If you’re a budding new teacher, you’re about to embark on a journey of self-discovery and fulfilling life-shaping. You will no doubt have a profound impact on your learners’ lives. In turn they will affect you in ways you cannot predict. This happens all throughout our lives, but as a teacher your influence is magnified many times over. So let’s pretend we’re your virtual mentor taking you aside for a pep talk the day before you head into the fray. That means we’ve got some new teacher tips you can benefit from immensely.
We’re reflecting back on our own first days of teaching, and remembering what we would have done differently. Truthfully many veteran teachers claim if they were starting again, they would certainly make changes. If you’re a veteran yourself you might have some things to add in this case. No matter what, we hope these heartfelt new teacher tips help those of you in their first year.
- Don’t overwork yourself: Overworking yourself makes you lose focus on becoming a great teacher. If you do have an activity outside of school, make sure it still leaves you time to decompress after a busy day or week. Teacher burnout is a real thing, and it’s not fun.
- Say “No”: As a new teacher you may be eager to please. You could feel obligated to answer ‘yes’ when asked to do some things when you know your energy won’t last. Instead, try to discern which things to say ‘yes’ to that will enhance, rather than drain, the job you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to make the hard decision to let some things go if it’s ultimately the best thing to do.
- Ask for help: You can absolutely ask your older and more experienced colleagues for help. Rather than being envious of them and trying to do everything yourself, observe how they do things. Teaching is a team effort, and more and more teachers are collaborating.
- Steal ideas: Observe the teachers you admire and are inspired by. Talk to them and befriend them. Chances are they don’t have their noses so high in the clouds that they wouldn’t give pointers. New teachers spend too much time in front of the computer trying to create curriculum, quizzes, and worksheets. The key here is to steal the best ideas from the best.
- Plan, plan, plan: Communicate with your family that you need time outside of work to plan and ask them to help you. You can benefit from using a project planner like the Solution Fluency Activity Planner to iron out details.
- Get a hold of paperwork: Document everything. If you can, get all paperwork online so you can save valuable office space.
- Manage time better: Platforms exist now to help you keep tasks in order as well as assemble a team to create great things. Get ideas out and ask for help in implementing them.
- Pay attention to detail: Spend time in setting up the physical learning environment, decorations, help posters, etc. In today’s world, you can also take advantage of flipped lessons to help kids practice at home when you can’t be with them.
- Bond with parents: Keep parents informed about the kinds of things you’re doing in class. Additionally, tell them good things about their child, even if that child might need extra help.
- Get some rest: Getting proper rest is a right, not a privilege. Make it a priority, because you deserve it.
- Improve your craft: Educators’ conferences and workshops make for awesome networking opportunities and idea generating sessions. Also, make sure you get on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with others in your field. Always be working on yourself no matter what that may mean in the moment.
- Keep up with recertification: No one else will do it for you. Keep it in your radar, and make room for it when doing your long-term planning.
What new teacher tips can you share from your own experiences that would be helpful?