Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tips For First Year Teachers

This post is geared slightly towards secondary educators however much of it stands true for all new teachers.

1.  You can't do all your shopping at Old Navy, H&M, Forever 21, A&F, or American Eagle.  You run the risk of wearing the same clothes as your students.  If you, like many new teachers, are fresh out of college you can end up teaching students only 3-4 years younger than you.  You have to try harder than you think to distance yourself from them.  You are not their peer (until 5 years later when they're teaching in the classroom next to you).

2.  You're not being "graded" per say anymore. Be careful with where you choose to be an overachiever. Creativity is awesome. Enthusiasm is awesome but don't go overboard and become the "Principal's Pet."  Help make your whole team look good- you'll need them on your side, not talking behind your back about how the bulletin board you spent all day Saturday making makes their boards look pathetic.  Remember- many experienced teachers have families and other responsibilities to take care of.



3.  Don't let the decorating and "fun" stuff take precedent over the "learning" stuff.  A great bulletin board is great!  But, were your lessons for that week equally great?  You have to make sure you're being the best teacher you can be by making sure you can teach.

4.  Make an effort to make a positive phone call home to each student's house early.  Start with the students you suspect might be difficult later.  If you're overwhelmed with the number of students try a few phone calls a day (2-3) and a few positive notes home as well.  Put these on postcards so your students know what you're saying to their parents!  Keep a log of all parent contact- positive and negative.

5.  Be careful about teacher gossip.  I think it's good to get a feel for the politics of a school, but it's also good to form your own opinions.  Also, be careful about listening to how others view "trouble" students- often times that kid will be an angel for you.  It's important to listen to the veterans but take everything with a grain of salt!  And listen more than you speak (which is always a struggle for me)!

Veteran teachers- what else would you add?


Thanks for reading! 

6 comments:

  1. Keep the secretary and the custodial staff happy!

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    1. Oh that's a great one! Thanks for the reminder!

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  2. Get sorted with an organisation system EARLY and maintain it relentlessly. It will save you SO much time in the long run.

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    1. That's always a work in progress for me but you're absolutely correct!

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  3. As a new teacher you will have many new ideas and strategies. Share them with fellow veteran teachers but don't think that because you know the newest trends that you know it all and don't need help. Listen to the advise of your fellow veteran teachers. We have a lot to share. The sharing and communicating should go both ways. http://adventuresinistem.blogspot.com

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    1. Teaching is such a collaborative profession- I learn so much from colleagues both new and veteran and I like to think they learn from me too!

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