Advice For New Teachers - A Great Link For All Teachers!


Today I'm linking up with Latoya from:

The question today is about advice for new teachers.  The advice I'm writing about is advice that I try to follow myself.  I've been a teacher for 15 years now, but I feel like I'm always learning every day because every day truly is a new adventure in the classroom.  I've been reading most of the other responses so I've tried to address some of the emotional issues vs. the practical ones.

Buy fadeless paper to back your bulletin boards.  I buy a neutral color - usually yellow - and a colorful and neutral border, and the bulletin board is all set to display rotating student work samples or whatever you have designated for that board.  On my big bulletin board, each student has his/her own piece of fadeless construction paper with his/her name on it stapled onto the bulletin board.  My bulletin board is then all set for the year while the work samples get rotated monthly (that's my goal any way). 

Here's a sample of my main bulletin board:

To make life easier - I keep my bulletin boards simple.

Always greet each student every morning.  I learned this in the Harry Wong book - The First Days of School.  I stand out in the hallway and say good morning to each student and do a quick check-in.  I want the kids to feel welcome at school, and it's also an opportunity to get an idea of how each student is doing that day.

Never be afraid to say you're sorry.  Some times, I've gotten upset with a student or said something hurtful - it's difficult to admit this even now.  I do think it's important to follow-up with an apology and a private chat.  We are all human after all, but we do make mistakes and need to model the behavior we want the kids to follow.

Find another teacher in your building with whom you can discuss any issues you're having.  It's so important to have someone in your corner - someone who can listen to you; empathize with you and/or advise you.  I still depend on my teacher friends.

Make every day a new chance to try again.  This is one of the best parts of being a teacher - if you need to change something - there's always tomorrow when you can try something different until you find what works best.

Be accepting and understanding of each student.  This is easy to do when the students are all well-behaved, but sometimes kids have bad days, and we need to try to help them through it.  It helps to have empathy - everyone wants to feel understood.

I'm really thankful to Latoya for doing these questions because it's so fascinating to read all the different ideas/advice.


1 comment

  1. I greet my students every day in the hall! My principal also does a morning walk and greets every teacher every morning. I like your advice about finding a teacher to confide in...I don't think I'd keep what's left of my sanity if I didn't have my teacher-bestie-friend. We get each other through the rough days and share excitement on the good.
    Great advice!


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