“A must-read for all teacher candidates and beginning educators,
and an inspiration for veteran teachers.”
– Dorothea Bryant: Professionally Speaking, The Magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers
I wrote this book because it is exactly what I needed when I first began teaching. I’ve included everything I wish other teachers would have told me in my first year – little tricks that would have made my first year so much easier and helped my stress levels immensely! Of course, the first year of teaching is always challenging, but in order to thrive and not just survive, you will need some support. Remember, you’re not alone. Every teacher needs help.
This book is my offer of support. Inside you’ll find practical strategies, numerous ideas, and activities that you can reproduce and use immediately. Each chapter focuses on one of the six most common problems faced by beginning teachers: classroom management, student motivation, assessment, meeting the unique needs of each student, developing positive relationships with parents, and handling job stress. I’ve also added chapters that give practical and specific advice for setting up your first classroom, for having fun while establishing class rules in your first days and weeks of teaching, and for finishing the year with memories that you and your students will cherish! And the best part? I include over 100 fun and easy templates in the appendix for you to print and use with your students right away.
What are educators saying about The Beginning Teacher’s Handbook?
“As a part of our New Teacher Induction process, all teachers are given two resources to utilize. One is The First Days of School book by Harry Wong, which has sold over 3 million copies. The other resource is Lori Friesen’s The Beginning Teacher’s Handbook for Elementary School. It is a great tool that provides new elementary teachers with many practical ideas and applications. The value of this book is apparent when I have veteran, experienced teachers requesting copies of their own.” – Lowell S. Leffler, Deputy Superintendent, Prairie Rose School Division #8
“Lori, I am sure that you get praise like this all of the time because you are, well AWESOME! My name is Cailin M. and I am a pre-service education student. I get so inspired by you every time I see you or hear you speak of teaching. I am so incredibly passionate about teaching, that I can’t quite put it into words and you definitely encompass what teaching should be like and your passion is contagious. Just thought you should know this.” – Cailin M.
“Excellent ideas! Thank you! You took some weight off of our shoulders.” – Andy R.
“Hi Lori, I attended your session on Friday morning and found it extremely helpful. You are a very inspirational person full of astounding ideas. I was trying to frantically write down as many ideas as I could, because they were all so great. Anyway, I didn’t have my wallet with me at the convention and I would really like to purchase your book. Could you let me know where I can find one? Thanks again for all your awesome ideas, I aspire to be a gathered, passionate teacher such as yourself one day.” – Jessica C.
“Some great tools for classroom management, set up and teaching strategies.” – Sheri B.
“I attended your fantastic session at Teacher’s Convention and purchased your book, which I’m already implementing parts of today. (Great stuff!) You have given me new insight and have allowed me to put my job back into perspective – I’m a first year teacher and I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels trying to make sense of everything. You’ve provided me with many invaluable tips that will (hopefully) help me keep my job for another year 🙂 I was also talking to a number of people who attended your session, and all of them said it was among the best they went to at Convention this year, so kudos to you!” – Selena R.
“Awesome book! These are the little details about teaching that I did not learn from my four years of university.” – Jacob N.
Professionally Speaking, The Magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers, lists
The Beginning Teacher’s Handbook for Elementary School
as a MUST READ RESOURCE for educators:
When an author says that her book is a direct consequence of her own needs as a beginning teacher, her credibility spikes and she has me reading on. This carefully organized book presents practical ideas for establishing an engaging learning environment. An appendix supplements strategies and provides easy-to-print classroom resources.
The book takes the reader through a school year, giving a selection of appropriate activities to inspire all learning styles. Games such as Jeopardy, samples of newsletters, timetable possibilities and creative parent connections are suggested. Classroom management, student motivation, assessment, differentiated instruction and how to handle job stress are also touched on.
Throughout, teaching and learning are celebrated. Friesen reminds the beginning teacher to be “gentle with yourself” and to abandon the fiction that everything can be achieved in the first year. This is a must-read for all teacher candidates and beginning educators and an inspiration for veteran teachers.
William B. Yeats once wrote that “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”. I feel this quote exemplifies everything you are as a teacher and everything I hope to one day achieve in my teaching.
The Beginning Teacher’s Handbook for Elementary School addresses so many areas that a future teacher wonders about but never really understands until they have begun teaching. You have solved this problem. You provided your students and future peers with an insight into what you have discovered and what we will soon discover for ourselves.
I think the most beneficial aspect of this book is the checklists you provide. Everything from the routines to the games were wonderful ideas and suggestions that I hope to implement into my classroom. I found it particularly helpful that you placed each category into a checklist that I can keep for future reference and use.
The one area I found that I struggle the most with is motivating my students. Trying to think up creative and innovative ways to make learning fun and exciting has been a challenge. However, after reading your book, I began to feel a new confidence in my abilities to come up with new and interesting ideas. You provided me with the catalyst I needed to get the ideas flowing. Not only did you provide me with a great starting list of ideas but you also encouraged me to go and create some innovative ideas of my own.
Your encouraging words and motivation were what really stuck with me the most. You gave me that little nudge I needed in order to realize my full capabilities. Not only were you able to pass on your knowledge and strategies, but you also gave me the drive and encouragement to discover these things on my own. You made me realize that I am capable of achieving the same standards as you have.
Thank you for sharing your own experiences with us. You are a teacher I strive to be like and hopefully one day can exude half the creativity and motivation that you bring to teaching.
Review of The Beginning Teacher’s Handbook for Elementary School
The Canadian Journal of Education:
As an emerging elementary teacher, I was happy to discover The Begin‐ ning Teacher’s Handbook for Elementary School by Lori Friesen. It is a very practical guide for teachers who are starting in their first classroom. In her introduction, Friesen provides documented evidence from research studies that first‐year teachers face a variety of problems, including evaluation of curriculum materials, organization of class work, individu‐ al student concerns, inclusion and special needs, with the “number one problem for first‐year teachers [being] classroom management and dis‐ cipline” (p.10). It is Friesen’s hope that this resource will provide the be‐ ginning teacher with the support need to make the first year positive and fulfilling.
The Beginning Teacher’s Handbook for Elementary School is divided into nine chapters that focus on, respectively, the preparation for the school year, the first day of school, getting‐to‐know‐you activities, general class‐ room management, student motivation, assessment, establishing positive parent relationships, survival (“tips for preventing stress”), and making a successful and effective conclusion to the school year. There is also a comprehensive appendix that includes over seventy templates and sample activities that Friesen has used in her classroom.
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