The A-Z of Education: Preparing for Your First Year of Teaching

In this series, I hope to guide you in acquiring the vocabulary that you need to know to be considered a competent education professional. In this article, we will discuss education vocabulary centered on preparing for the first year of teaching.

Click here to view all of the articles in this series.

Active teachers are teachers who proactively seek to make advancements and improvements in all areas of education.

Activities are practical tasks given to students to perform in order to learn a concept.

Block schedule is a method of daily scheduling that allows students to change between fewer classes throughout the day.

Content is the information presented during a lesson.

Content-area reading describes opportunities for students to read for information rather than just for pleasure.

Collaborating/Mentoring teacher is the experienced teacher with whom you will be observing and/or working for the duration of your field experience placement.

Core courses describe the basic courses that are required for most college students prior to declaring a major and entering a specific field of study. These classes typically account for 30-40% of a bachelor’s degree.

Credentials file describes a file containing your resume and cover letter, your letter of recommendations and references, your transcripts and test scores, and your digital portfolio, if applicable.

Curriculum is a defined program of how a teacher, school, and district meet the educational goals of each course. This is subdivided into subjects, which each deal with a particular area of specialized learning.

Departmentalized scheduling refers to the teachers teaching only their subject area to multiple classes.

Digital portfolio describes a teaching portfolio contained on an external storage device rather than hard copies filed in a notebook.

Distance learning refers to the use of technology, such as video or web cams, allowing large numbers of teaching students to observe classrooms without causing disruption to the teaching or learning process. These can then be discussed afterward.

Early intervention services pre-kindergarten children who have been discovered to have a disability or to be at risk for developing a disability. Studies show that the earlier intervention services are administered, the greater the chances of success are for the child.

Electives are student-chosen classes of interest.

Extracurricular activities are school-sponsored clubs, sports, and activities that are outside the realm of the basic academic courses.

Field experiences, commonly known as practica or practicums, are the opportunities given to each pre-service teacher to gain contact in their future professions by observing and working in classrooms within the schools.

Focused observation is an observation that is conducted with a clear purpose, where the observer is an active participant in the process.

Highly qualified refers to a status given to teachers in content areas upon completing coursework and/or passing a Praxis exam or its equivalent. The No Child Left Behind Act requires that teachers be highly qualified in their content area.

In-person interview is a face-to-face interview with an interviewer or team of interviewers.

Interdisciplinary team refers to a situation in which a team of approximately 4 teachers to share and rotate approximately 80-100 students.

Lesson plan is a written reminder of how a lesson is to be presented and how important information and essential skills should be practiced and learned.

Materials list is a list of supplies needed for the lesson.

Objectives are the main purposes of the lesson or what you want the students to learn.

Observations refer to the act of attentively watching what takes place in a classroom.

On-site observations are observations that take place in an actual school setting.

Outcome refers to the goal set by the teacher in order to evaluate the skills the student has mastered.

Passive teachers are teachers that put little or no effort into advancing or improving the school environment and strictly come to work in order to collect a paycheck.

Praxis I is an entrance exam for the teacher education program that is much like the SAT/ACT tests taken for entry into college.

Praxis II is a standardized test that must be taken and passed to earn a degree and receive licensure in a subject area.

Praxis III is a performance measurement tool. It assesses teachers in a classroom setting during their first year. It includes direct observation and structured interviews.

Prior knowledge refers to what the students already know or do not yet know about the lesson topic.

Procedures are the sequence of actions taking place during the lesson, referring to what the student does.

Rationality is the ability to think and reason.

References are recommendations of employment provided by people who know you and have worked with you. They can be either written or verbal.

Reflective teaching log describes a journal that records a high amount of detail regarding the teaching experience. The student teacher is required to log the day’s events, then choose one specific event and analyze it.

Resume is a one- to two-page written summary of your abilities and experiences.

Rubric is a specifically stated set of standards that allow subjective ideas, observations, and projects to be scored equally.

Student teaching journal is a daily log of events. Journal entries are unstructured and open-ended.

Student teaching is the most extensive and in-depth field experience and is required to obtain a teaching degree.

Substitute teachers replace full-time teachers when they must be out due to illness, family responsibilities, or other personal or professional reasons.

Teacher certification or teacher licensure refers to a mandatory document needed in order to teach in the public school system

Teacher education courses are classes that focus on training you to be a teacher.

Teaching portfolio is a compilation of works collected throughout your teaching career that highlights your work and accomplishments.

Are there any terms that we forgot?

Choose your Reaction!