Several years ago our school compiled a handbook for the staff and faculty. We found ourselves hiring teachers who were not from this area or who were not graduates of our school. Here are a few of steps we took in forming it.
- The advisory board brainstormed the general areas that should be included.
- We talked to teachers who had been hired in the past few years, asking them what questions they would have liked to have answered–things that many of us long term teachers knew but forgot to tell them.
- When we sat down to write the content, we went through the school year detailing events, through the school building detailing routines and guidelines, and through a school day. It includes school-wide policies and gives ideas for classroom procedures that a teacher may want to put into place.
- Our handbook is a work in progress and is updated each new school year.
- The main sections are
- Mission Statement and Philosophy
- Daily & Weekly Routines & Procedures
- Things like starting/ending times, cafeteria use, recess expectations, library procedures, cleaning procedures, dismissal procedures, etc.
- Special Events
- Things like emergency procedures, field trips, programs, graduation, faculty meetings, patron’s meetings, etc.
- Curriculum Guide – lists the various books used by different grades and details the grading policy
- Memory Work Selections
- A general help section–this is more for an inexperienced teacher guiding them in organizing their school day and year.
It has been helpful to have all these written in one place, even for those of us who’ve been there a long time. It answers the question of “How did we do this last year?”