You Are a Teacher…What Now?

Many of the second year students from Werklund School of Education are on their final practicum and well on their way to setting up their new classrooms in September.

Here are a few resources that may help in the transition from student to working teacher.

First is the recent blog post and short video about 17 Things They Didn’t Tell You About Becoming a Teacher.  Keep in mind #1 – your feet will hurt for the first little while.

John Spencer has an interesting blog to follow and a new YouTube Channel entitled, “New Teacher Academy” that is certainly worth a visit and maybe even a “follow.”  Many of his posts are linked to Design Thinking and innovation in your own classroom.  Much of it is positive and provided in digestible bites rather than large, buffet style dishes.


If no one gives you a “New Teacher Card,” make one for yourself and use it often.  There is a culture in every school that is unique and you can not be expected to know all the details in that first year.

The Doucette Library is still here for you.  As an Alumni, you have access to our collection to help with your teaching.  Use the resources you have used in the past in your classroom. That goes for research guides and pinterest boards.  You have access to it all.

Find a mentor in your new school that you feel comfortable with and ask them questions.  In fact, keep an on-going list of questions on your desk for the end of the day when you are tired and have forgotten what went on.

Everything will seem new but take some chances anyway.  The best way to innovate is to jump in and see what works.  Try it with one class and assess the success afterwards.

And,  a little tip for you elementary school teachers that not everyone will tell you…buy some heavy coverage funny pjs in anticipation of Pajama Day.  And matching slippers if you can.  Box them up in your closet and take them out for the day!




Creativity and Design Thinking – A Playlist

Following links highlighted in a recent email subscription led to a wonderful playlist for K-12 teachers about creativity, design thinking and making.  John Spencer is an academic with a background in the trenches of middle school teaching.  He also writes a blog and instructions for maker task development and his playlist on YouTube is fun and engaging.


The playlist begins with The LAUNCH Cycle, a new framework and vocabulary for Design Thinking.  It has much in common with the IDEO Design Thinking snapshot but elaborates on some of the steps more completely.


One of the most interesting videos is “Maker Projects and Design Challenges” that compares the two, pointing out differences when it comes to adapting them to curriculum and to a classroom situation.  This comparison is something I always think about when I am planning a task but is so hard to explain to others.

Each video averages about one and a half minutes.  His animations are interesting.  Videos could be used, initially, for Professional Development to introduce the ideas to teachers and staff and then some could be introduced in the classroom to engage students in the design or making process.

Take a look a John Spencer and his Creative Classroom.  A great start to integrating design thinking and making into your school or classroom.