually looked into the classrooms as I passed.¬† I was struck by the number¬†of teachers on their computers.¬† My observation occurred during the first 10 minutes of class, so they were probably doing attendance or something school-related.¬† Yet, I started to reflect on how technologically connected we are, especially as teachers.¬† I receive at least 25 emails to my school email.¬† I take attendance and enter grades on-line.¬† I check district and school announcements and retrieve forms from on-line (SharePoint).¬† All my curriculum is saved electronically.¬† It’s as if everything in terms of support and administration is computer-based.¬†¬†Then, when I go home I check my personal email (35+), blog, check¬†Facebook, on-line bank, and read, read, read various¬†on-line articles.

    I started wondering about whether technology immersion is a good thing or a bad thing.  I started examining my use of technology and asking questions:

    • How many hours do we spend in a front of our computers during school time?¬†
    • What % of¬†our time on the computer¬†directly relates to teaching and improving student achievement?
    • What % of our time on the computer is productive (school-related)?

    Here’s a breakdown of the time I tracked in a recent planning period:

    • Checked new emails (15 approx.)¬† – 10 minutes
    • Responded to 3 emails –¬† 10 minutes
    • Checked the latest news (ummm… education news) – 5 minutes
    • Cleaned off my desk – 2 minutes
    • Checked incoming, pop up email – 1 minute
    • Returned to cleaning off my desk – 1 minute
    • Started to enter grades in on the computer, but was interrupted by another incoming message – 2 minutes
    • Resumed entering grades – 10 minutes
    • Interrupted by a teacher asking if I could attend an IEP meeting.¬† I checked my calendar (on my computer) – 3 minutes
    • Entered meeting time/date into Outlook calendar – 1 minute
    • Finished entering grades – 3 minutes¬†(running time 48 minutes)
    • Started to enter attendance on paper forms and computer -4 minutes+

    I was struck by two important things.¬† One, I was on my computer almost the entire time.¬† Second, I didn’t do any planning.¬† Zippo.¬† Zero.¬† This last point is what frustrates me the most.¬† I felt like I was just doing “stuff.”

    It was experiment time.¬† For my next planning period I was going to do things different.¬† I made a to-do list (one of my favorite things) and determined how much time I need on the computer.¬† I allotted myself 5 minutes to email, forcing me to quickly prioritize important email and simply delete irrelevant email.¬† Next, I eliminated electronic¬†distractions.¬† I closed Outlook, so I wouldn’t get side tracked by those annoying pop-up email notifiers.¬† Also, I closed my browser, avoiding any temptations to read the latest news.¬† Giving myself only 25 minutes, I lesson planned.¬† I brought up my Word template and the creative juices flowed.¬† It was brilliant.¬† After those 25 minutes I turned off the computer.¬† I sat in the corner¬†of my classroom¬†¬†away from all things electronic and just brainstormed and planned the remaining curriculum for my semester class.¬† I didn’t finish, but I accomplished a lot more than my previous planning period.

    What’s your thoughts?.¬† Do you think technology is interfering with teaching?¬† Do you believe the opposite?¬† What are you tricks/strategies in dealing with technology overload?

    A total of nine new books were added to the Teacher Recommended Books page.  These books were recommended via email by student teachers and experienced teachers.

    One resource that I thought was beneficial was the ASCD SmartBrief. ¬†It’s a free service that ”¬†brings you the K-12 education news that really matters. (ASCD) editors handpick key articles from hundreds of publications, do a brief summary of each and provide links back to the original sources.”

    Do you have a book you want to share?  Email us your book recommendations at eric@road2teaching.com.

    I updated the Teacher Candidate Sample Interview Questions PDF to include over 100 questions.  Feel free to forward this PDF to any teacher preparing for an interview.

    For even more sample teacher interview questions, visit our Teacher Interview Questions page.  There are close to 200 teacher interview questions.

    For additional strategies, relating to finding a teacher job, then check out the book  Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job.  You can purchase a print version or the e-book version.

    E-book version – $8.99 (Lulu.com)

    Print version – $13.99 (Amazon.com)

    Additional Resource Links

    Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job

    List of Teacher Interview Questions

    Teacher Interview Questions Page

    I cleaned up the website today. I added some additional teacher interview questions. I added a new welcome page that is static. These were are necessary to ensure the website / blog continues to grow. So far, the unique visitors to the website is growing each day. However, I am still concerned that very few visitors post, comment, or email any resources that could help other teachers. My hope is as this website begins to gain momentum that more and more teachers will contribute. Please submit (blog, post comment, email) your recommendations on books, website links, stories, and interview questions that you believe would benefit other teachers.

    I have been thinking about how to design Road to Teaching, so that it makes the most sense for student teachers.¬† One change you will see over the next week is I am going to add a contributor page.¬† These are education professions with a diverse background (education professors, teachers, administrators, etc.).¬† As a person in an education program you will be able to blog or email these contributors directly any question you may have?¬† For example, a student teacher may email the elementary teacher asking what numeric games works well with younger children.¬† Or a preservice teacher may email an administrator asking how long should he/she wait to follow-up after an interview.¬† These contributors have expressed a sincere desire to support individuals in teacher education programs, so please don’t hold back.

    To be honest, this is my first blog. Previously I maintained a static website for student teachers, but I was unsatisfied with how little it connected and interacted with aspiring teachers. It is my hope with this format teachers will better support each other, ask questions, seek advice, reflect on successes and failures, give encouragement, share funny stories, and, overall, create an unique community to help student teachers transition into effective teachers in their own classrooms.

    Before launching this website I had some distinct changes that I wanted to implement.¬† First, I wanted to create a place where preservice teachers could go to seek advice.¬† I remember from my own experience how difficult it can be to get advice.¬† In particular I remember one of my friends was having trouble with his cooperating teacher (CT).¬† My friend tried to resolve the issues with his CT, but it didn’t work.¬† He was afraid to approach his university supervisor because he felt that would reflect in his student teacher evaluation.¬† His issues went unresolved and he received a poor recommendation from his CT.¬† This is a situation that could have been addressed here.¬†

    Within the next few weeks I will be bringing on a panel of contributors with varied perspectives:

    • Master teachers
    • Beginning teachers
    • Administrators
    • University education professors

    These individuals will be able to address the concerns or questions (big and small) student and beginning teachers may have.  For example, a teacher may ask an adminstrator what types of questions could one expect in an interview. Or, a teacher may ask what is a great vocabulary strategy for 5th graders. 

    Another change I wanted to make was having the content driven, not by me, but by preservice, student, and beginning teachers.  This website is about supporting you, and it should be centered around meeting your needs, your questions, and your concerns.  To make this happen, I created a Join Us page.  This outlines how to be an author on the website, so you can freely blog.

    Also, feel free to email me at eric@road2teaching.com.  I love to hear suggestions, education resource recommendations (e.g. books, links), and constructive feedback on how to improve this website.

    Thank you for visiting.

    Eric