The 2020-21 school year promises to be a year like no other, but ATPE is here to make the road as smooth as possible. Read on for a few resources that will help you thrive in your new career.
COVID-19 FAQs & Resources
We know your first year won’t be anything like you expected as Texas continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. School districts and individual educators are in uncharted territory. ATPE has developed a list of answers to frequently asked questions from Texas educators regarding COVID-19, as well as a plethora of resources. We will continue to update this information as the environment evolves.
9 Tips for Surviving Your First Year in the Classroom
Starting out as a new teacher in your own classroom can feel overwhelming. Check out this page for a few tips on staying focused and succeeding in your first year.
In this election year, it’s more important than ever to stay up to date on education news and policies. Find all the latest news about legislative issues affecting Texas public education on ATPE’s advocacy blog, TeachtheVote.org.
Classroom Management & Building Community
It’s crucial to establish positive reinforcement and effective disciplinary measures from day one. Check out our classroom management strategies page for tips and tricks on how to ensure a thriving classroom atmosphere. For ideas on how to connect with students and building community in your classroom, read this blog post from August.
Knowing what to expect can help ease stress surrounding observations and evaluations. Check out our FAQs on observations from the Fall 2018 issue of ATPE News, and visit atpe.org/T-TESS, ATPE’s guide to the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (known as the T-TESS)—the most common tool used to evaluate Texas public school teachers. We know that evaluations could look different this year due to the ongoing pandemic, so be sure to check our advocacy blog for the latest rundown on news from the Texas Education Agency.
Finding a Mentor
Many school districts offer a new-teacher mentoring program where new teachers are paired up with veteran teachers who guide them through classroom management, navigating district policies, and more. If your school doesn’t offer this program, cultivate relationships with one or two veteran educators who can provide support.
Chances are you’re going to have a lot of questions about contracts, duties, discipline, special education, and more. Check out ATPE’s free downloadable resource The Answer Key. This ATPE member guide addresses campus concerns with answers to common legal questions—as well as how to make the most of your ATPE membership.
Earn continuing professional education (CPE) credits on your own time with ATPE’s online learning portal at atpe.org/cpe. Here, you’ll find over 80 hours of on-demand CPE, including past SXSW EDU sessions, courses on project-based or social and emotional learning, and webinars on tips and tricks for the classroom.
Your First Classroom
ATPE’s free downloadable guide, Your First Classroom, includes tips on preparing for your first day, setting expectations in the classroom, communicating with colleagues and parents, and much more. Download this essential resource here.
Visit atpe.org/Resources for a wealth of additional resources.
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