The life of First Year Teachers, are crazy! And going from a student teacher to a First Year Teacher is a big life transition, but it doesn’t have to be stressful!
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If I can be completely honest with you, my first year of teaching I felt like a complete failure. I remember looking up at the Strat Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada at 11:59 pm on New Year’s Day. And in that moment, time seemed to stop and I realized something that really hurt… and that was that I had completely failed my first year of teaching.
You see, I wasn’t focusing on what I was supposed to. Instead of building relationships, getting organized, and becoming a better first year teacher I was instead spending my time trying to get everything done on my to-do list and trying to fit the role of “the perfect teacher” by societies teachers.
After years of experience and research, however, I discovered that not all first year teachers have to experience that. With some coaching and strategies, you can make your first year of teaching fun and, dare I say, even thrive?! This guide will provide you with the essential First Year Teacher tips and tricks so that you can ensure your success in the classroom.
So grab that cup of coffee and let’s bring your dreams to life!
P.S. If you want to grab a checklist that walks you through everything, make sure to grab it here.
Develop a Classroom Management Plan.
Establishing clear and consistent expectations is key to having a successful classroom. Creating an effective classroom management plan is essential for setting boundaries, fostering positive student behavior, and avoiding potential pitfalls. Make sure you include rules and consequences that are age appropriate and reinforced by both positive and negative attention. Open communication with your students can help them stay accountable to the expectations you have set in the classroom.
Have Clear Expectations for Your Students.
When you’re a first year teacher, it will be important that you establish clear and consistent expectations for your students. These expectations should be age appropriate and clearly communicated to your students. Make sure they understand what is expected of them in the classroom and reinforce these rules with both positive and negative attention when needed. Your students will appreciate the consistency in your classroom management plan, which will ultimately make it easier to manage their behavior.
Put a Focus on Building Relationships.
As a first year teacher, it’s important that you prioritize relationship building with your students. Try to get to know your students and their individual needs. Developing good relationships will help ensure that there is trust in the classroom, which can lead to better learning outcomes for your students. Additionally, try developing relationships with other teachers at the school who may have more experience in the field. Establishing helpful friendships and mentorships can be incredibly beneficial for new teachers as they navigate their new career path.
Utilize Available Resources and Support Networks.
Take advantage of the resources available to you as a teacher – online resources, professional organizations and support networks, and other helpful tools such as blogs and podcasts. These resources can help equip you to face new challenges and better understand different aspects of teaching. Participating in an education-focused mentorship or peer group can also be great for helping first year teachers learn from seasoned professionals. Lastly, don’t forget about utilizing your own network of friends and family who are there to offer emotional support during times of stress or transition.
Take Time to Reflect on Your Experiences and Learn From Mistakes.
As a first year teacher, you will likely realize from the start that you can’t anticipate every situation. Though mistakes are bound to happen, take the time to debrief and reflect on what happened and what your response could have been better. With this knowledge (and the advice of more experienced teachers) you can work to hone the craft of teaching and be better prepared for potential future situations.
To Wrap it All Up:
Overall, you don’t need to struggle as a First Year Teacher. If anything, you can save YEARS of struggling by listening and working with other teachers and First Year Teacher Coaches. And if you want to get ahead of the game this year, download the First Year Teacher Checklist! Because in the end:
“We are stronger together!”Helena Hains