Schools out for summer or forever? So you just graduated and got your first job! Congratulations, but now what? Starting a new teaching job is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time! Don’t worry though! Right here are some tips for new teachers to have an incredible first year! Read on for some tips for new teachers!
Tips For New Teachers
Becoming a teacher is hard work. You have to take classes, write essays, student teach, and even certification exams. There is so much to think about once you finally get through everything and get your first job. Here are some helpful tips for new teachers.
Have you seen the memes about teachers having a few thousand tabs open at a time in your brain, or making more decisions than a brain surgeon? Teachers have a lot of responsibilities each and every day. That is why prioritizing is so important, especially when you are a new teacher! What do you need to do first? Lesson plans for the next day are clearly vital to making through the next day, so put that before the phone call about the field trips.
Make lists and prioritize by day. Seriously, not everything will get done in a day, so remember the most important tasks must be completed first. Don’t beat yourself up when not everything gets done. Sometimes the priority of that day is talking to your students during lunch because they are having a tough day or maybe talking to a colleague about your favorite reality television show. Hey, what you need to do to prioritize is important! You will get it done, maybe just tomorrow.
Take Time for Yourself
Teaching can have its ups and downs. Remember to take some time for yourself. There will be days you stay late to catch up on lesson plans or make phone calls or even spend the time to change the theme of a bulletin board, but remember this- don’t do this every day! Make sure to make time for yourself, friends and family. Teaching is such a powerful force because each and every day you are making a difference in a student’s life and that can be exhausting!
Find your People
You are going to meet a whole bunch of people working in the same building as you! Some teachers will also be new, some veterans, some in second careers, even office staff and cafeteria staff. Your goal is to find your people. Who are your teacher besties going to be? Find that confidant. Find that teacher friend that can give you the best advice on what to do with the student that can’t seem to sit down. Find the teacher friend that is going to keep it real. Find the teacher friends that you can just gossip about The Real Housewives each week! True friendships are often formed early on in teaching. Your teaching besties will be lifelong friends!
New teachers always say, well they didn’t teach this in college and it usually has to do with behavior management. There are so many strategies, tips and tricks, and genius hacks just for this topic, but the number one tip when it comes to behavior management is confidence. Be the boss. Feel that you are the boss, and don’t be afraid to be in control of your classroom. Most times there is a learning curve here, but confidence goes a long way. Plus, when you have put some thought into your physical classroom, and how you want to run things it totally helps. I have some products in my TPT store which can help you with this!
Also, be confident in the decisions you make. Stand by them. If something doesn’t go as well as you wanted it to, be confident that you will make the changes for next time and it will be better! Be confident when you walk into the principal’s office for your observation meeting. Remember confidence goes a long way in terms of respect. When a person is confident in what they are talking about, people listen. This is no different for administration. Obviously, remain professional and respectful always, but you can be confident that you know your students, and you know your content, and your ability to teach. If your confidence wavers occasionally, it happens, pull yourself up and bring that bravado back next time!
It is amazing how much teachers take on themselves personally. Give yourself some grace. Remember this is a tough, but rewarding job you are doing. If something goes wrong, own it, fix it, and give yourself some grace to know that mistakes are going to happen. Think of your first year as trial and error. It is a building block to becoming that phenomenal teacher down the road. Just remember to give yourself the room and the grace to continue to grow in your profession.
Do the Extracurriculars
Being part of a new school is becoming part of a community, a family, and group of people that may have known each other and have relationships already built. If you are looking to make a splash into the relationship pool, sign up for the extras. If they are looking for volunteers for the school dance, go! If there is an opening to partner with someone and do a club for a few weeks, join! If the teachers hit Happy Hour every Friday, take part!
Happy Hour often has some excellent free food but is a tremendous opportunity to network with the people you work with within a low-stress environment and you might just find your people there too! The more you make it known that you want to be an asset to the school, the students, and the staff, the more quickly you will feel part of that family!
Helpful Tips For New Teachers
Being a new teacher is full of powerful emotions. There will be some HUGE wins and there will definitely be some days that you Google other jobs with a teaching degree. It happens. Most people stay in teaching though! We have all been there, but remember you’ve made it this far, and you are a fabulous teacher. You have the drive and the passion to be successful. Take these tips for new teachers and blow everyone out of the water with your innovative lessons, confidence, and ability to remember to give yourself a break once in a while!
Check out a couple of my other blog posts, they may be helpful to you!
4 Tips For Creating a Positive Classroom Culture