It’s time to get organized! No matter what time of year it is, it’s never too early to start planning for your teaching placement. You’ll soon need to be ready with your materials, lesson plans, observations, and more. If you plan things out beforehand, it will be easier to get organized and make the most of your teaching placement experience. Follow this guide to get yourself ready in time for your first day.
Make the most of your education.
You want your associates in early childhood education degree to come from a reputable school. Schools that offer early childhood education associate degrees have special requirements that are geared toward getting you ready for your future career. Since most associate degrees require general education courses (and many programs only include a limited number of education classes), students should make sure they choose a school that emphasizes early childhood education rather than trying to mix in as many classes as possible. By narrowing down your list of schools, you can narrow down your list of courses and focus more specifically on your field of study.
Make wise wardrobe choices.
You want to make a good impression with your appearance, but you’ll likely be moving around a lot during your placement. So comfortable, yet attractive, clothing is key. Invest in some pull on straight leg jeans that can be cuffed with flats or ballet slippers. A top should be solid-colored and non-clingy. A button-down shirt is a good choice if you don’t like polos. Put it under a stylish blazer that can be removed if needed and wear with your straight-leg jeans. Another option is to choose an attractive, well-fitted wrap dress. Wrap dresses are flattering for many body types and are comfortable on extended standing days. Don’t forget your accessories: flat but fashionable shoes and minimalist jewelry, if you feel like wearing any at all.
It’s tempting to think that you can remember all of your tasks, but when you have multiple things on your plate, it’s hard to keep track of everything. At times like these, checklists are invaluable, as they keep you from leaving anything out and help you stay organized. To get started, write down a list of every task you need to accomplish over a two-week period (this gives you enough time for those items that require more than a day or two). As with getting organized in general, writing things down makes them much easier to remember later. And when paired with checklists, it also makes sure that nothing slips through the cracks.
Label and code everything.
This may seem a little OCD, but labeling and color-coding everything is a great way to get started and keep you from feeling overwhelmed. All your binders and notebooks should have labels right on them that include your name, school district, grade level, and what you’re using it for. And make sure they’re easy to find. Nothing’s worse than trying to find an entire binder in a sea of binders! Label folders, bookshelves, and binders according to topic so you can easily find what you need when it comes time for planning lessons or grading papers.
Visit the school before your placement.
Visiting your school in advance can help put you at ease before you begin your placement. If possible, try to visit during a typical day so that you can get a sense of how students come in, what their daily schedule is like, and what is expected of them. It will also help you figure out how to best commute to school as well as helping to familiarize yourself with potential office locations. Many schools also have information sessions or orientations that are helpful in getting acclimated with your specific program or school.