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One of the many benefits of joining eNotes.com is Teacher’s Corner.
In addition to lesson plans, study guides, activities and teacher communities, there are teachers’ “Tips of the Month.”
This February, the new author of Teacher’s Corner is eNotes editor Susan Hurn.
Here are her tips for February. The topic is “Expect the Unexpected New Student.”
Sometimes, even though the term is well under way, a new student joins your class unexpectedly. According to Hurn, being surprised does not mean having to be unprepared.
She offers these tips to make certain you are ready to welcome the new student.
- You can prepare a “Welcome to Class” packet (make several) and have it ready to hand to any new student. It might contain a copy of the course syllabus, a description of the class, information about grading, attendance, and class policies. Include a friendly note introducing yourself.
- Designate a “New Student Pal” for each class. His or her role will be to welcome the new student, and say “Sit next to me.” Whoever sits next to the new student pal understands that they will move (you can organize the seating chart later) so the new student immediately has a seat to sit in. The designated pal can share his or her notes and textbook for the time being. (Hurn says that her students used to lobby for the job.)
- Have a “Getting to Know You” questionnaire to hand to your new student at the end of this first class. It is to be returned later. This shows you are interested in her or him and want to know more about them. Ask about favorite music, sport, hobby. Where might you like to go in the world? What makes you crazy about school; what can I do to help you in class? These questions allow students to express themselves; they also give you insight into how to help them as they adjust to the new situation.
This “Tip of the Month” can be found on the Teacher’s Corner, February 2011, at http://www.enotes.com. The site is an educational resource used by millions of teachers and students. There are thousands of literature study guides, lesson plans, literary criticism, and a vibrant community that you can join.
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