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10 Tips For Surviving Your First Year At A New School



How to survive your first year at a NEW school

1. Schedule a tour at the school prior to your start date to meet the administrative staff, secretaries, maintenance staff, and teachers if available. This is a great time to pick up your keys and introduce yourself to some important people. In my experience, the school secretaries and maintenance staff are some of the most helpful people on campus, especially when you’re the newbie!
2. Get a map of the school and learn the layout. You’ll want to know where the gymnasium, lunchroom, ELL class, computer lab, and library all are. Most likely, your kids will be in these places when you go to pick them up for speech.
3. If you are at multiple schools, get to know the procedures for signing in and signing out of your school. The principal is a great resource when it comes to questions like this. Some schools have a strict policy in case of fire alarms or emergencies, they will need to know to account for you or not.
4. Check out your therapy room and determine what furniture you need or don’t need. Do you have enough tables and chairs? Do you have a locked filed cabinet for your speech files?
5. Go through the speech materials left over (if any) and determine what you don’t need AND what you may want to order. Think about your caseload and find out if you have any sort of budget to spend on new materials. (Fingers crossed!)
6. Review your caseload and IEP system. Meet with the school psychologist to find out if you had any new transfers over the summer or any new students that need attention. The school psychologist can be a wonderful resource when it comes to the special education system. Usually, they are super helpful when it comes to paperwork and IEP meetings.
7. Set up email, phone, and voicemail with the IT department. Keep their number handy in case you have any technical issues. Find out which printer your computer prints to and test it out to make sure it works. You will be printing A LOT of paperwork!
8. Attend any back to school breakfasts, staff meetings, or school events and make yourself available to teachers and parents.
9. Bring coffee or treats at some point and invite everyone to come introduce themselves if they haven’t already. I keep a Kuerig in my room all year and it is the best relationship builder. I mean, what teacher doesn’t love coffee?
10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!! Find a staff member that you click with and lean on them for advice and knowledge during this first year!

Good Luck!
Lacee Johnson
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