Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tips for New Teachers

I am joining in with Mel D. (and many others) to bring you my tips for new teachers.  To find out who else has shared tips, click {HERE}.

1.  College will not prepare you.  Yeah, it'll prepare you in educational theory and methods, but it will not prepare you to face 15+ excited, little smiling faces on that first day.  You will need a plan.  Not just a lesson plan, but a plan of action.  How are you going to greet them?  What do you want them to do the second they step in your room?  Where will they put that mountain of supplies they can't wait to unpack?  Are you prepared to start off firm and slowly let up until you find that happy balance?  These are all questions college will NOT prepare you to answer.  You will need a plan.  Walk mentally through that first day.  Have a plan A, B, and C ready.  You may be planning on outside recess.  What if it's raining?  Just sayin.  Have a plan.

2.  Don't be afraid to ask your coworkers questions.  Don't worry about sounding dumb or worry that you're asking too many questions.  You aren't supposed to know all the answers; it is, after all, your first year.  If you are not sure, ASK!  After a few years, when you're not the new kid on the block anymore, it'll be your turn to answer questions.  See if your principal will give you time to observe another teacher. This is a great way to get ideas, see a different routine, and get a different perspective.  

3.  Make friends with the custodians and the secretary.  I promise you, they will be one of your best resources. 

4.  Don't gossip.  It's easy to get sucked into it.  I am the first to admit, it's hard to kep your mouth sht sometimes.  Whether its about a parent, teacher, or student- stay out of it.  It's so tempting, I know, but try not to be part of it.  You never know when it might bite you.

5.  Try not to live at school your first year.  It's going to be challenging to find a balance between work and home, but try.  You can't do everything your first year.  Choose just a few things that you'd really like to implement and focus on doing them well.  It's better to do a few things well than halfass a lot of things.  

What are your tips for new, or experienced, teachers? Please share your tips in the comments below!


  1. Thank you - this is brilliant advice! I'll start teaching the start of the next school year (which is January 2014 here in Australia), but I've already started putting together welcome pack ideas, letters to go home and all sorts of classroom-ey things! :) It's fun sharing them all on TPT too, and seeing everyone else's great ideas! Rachael
    Miss Rachael Teaches

  2. I'm a far cry from being a new teacher, but you left some great reminders or advice for us old codgers too! #5 stands out the most! I DO live at school!!!! However, I need to remember that, although so much keeps changing year after year, I need to pick 1-2 things to work really hard on implementing and improving each year. I can't do it all and that's a hard one for me to swallow, but it also sounds so prideful if I don't. Of course I'm not perfect.

  3. I love your advice! I will be going into my 2nd year & I totally agree with ALL of it!! Awesome!


    Teacher Talk*

  4. THE FIRST TIP is the most important one,you should have planned to react to any situation that may happen in class,sometimes I would just get stuck not knowing what to do,how to react,then I would go home and plan how I was going to react the second time it happened


  5. Great advise, thanks! I will definitely try not to sleep over in the classroom :)

  6. These are SO true. I wish this had been around a year ago! I was lucky enough to have a responsive classroom consultant who helped me plan out my whole first day, but the second they walk in is probably the scariest moment. In my school, a lot of kids come from breakfast, so they all arrive at once. In second, they weren't nervous at all! So they came in just as energetic as always. I was overwhelmed to say the least. I made friends with the secretaries, but underestimated the power of the custodian. I worked my way in, and now we have an abundance of paper towels, we never run out of soap, and my stuff gets fixed immediately. These are such great tips.


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  7. I love all of your tips (and pictures)! Thank you for sharing. I'm a first year kindergarten teacher so I am super excited. The twist is that I will be teaching in China at an international school. So I know I'm going to face a lot of obstacles by just living in a different country! Tip #2 is definitely going to help me this year.

    Cheers To School


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