Your first year of teaching is a very exciting time. You have
spent the last several years receiving the instruction, training,
and practice for the skills that you can finally implement into
a classroom of your own. However, despite all the preparation,
it is easy to become overwhelmed with this step into uncharted
waters. Here are some proven tips that can help you to navigate
your first year of teaching.
1. Be prepared.
One of the best things that you can do for your first day of
teaching school is to prepare. At the beginning of the day, walk
around your room and look at it from several angles. Are there
any obvious distractions that you can remove? Go over your teacher
worksheets and lesson plans. Do you have enough printable worksheets
and extras? Are there any words/phrases/pictures that might incite
the giggles? Do you have answers ready for the most obvious questions
that will come up? Many teachers say that they spend up to two
hours preparing for each actual teaching hour. Writing your plans
for the day on the chalk board can help students to know what
to expect, as well as allow you to stay on task better.
2. Learn to be flexible.
Lesson plans are great - to an extent. If you become too entrenched
in your plans and worksheets, you can miss out on some important
teachable moments. Make sure that you are flexible enough that
you can explore a meaningful discussion with the students on an
appropriate topic that interests them.
3. Set clear and high expectations.
Setting up clear expectations and high standards from day one
can help you to maintain consistently high results from students.
You may even consider sending printable worksheets home with the
students detailing exactly what you expect on specific projects.
4. Give, and expect others to give, respect
Too many rules are easy to forget, and most classroom rules can
be boiled down to one word - respect. Respect your students, and
expect them to respect you and each other.
5. Use criticism to your advantage
Regardless of how carefully your lessons are planned, or how
well you manage your classroom, at some point, you will not be
a perfect teacher. Instead of taking it personally, use these
moments as opportunities to improve and your techniques.
6. Get creative in your teaching and rewards
You do not always have to do things by the book when you are
teaching. Consider lesson plans that involve student participation.
Use technology as a tool to help you teach. Consider implementing
a reward system for jobs well done. Positive reinforcement will
go much further than punishments.
7. Know who your kids are outside of the classroom
By getting involved in extracurricular activities, you can see
where your students shine outside of the textbooks. This can help
you see hidden strengths and weaknesses, as well build up relationships
between you and your students.
8. It is more important to be their teacher than their friend
Some teachers will try to take relationships too far, attempting
to have all of their students to like them. This can backfire,
causing students to lose respect for you, keeping them from taking
classes seriously. Respect comes first, then fun.
9. Remember that you are not alone
You are just one of many people involved in your students' day.
Take time to reach out to parents before there is a problem. Many
will appreciate being kept in the loop. There are also several
other teachers on staff at your school. They may be able to help
you see a different side of things when you get stuck.
10. You are only human
You are going to make mistakes. You are going to have bad days.
It is all part of the process. Remember that you are human, and
take the time you need to take care of yourself. When you do so,
it will show in your work and your relationship with the students.
By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your first
year teaching goes smoothly - bringing you and the students bountiful