Monday, July 30, 2012

Advice for New Teachers

Stephanie over at Teaching in Room 6 is linking up posts with helpful ideas for new teachers.  I thought I'd add in a couple of ideas, too! 

My first year of teaching began in the middle of the school year, fresh out of college.  Thankfully it was a first grade classroom, because I think if the students were older, they would have run all over me.  There were a lot of tears that year.  My tears, not theirs!  I was overwhelmed and felt like no one was helping me.  No one offered any advice, ideas, or suggestions.  No one came in and asked if I needed help.  BUT, I never asked for any help, either.  That was my biggest mistake.  It took a couple of years for my co-teachers and I to actually begin working together, but once we did, it was great.  I wish I had asked for help to begin with!  It would have saved me a lot of heartache. 

I did not want them to think I didn't know it all.  After all, I was fresh out of college.  I was supposed to know everything already, right? HA. HA. HA.  What a lie.  Do not lie to yourself!  College DOES NOT teach you what you need to know to teach.  It just doesn't.  You will only learn that from real-world experience.  I'm sorry, but it's true.  There are so many things they don't even cover in college!

So, my advice is this:

1. Don't let your pride get in the way.  If you need help, ask!

2. Don't expect perfection from yourself or anyone else.  Work hard, do your best, but give yourself  a break.  Not everything is going to go right every time.

3. Stay organized.  If you are a naturally organized person, like me, you might not have trouble with this.  If you are not naturally organized, I recommend researching some ways to stay organized.  It will help you so much!  To know where everything is and be able to put your hands on it right away will relieve a lot of stress.  I think most teachers probably start off the year organized, but staying that way all year is harder to do.  If you take 10 minutes each afternoon to clean up your room, put things away, get things out for the next day, etc., it will save you a few hairs on your head!

4. Start off the year with your routines and procedures.  And review them often!

5. Don't let teaching consume your life.  Take some time for yourself and your family.  Yes, you may have to work late many days, but plan days to not stay late, weekends to rest and relax, and holidays to spend focusing on something besides teaching.  You will need these breaks or you will burn out quickly!

I hope new teachers find this advice helpful.  If you are not a new teacher and have any advice to contribute, leave them in the comments! :)


  1. Thank you for sharing your story and advice. It is very helpful to all of the new teachers for sure! Thank you also for linking up!

    Teaching in Room 6

  2. I have been teaching for 19 years and I am going to copy and print this to use for the next 19+ years.