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New teachers grab supplies, advice at Southwest Florida College event

By Staff | Jul 20, 2011

As the first day of school nears for recent graduate teachers, Southwest Florida College decided to hold a mini-yard sale, along with a question-and-answer session with teachers to help eliminate any feelings of nervousness the newcomers may have.
Almost all of the 20 teachers who graduated from Southwest Florida College in June will begin their first year of teaching on Aug. 1 somewhere in the Lee County School District.
Education Program Manager Angela Wahoff said the events Wednesday night were held for new teachers and educators to be to help prepare them for their first day of teaching on Aug. 8
The mini-yard sale had a large assortment of items to help the teachers stock up their classrooms to keep their students’ attention with books, games and other useful items. The majority of the items for sale were books for the classrooms that were as little as a quarter to 50 cents apiece.
“This is a way for them to stock up on things early on as a discount,” Wahoff said.
She said teachers should have between 6-10 books per child in their classroom library.
Trish Black, who graduated in September 2010, said she will begin her teaching career at James Steven Academy next month. She attended the yard sale to stock up on supplies she wants for her classroom, which mainly consisted of books.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Black said about the sale. “Teachers starting off don’t have a lot of money, so it’s good to get things cheap.”
The second portion of the night included seven current teachers sharing some pointers on how to make the first day of school a success.
“The first day of school sets the tone for the rest of the new year,” Wahoff said. “It’s about getting that momentum for day one.”
Sara Abraham, the principal of Gateway Charter School, hired five graduates from Southwest Florida College to begin their careers at her school next month.
“I come here to look for teachers because I know they get a good education,” she said.
Abraham said she wanted to stop by Wednesday night to support the education program because she said it is a great opportunity for them to stock up on what they need for their classroom, along with receiving good advice for the first day of school.
She thought the mini-yard sale was a good idea because it gives the teachers ideas of what they can do with different items in their classroom.
“It’s an awesome opportunity,” Abraham said.
As far as advice for the first day of school, she said new teachers should not be afraid to ask for help.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you have a question,” Abraham said.
In addition, she said the teachers should buddy up with another teacher who has a couple years under their belt to help answer questions as well.
Other advice from the teacher panel for the first day of school included having a game plan in place without deviating from it no matter what happens throughout the day. As long as there is structure in the teacher’s day, the panel said the kids will remain on schedule.
The panel also said as long as the teacher looks like he or she is in control, the students will follow and listen to instruction.
Although teachers may have rough days throughout the school year, the experienced teachers said they should leave with a smile on their face because every day is a new day.
Some of the items sold during the mini-yard sale will be used to purchase supplies for an upcoming Allied Health Club School Supply event.