Teaching is an exhilarating experience, and there is still much to learn once you enter the classroom after certification. It can be overwhelming as you work to develop an understanding of your students and their parents, learn about your school environment and culture, and forge new relationships with colleagues. It is important to find support along the way.
As a novice teacher, time is not your friend. There is so much to do every day! Nonetheless, you will want to find resources and information that are readily available when you need them. That is the purpose of this site. The basics of teaching are at your fingertips. I have included ideas and strategies about typical areas of practice, challenges and professional learning that interest most novice teachers.
The blogs provide concise and manageable techniques or "recipes" about a variety of topics. Step-by step procedures, checklists, and streamlined explanations serve to deconstruct teaching elements for your immediate use. Because this resource is meant to be a quick access guide, only the basics are included. Additionally, I would love to hear from you through our chat box if you have any questions or needs. You are welcome to share your own experiences to support others in their growth, too. I am sure you have lots ideas that could serve to inspire your fellow educators.
Throughout the blog postings I relate the basics of teaching to the fundamentals of cooking. The principles to become a master teacher or chef are the same. The comparison struck me while watching a Food Network show, Beat Bobby Flay. Bobby Flay fascinates me. There are applicable lessons to be learned as he rarely loses cooking competitions – even if he never cooked a particular dish before a given contest. Hopeful chefs come to Bobby’s show and identify their “best dishes” to challenge his expertise. After a 45 minute showdown, professional judges complete a blind taste test to determine the contest winner. Why does Bobby win most of the time? What makes him a master chef? I have analyzed his approach while watching over 50 shows. I learned his methods, labeled them the “Bobby Flay Formula” and applied them to teaching.
Regardless of the entrée or ethnicity of the dish, Bobby follows basic rules that serve as a nonnegotiable foundation to his culinary creations. He starts with the science of cooking and then adds the art. First, the science. He selects ingredients that complement each other. His decisions on whether to bake, roast, fry or broil are purposeful. He uses the right tool for the right job. His timing is impeccable. Then the art. Bobby often creates a nontraditional variation of a dish that is so extraordinary in its flavors, textures, and presentation that he is an easy winner.
What makes Bobby’s approach different from that of his competitors? His rivals often deviate from the basics in an attempt to show their creativity. Too bad. Art needs to come on the wings of sound methodology. The same holds true for teaching. If you spend your first years mastering the essential components of evidence –based practices, you will be as competent as Bobby Flay. This blog provides the scientific recipes that will build your foundation.
Know the terminology of your practices. Be able to share your intentions and methods with your mentors, coaches and administrators. Be open to feedback from the experts in your field. Enjoy the journey and remember that you have support.