Dear New Teachers: Tips and Tricks for Surviving the School Year

Dear New Teachers: Tips and Tricks for Surviving the School Year

Are you a new teacher and nervous about your first year teaching? Here are a few tips and tricks to help make your first year go as smoothly as possible. If you’ve been teaching for years, this list might be a helpful refresher or a resource for you as you support some of the new teachers in your school.

Learn from a veteran – Start a relationship with a veteran teacher, whether it’s before taking your first job or after you’re hired. Learning from someone with at least a decade of teaching experience can help give you further insights and strategies during your first year of teaching. You will learn different philosophies and styles from each teacher you meet, but most of all, you’ll have their support after listening to them.

Keep parents on the same page – You may have to earn parents’ trust during your first year or any year with different kids. If you show that you care about their children, parents will grow to respect and trust your judgment. Make sure to contact parents early if there is an issue, inform them about positive things, and keep them in the loop with their children’s behavior and performance in the classroom.

Don’t be afraid to take charge – Come into the classroom with a well-defined discipline plan that rewards positive behavior and holds consequences for negative behavior. Explain this plan to the students on the first day as well as during the first week. Don’t be afraid to send a copy of this plan home to parents so they know what is expected of their kids in the classroom.

Learn about and from your students This helpful article on Medium poses five questions teachers can ask their students at the start of the school year. The goal is to learn about your students and get a better understanding of their experiences, their passions, their curiosity, their strengths, and their goals. You set yourself up for success when you listen to your students from day one.

Vent to your journal – Even experienced teachers have bad days. Keep a professional journal during the school year. After a couple years, your record of teaching will grow and you’ll be able to reflect on all the experiences you’ve had.

Be over-prepared – Making assignments and activities fun almost never takes away from learning, so it’s okay to experiment a bit, especially when it comes to over-planning. And remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every lesson plan, you can use resources from your colleagues and online tools if you’re at a loss for extra activities.

Keep these tips and tricks in mind, relax, and remember what lead you into teaching in the first place. With a little patience and a lot of love for your students, we’re sure that this school year is going to be great.

Is there a piece of new teacher advice you want to share? Leave a comment down below! 

About the author

Concept Schools is a nonprofit charter management organization that provides a high-quality, STEM-focused and college-preparatory education through a network of charter schools while offering exceptional programs, comprehensive services, and opportunities to partner in education.