Teacher friend, do you remember your first year of teaching?
Your first year of teaching may have been a mix of excitement and frustration like mine. Perhaps your first year of teaching was a complete dream. Whichever way you first year went, it’s definitely something you’ll never forget.
The one thing that stands out about my first year is how much my co-workers helped me get into the groove of teaching. I was green, y’all…fresh out of the package. There was so much that I didn’t know, and the veteran teachers at my school really took me under their wings. I am forever thankful for their words of wisdom.
For my first year teacher friends who are nervously awaiting the start of their first year of teaching, I have some advice for you as told by a few veteran teachers. I asked the awesome members of the Tame the Classroom Facebook community to share some encouraging words for new teachers, and this is what they said…
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“Be confident!!! Believe you can because you can. Don’t think “it’s my first year I don’t know if I can.” You can!!! Be strong. Be confident.” Mandy D.
“There is never a point where you are completely “caught up” as our job is never-ending. Sometimes you just need to let go and take a break. Collaborate! Ask for help if you need it! Find your students who love to help and delegate tasks.” April S.
“Give hugs, high fives and victory dances! Play music and sing a lot! Make up silly cheers–don’t be afraid to have fun! On the flip side, be prepared to stay past 4:00. This is a career, not a time card.” Julie P.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are no stupid questions. Other teachers want to help! You can do it!” Ericca D.
“1-2-3 Magic for teachers, though I think they’ve dropped that for teachers. I’ve never had a kid who didn’t almost automatically know what it meant when I started counting. It’s so universal, and it even works on middle schoolers. It helps me keep my cool too. If I feel myself getting frustrated with a student or my shoulders getting tight I count, and it can be done silently. Make eye contact with the student and show them whatever number they’re on.” Kelly D.
“Choose your teachers friends based on the type of teacher you want to be or see yourself as. Associate with teachers who will help build you up and stay away from those who forgot that there is joy in what we do.” Samantha D.
“Realize that you’re not only a teacher, but a learner as well. Each year you’ll learn more about your abilities and gain confidence in the classroom. Begin modeling expectations and routines from the first day and practice, practice, practice! The advice of not smiling until after December is a bunch of bull. It’s alright to smile and have fun with your class. You CAN have strong classroom management and fun at the same time.” Princess N.
“Begin modeling everything day 1. Show your students what your expectations are so that they don’t have to guess. Take time for you. Easy lunch on your lunch break–DON’T WORK THROUGH LUNCH. Find a team or a group of teachers you can always turn to when you are feeling overwhelmed.” Kristen C.
First year teachers, hold on to these pieces of advice and walk into your classroom with confidence. I don’t think your principal would have hired you if they didn’t trust that you would make magic happen in that classroom. Your students will love you no matter what. Teach them to your best ability and show that you genuinely care about them each and every day.
Veteran teachers, in the comments below, tell me what other advice you would give to new teachers. New teachers, in the comments below, tell me what you are most looking forward to during your first year.
- CALLING ALL FIRST AND SECOND GRADE TEACHERS! Join me and a great group of other fabulous 1st and 2nd grade teachers in my Facebook group, Taming First & Second Grade. We have great discussions and you can gain some much needed inspiration.
- I’ll also be posting this blog topic on my Instagram and Facebook page.
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