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Re: Requesting input for "beginning teachers" needs list

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From: Sharon Henneborn (heneborn_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun May 23 2004 - 07:34:21 PDT


Well said, Maggie! I remember one custodian in my early years injured
her hand and couldn't set her hair for the weekend. It was a crisis
for her to have her hair set for church on Sunday. She brought in all
her "equipment" every Friday and I set her hair into curlers after
school dismissed. Took me just a few minutes once a week. Over the
years she saved me from quite a few disasters including saving several
boxes of matted work ready for carrying to the district art exhibit.
The principal had thrown them into the trash and she spotted them.

Sometimes they can be quite costic but a smile and saying something
like, "So what do you need me to do to make this better?" will most of
the time get the worst of them working with you.

Thanks for contributing to my list.

Sharon Henneborn wrote:

> This is a request for Dale and all other beginning teachers. What
> would you have wanted to know before you were thrust out into the
> classroom. I remember the best advice I got was from the librarian
> the week before graduation. He said, "This is my graduation advice to
> you. Make friends with the custodian from the first day!"

This is essentially the only useful thing I learned from my co-op
teacher, 22 years ago, though he also included the secretaries. It's
been the single most useful advice I've received and used, and I used
it A LOT this year at the new school. I included the warehouse manager
in this cadre as well.

Introduce yourself, bake them cookies, compliment them, chat with them,
listen to their grievances, thank them profusely, suck up to 'em big
time...it pays incredible dividends.

BTW, I'm preparing a proposal for NAEA on how to survive your first
year of middle school, and this is some of the advice I'll be giving
out.

Maggie

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