On the Hunt for Supplies

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In addition to textbooks and other instructional materials, you'll also need nontext supplies to help teach your students.

One of the first things you want to do when you get your first teaching job is to check out the school's supply room or materials center. Survey the various types of supplies available for teachers—everything from pencils to computers. Find out early the procedures and rules for obtaining regular classroom supplies (paper, pencils, cellophane tape, paper clips, etc.) as well as those materials used infrequently (science equipment, maps and globes, charts, etc.).

It's important for you to discover early on where you can obtain various types of technological aides, including such items as videos, films, and filmstrips; computer software; DVDs and CD-ROMs; videodiscs and laser discs; and audiotapes, records, and recorded music.

By locating and determining the availability of these items early, you can make some important decisions regarding the development of your lessons. The success of teaching a specific topic may be determined by the availability of technological materials. Survey early and survey often so you are always prepared.

Your Community: Where the Action Is

Your local community has a wealth of resources available for your classroom. It doesn't matter whether you teach elementary school, middle school, or high school; you can and should take advantage of some of the resources right in your own backyard.

Power to the People!

One very valuable resource, often overlooked by classroom teachers, is people in their local communities. No matter whether you live in a large or small community, you can always find people who can add to your classroom program. These individuals can serve as guest speakers, panel members, seminar leaders, etc. Some potential people resources you may want to consider for various aspects of your classroom program include the following:

airplane pilots environmentalists musicians
astronomers factory workers nurses
biologists farmers nursing home staff
cartographers flight controllers park rangers
college instructors gardeners plumbers
college students geologists professors
conservationists lawyers sanitation workers
cooks librarians scientists
doctors mechanics store owners
druggists medical personnel telephone engineers
ecologists meteorologists veterinarians
electricians museum personnel vocational teachers

On the Home Front

Parents are also a valuable resource for any classroom teacher. You might want to solicit the involvement and contributions of parents with a letter similar to the following:

Letter to Parents:Can You Help Us?

I discuss the role of parents in education in greater detail in Getting Parents Involved.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher © 2005 by Anthony D. Fredericks. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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