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Advice for New Teachers

What advice can you give to us as future teachers? (Teaching is a wild ride and a fun one!)

  1. When you have a tough day, remember how important you are. Kids need you. You chose this profession because you want to make a positive difference in student’s lives and you will. Sometimes you are the best part of their day. In order to keep giving to your students remember to give to YOU! That may mean taking an occasional day off, even mid-week, if you need to. That means not taking papers home to grade. Spend your time planning and teach your students how to evaluate their work and edit it, in class. They will appreciate the immediate feedback and the opportunity to learn.

  2. Make your classroom management plan one that YOU like and will enforce. If you aren’t comfortable with your action steps then you will not take action. (Ex. 1st offense-warning, 2nd-move to another seat, 3rd-discussion with teacher, 4th-parent contact). Be consistent and stick to your plan. If you do, your students will respect you and you will have a good classroom atmosphere. Don’t worry if they like you when you take action. They will LOVE you if you are clear, fair, and follow through.

  3. Remember to thank the students that are doing what you ask. This does not mean singling one student out (they’d be embarrassed). It can be as simple as, “Tables #3, #5, and #7, thank you for listening and getting ready when I asked.” I learned to spend more time rewarding students that were doing what I asked and being on task and this reduced behavior problems. Students want your attention any way they can get it. If you give more attention to those doing what you ask, then the others will catch on.

  4. Notice students. I man really notice them. I know you will be busy with your lesson plan but try to connect with each one, every day if possible. This can be as simple as walking by a student’s desk and asking them how their day is going or commenting on the work they are doing. Notice the well-behaved students as well. The ones that are off-task will get your attention. It is the quiet, hard-working, on-task students that sometimes feel invisible.

  5. Have FUN! What I mean by this is enjoy your teaching and don’t try to be perfect. The job is too hard and too many things happen in one day for each lesson plan to go exactly the way you expected. Instill the joy of learning into your students. If you are excited about what you are teaching then your excitement will rub off on them. I was very excited about a static electricity activity one day and a student said, “I’m not even sure why I’m so happy to do this assignment but you are so excited about it that now I am too.”

  6. Don’t teach summer school. Give yourself a complete break from teaching so that you can come back in the fall refreshed and ready for the new school year. Take a real vacation.

  7. Guard your time. You need TIME to teach. This means planning, organizing, putting grades in your grade book program, etc. Say “No” when you are being asked to do too many things outside of your teaching.

  8. Again, you are VERY important to your students. Thank you for being a teacher!! You make a difference every single day that you are with your students.

Final Thought: Teaching is a challenging, roller coaster ride of a job and we need you!

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