New teachers, you’re not alone. The veteran educators in our community shared their best advice for thriving in the first year of teaching. The tips range from preparedness to self-care to affirmations for even the hardest of teaching days.
Each of the tips is credited to the educator who offered it. To see all of the tips, visit our Facebook page.
Expect the unexpected
Do not be afraid to deviate from the normal routine. Some of the best teaching moments come from unexpected things. - Joyce Ritchie
Write lesson plans with a pencil. Your day just might not go as planned! - Deanna Hempel Bullington
Positive, genuine phone calls home lift everyone up
I think my favorite advice is to call home when good things happen, not bad. It will take everyone by surprise, and make everyone feel good. This is especially important when a kid may have been struggling- finding something to praise goes a long way to reinforcing positive behavior and further progress. - Whitney Hoffman
Catch the kids doing something good. Use hit and run phone calls to parents saying "their child really did something special today ... just thought you should know." Keep it less than a minute. - John Brodemus
Don’t forget to take care of yourself
Get a flu shot, take your vitamins, get as much sleep as you can....you'll be sick by your second week of the school year. - Joan Renee Moore
Know when to take a day off. Don't get so overwhelmed that you forget why you chose to be a teacher. - Angela McGehee-Lee McConnell
Remember that you’re learning, too
No matter how much you know there will always be more to learn so be open to the opportunity to learn from anyone! - Sue Bruns Maiers
Forgive yourself your mistakes. Teachers never stop learning about what to do and what not to do. - Fiona Walker
Remember what you and your students will always have in common: you’re human
Show them you are human. Admit when you don't know something. You are allowed to smile. - Sheila Zlochower Bernstein
Believe in yourself and your students [and] show that every day, all the time. Reflect but don't take things personally. - Rebecca Toetz
It's all about building relationships! Show respect for young people, prove to them that you are trustworthy by honoring your promises and following through with consequences...even when it's inconvenient for you...Believe in them wholly, maintain high standards and expect students to attain them. - Elizabeth Wallace
Always be fair and treat kids with respect and don't play favorites. Even the youngest kids know when you are and will react to it. - Diana Lefler-Molander
Don’t try to do this on your own
Teachers don't work alone. Reach out to other teachers. - Ola Harrison
Suggestion: finding a coach/mentor should be #1! - Susan McCartney Anderson
You’re changing lives
If each year, you get through to just one student, you will have changed more lives than many people do in their lifetime. - Amanda G.C. ClarkPlease feel free to comment with your own advice.