Do's and Dont's of Teaching
School policies, legalities, and ethical responsibilities lend themselves to a host of “do’s” and “don’ts.” These will vary by school, district, and state. It is important to know what is expected of you.
- Check the following resources for policies and responsibilities at your school:
- School administrators
- Resource personnel
- Office staff
- Mentor teacher
- Fellow teachers
- School or district handbook
- District-sponsored workshops and professional developments
- Ask before you act. If in doubt, ask to make sure you have clearance.
- Don’t get too comfortable. Stand by the school and/or district policy and protocols.
- Don’t assume anything. The fact that another teacher is doing something outside the school’s policies and protocols doesn’t give you permission to do the same thing.
- Familiarize yourself with the school bell schedule.
- Know what the first morning bell means.
- Know when the school day officially starts.
- Know the recess schedule for your grade level.
- Know the lunch schedule for your grade level.
- Know end-of-day times and procedures.
- Know what the various bell signals mean (for example, “code red,” “lockdown,” “principal needs to call the office”).
- Know the school staff, including job descriptions (who does what), availability, and their base of operations.
- Assistant administrator
- Office staff
- Grade-level lead teachers
- Resource teachers
- Speech and language teachers
- School nurse
- Computer lab coordinator
- Curriculum coordinator
- Union representative
- Plant manager
- Custodial staff
- Cafeteria staff
- Know the school and district policy on reporting child abuse.
- What is considered child abuse?
- When do I report child abuse?
- To whom do I report?
- What paperwork is necessary to properly report child abuse?
- Know how to arrange for a substitute teacher.
- How do I request a substitute? What is the phone number to use for requesting one?
- How do I prepare for a substitute?
- Is there a school-recommended list of substitute teachers?
- Know your grade-level chairs, representatives, and lead teachers.
- Teachers in these roles understand grade-level standards.
- These teachers are especially familiar with school policy, paperwork, and deadlines.
- Understand your contract and know what is expected of you as a certificated employee with your district.
- Know your rights.
- Know how to request a day off and arrange for a substitute teacher.
- Know what constitutes sexual harassment.
- Know the procedures for the formal evaluation process.
- Know your required contract hours for the school day.
- Know the mandated professional development schedule and requirements for curriculum training.
- Know if you are required to register for any new or beginning teacher training programs.
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