Department chair: It is really great to know what you will be teaching more than 2 weeks before a semester starts. Before newbie gets that electronic access, he/she can't just look it up like everyone else does. You already know. Don't keep it a secret. If you really want to be awesome, ship off an e-mail with helpful info like how to order textbooks, how large the classes will be, etc. Everyone loves surprises, but not all surprises are loved.
Colleagues: If you have taught newbie's course before, get in touch. Offer to share a syllabus, if you are willing, or to make book suggestions. A quick conversation about what works well with your school's students would be good. If your discipline has a summer meeting and you are going, see if newbie is, too. Meet up. Have a tasty beverage. (pro-tip: Don't say "that class is a nightmare. I'm so glad I'm out of there!" like someone said to me. Twice.).
If you know newbie's life situation and yours is the same, feel free to write and offer advice on school districts, day cares, good places for significant others to look for work or places to live where newbie and entourage will feel comfortable. That would be superheroic.
If you are the person who is good with the classroom tech and feel like it, an offer to spend 20 minutes on how to work it when they get on campus would be gratefully received.
- amelia from abilene