Advice for the New Teacher

My first year of teaching as a general education classroom teacher I was the fourth teacher of the year and I started in January. The biggest lesson I learned that year is that right or wrong, people judge you on how you handle your class in common areas such as in the hallway or cafeteria. They may have no idea what goes on in your classroom, but your worth as a teacher is judged daily and whispered about behind closed doors. I was successful that year simply because I was the fourth teacher of the year.  I was compared to the other teachers on a daily basis. Because the principal had to go into the classroom and literally take kids off the counters because they were climbing the walls with the teacher before me, I unknowingly had it easy: all I had to do to earn a good reputation was get good line behavior. Never forget that especially in those areas you are being watched and judged.  Your first year teaching is stressful and you are going to make a lot of mistakes. Fourteen years later, I still make a lot of mistakes.  Give your self a break and try again the nexttime. Below are some more tips for your first year.  Enjoy! This will be the worst and best year of your teaching life! 

Rome wasn't built in a day.
It's easy to be so excited when you get your first classroom that you try to implement too many ideas at once. Think about which ideas are most important to you, and implement those first. Once they are working correctly, then consider adding more. You also don't have to buy everything you see. The best classrooms are decorated with student work and the best manipulatives are created by the kids themselves.

 Source: scholastic.com via Stacey on Pinterest Procedures to teach at the beginning of the year.
The first 6 weeks are critical.
Your priority when you begin the year is not teaching curriculum. Your priority is setting your routines and procedures and building a classroom community. If you spend the time doing this right, it will pay huge dividends all year. Make sure to make positive contact with every parent of your students in the first six weeks. Especially as a new teacher, you want your first interaction to be positive. Communicate frequently through email, newsletters, webpages, etc.

Don't be afraid to admit you need help.
Everyone remembers their first year. Admitting you need help or advice is not a sign of weakness. Take advice from those you trust and admire, and listen and nod politely to the rest.

You don't have to correct everything.
Worksheets are the least effective way to learn. It is ok to do an assignment and not correct it for a grade. Keep in mind, however, that feedback is important. Have students correct their own work, or review it as a large or small group instead of grading every single paper that you give. Better yet, get creative and do cooperative grouping, projects, hands-on activities or other ways of engaging students that doesn't require paper and pencil.

Be humble.
The front office staff, the cafeteria workers and the custodians are your friends. They make your job easier. Don't look down on them.

Fabulously First

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