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Best Resources for New Teachers

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A closeup of markers, pencils, and pens in a mesh metal pen cup.

The start of the school year is an anxious time for new teachers. And in these first few weeks of classes, those of you new to teaching probably have plenty of questions. Luckily there's a wealth of information online that will help these first few weeks run as smoothly as possible.

Where to start? The first and third Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. PST, Edutopia contributor and community facilitator Lisa Dabbs and a team of co-moderators host New Teacher Chat on Twitter -- hashtag #ntchat. The twice-monthly chats offer new teachers the chance to connect with experienced and other new-to-the-profession educators around the country, pose questions, and ask for advice.

Edutopia's resource toolkit for rookie teachers features a ton of insightful blogs on subjects like classroom management, lesson planning, and building relationships with parents, mentors, and administrators. Edutopia's New Teachers topic page is another great source. To help you on your way, here are a few other useful sources from around the web.

A Few Quick Reads: Advice for New Teachers

If you're looking for quick tips, easy-to-implement ideas, and practical advice, here are articles for new teachers covering a range of topics. Not only are these articles useful, but new teachers would benefit from bookmarking them to revisit later.

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Ray Mathis's picture
Ray Mathis
Retired Health Ed Teacher certified in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

I invite everyone to visit a website I created for teachers on what I call Teacher ESP - Effectiveness and Stress Prevention.

I was a classroom teacher (health education) for 33 years, and certainly had my own struggles, especially when I first started. Being a health education teacher, I also was tasked with helping my kids prevent or deal with all those mental health, health, social and behavioral issues and problems kids so often struggle with. One day I was ranting to a counselor friend and he said "Look Ray, it's your choice how you want to feel". When I calmed down, he told me about Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and Education (REBE), the work of the late Dr. Albert Ellis. I took classes in REBT/REBE offered in the Chicago area for teachers, all of them, and became certified in REBE. Changed my life and the way I taught health education, which I hope also changed many of my students lives. Teacher ESP is based on what I call "The Mental and Emotional Tool Kit for Life", which in turn is based on REBT/REBE.

I believe we should teach these "tools" to all new and current teachers. I speak to teachers, including student teachers on a regular basis about these "tools". I also advocate teaching them to all students. Learning them help me personally and professionally, and teaching them to kids made my job easier and more rewarding, especially when I volunteered to take on the toughest, most troublesome kids at my wife's school after I retired from the classroom.

An important thing to always remember is that people have to be in the right mental and emotional place to make the best choices for themselves and others. Too often people aren't, including teachers. We can give them effective strategies for classroom management, but they have to be able to get in the best mental and emotional place to access and act on what we give them. Too many struggle to get there. The "tools" help them do so. BTW, Dr. Robert Marzano calls this "emotional objectivity", and the key to it is mindset.

Likewise, kids also have to be in the right mental and emotional place to be ready, willing and able to learn and be taught. Too many struggle to get there. We've never done enough to help those who do. Teaching these "tools" to teachers, and then having them teach them to students would do that. They can give kids (and teachers) the Mental and Emotional Fitness to function at levels they are capable of, and that we and they want to.

These "tools" can also act like a form of Mental and Emotional Karate, and therefore be a wonderful approach to the problem of bullying.

Ray Mathis's picture
Ray Mathis
Retired Health Ed Teacher certified in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

BTW, the link for the Mental and Emotional Tool Kit for Life is:

And if you want suggestions about how to better deal with the most troublesome and troubled students you have, here's a link about the "Tool Time" approach I took with those students at my wife's school.

Behavioral management is what young teachers often get taught, but it's important that we see behavior at merely the tip of the iceberg. It's also a symptom of thoughts and feelings kids need help with, rather than just some problem to be eliminated. Too often, simply taking a behavioral management approach to behavior we don't like in classrooms and schools not only doesn't make things better, but even makes matters worse, because of the way our actions interact with the thoughts and feelings a student already has. It's why we end up with a school to prison pipeline. If behavioral management worked well, we wouldn't have that.

ginap123's picture


The resources that you provided are great! Thank you of sharing them. One of the most important factors as teachers is to have the resources available to teach children. So working with others is a great way to obtain resources. Great job Matt!

Jenna Mercury's picture
Jenna Mercury
Educational Specialist at

As we know, all students work at their own pace--- the same really goes for teachers! I'd like to advise a more quiet approach--- strengthen yourself from within with a great inspiring book! Of course I am a huge fan of George Couros, The Innovator's Mindset, but another one that didn't make this list was Educating Esme-- my first year was in the inner city and I really felt like I wasn't alone!

Ciro's picture

Another great resource I have found is A lot of teachers have been using it for Teaching students about the legislative process, Finding a piece of legislation by identifying issues you care about, and writing a persuasive essay about it, and Helping students understand how current events lead to new bills. For more information you can email

MyraGuzman's picture

Very helpful resources! I recently started teaching in middle school the second semester of the school year. I do have some experience in education as a teacher's aide and then as a substitute teacher, but I still need resources as a full time teacher. Being in charge of a class is something else, specially with parents and teaching to a diverse group of students with different and special needs. I like that you provided a website for new middle school teachers along with survival guides, videos, and discussion groups. All of this resources will certainly be helpful, and thank you bloggers for posting more resources and advice.

smcummings's picture

I believe these resources can be helpful to everyone, not only new teachers. Revisiting these resources each year may rejuvenate a teacher and refresh their thinking at the beginning of the year. Each of the resources provided here seems very helpful. The survival guides are especially helpful. However, what I was unable to find is recommendations to new teachers who feel they do not have the necessary resources in their classroom or the time necessary to effectively teach their students. Any advice for teachers who feel they need more time, materials or financial assistance in their new classroom?

John S. Thomas's picture
John S. Thomas
First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct Faculty Antioch University New England, former Elementary Principal

When it comes to time, I suggest prioritizing tasks and setting a drop dead leaving school time. It took me 14 years of working very late nights and too many weekends to figure this one out myself. This year I set 5:00 as my leaving time every day. I didn't think I could make it work, but I found that I prioritized my tasks and am able to get done the most important things. It doesn't mean I don't take things home sometimes but those items are lower priority items and I can do them on my time. I have a calendar that I put a big red x on the date every time I meet my goal of leaving by 5 which serves as a huge visual reinforcer for me. So far so good this year (except for open house of course.)

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