At Four O’Clock Faculty, we recognize that being a brand new teacher about to embark on your first school year can bring about feelings of excitement and nervousness. We asked educators to share their best advice for new teachers. Below are several of the responses that were shared:
Give each student an “F”
- Be Fair
- Be Firm
- Form and Foster relationships with students and parents
- Most importantly, have Fun! @ReasonerCynthia
Call every parent via phone call within the first two weeks of the school year. It’s a great way to introduce yourself and learn more about your students. @MrSweeneyCBE
Teach your best lesson on the first day of school. Make sure it is something that engages your students, as well as shows them that you care about them. I usually teach a lesson on fixed vs. growth mindset. @jdejulius
Make reading, writing, and talking the heartbeat of every day and alleviate any of the STUFF that gets in the way of achieving that goal. Engage students in active literacy at every turn. Initiate projects revolving around topics of interest & read and write your way across those topics. Read aloud every day without exception. Make independent reading a non-negotiable. Write about reading & use books as inspiration for writing. Acknowledge your critical role to inspire students to lead readerly and writerly lives in and out of school. We can only achieve that lofty goal by keeping active literacy at the center of all we do. @DrMaryHoward
Keep Calm and Teach On. You may feel overwhelmed but you you are there for a reason. You made it through school and you got the job. This is your time to shine. If you are feeling stressed, think of all the people who helped and supported you along the way and remember that they all still believe in you. You can do it! @akinderjungle
Don’t Panic- Doug Adams said it best on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Being a new teacher can be a bit bewildering and it often means confronting things you feel unprepared for but this is where the real learning happens. I think my best advice is to imagine the teacher you’d want to be in the future and let them inform you in the present. One of the secrets of teaching that no one tells you is that there’s no such thing as perfect. We all have made bad decisions at some point but the key is to learn from them. As a new teacher you’re bound to make some mistakes and that’s okay- just deal with it honestly and try not to repeat them! Finally, make sure to spend some time in the moment, have fun, and enjoy teaching and collaborating with students. @TimNeedles
New teachers please invite vigor into your classroom. Allow your idealism and passion for the profession to connect students together as a collective body of learners. Stay the course so that you become the guide on the side rather than the main actor on the stage. @cvarsalona
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are all in it together for our students. @mrsevon1
Allow the students to see your excitement!!! This sets a positive tone about who you are. @MissLMMurrell
For new teachers, my advice is to be confident and never let them know it’s your first year. There are three groups of people you want to befriend the office staff, the custodial staff, and the lunch staff. They will be invaluable. @2teachwithlove
Twitter! Build a PLN by engaging in chats and conversations with other teachers! Store your best resources, articles, etc in a folder using Diigo. @GarrettMaierEd
Let the learning be about the students and not the teacher. Engage them in the first day lesson by letting them direct their learning. Give them something to think critically about, give them time to discuss, and then allow them to create something to demonstrate their thinking and learning. That’s the trifecta: THINK – DISCUSS – CREATE! @MarceauQD
Blog! Or at least keep a written journal everyday! Much harder than it sounds but really worth it! @Radical_Robin
Be firm, fair, consistent, caring and show your passion for learning. My New Teachers page
Smile and greet students at the door. Have students do and create on the first day rather than talk at them and make them sit in their seats the whole time. @leadlaughlearn
Before the first day, go visit other teachers classrooms. In your grade level/dept. and others. Ask about the things you see in the room. “Why…do you have that piece of tape on the floor?” “Why…do you have that written on the board?” Take notes. Some of those ideas will be amazing. @jodiforeman
Soak it in! Your first day will FLY by. Sit down and write how you felt and what you learned. You’ll appreciate that later in your career. @mistymitchellm
- Breathe! Remember you were called into this profession and you have the capacity within you to become a great teacher.
- Try to have a couple of backup plans in case life throws you a curve.
- Also, plan a couple of things to do the first few days that tap into your passions and interests. Chances are that if you are happy and enjoying yourself, the students will too.
- Remember that your students are individuals first and students second. If some of them are less than pleasant, it most likely has nothing to do with you. Each comes with his own story and her own package, and they are probably doing the best they can.
- If you leave perfectionism outside your door, life will be easier on you and your students. Adopt a growth mindset and enjoy learning together with your class
- Extend kindness and respect to them, and they will do the same. @laurie_a_conrad
Choose a text selection that will touch hearts and minds and begin to build a warm community of learners. This text should bring about authentic engagement, allowing the teacher and students to begin to learn about each other and the classroom environment. @sparka_julie
Have your students follow these Six Simple Words: Be nice. Word hard. Think big. @RACzyz
Check out the remainder of our #BackToSchool Resources.
Share your best advice for new teachers in the comments section below.