Ten Tips For First Year Teacher
The tips in this article are designed to provide a first year teacher with some confidence in the year ahead.
Will this be your first year of teaching? Don't be nervous - you must be very well qualified to have gotten this job to begin with! Here are some great ideas to make your year a bit easier:
1) First and foremost (and this sure sounds easy!) is to smile and be friendly to all of your co-workers. Although it indeed sounds quite simple, it is often difficult to be kind to everyone, as you will encounter varied personalities and temperments. You'll need all of your colleagues to help you during the year, so start the year off right and be kind to everyone.
2) Be helpful to all who ask! Move over at the copy machine if someone has a rush job - you may be in their shoes sooner than you think! Watch a class for another teacher for five minutes so that she can make an important phone call. Sure, your time is valuable, but helping others shows that you are part of the team.
3) Don't join in on the office gossip. It is unprofessional and unwise to talk about your fellow teachers, your students, their parents and anyone else whom the teachers' lounge has deemed eligible for discussion. Don't get involved in this waste of time.
4) Get to know your students well. Spend a bit of time talking with each of them individually during the first weeks of school. Ask about their likes, dislikes, family, pets, friends. Once the school year is in full swing, it is often difficult to set time aside for this kind of activity.
5) Establish a rapport with your students' parents or caregivers as soon as you can. Parents need to feel that you are approachable and caring. Make your students' parents your ally, and don't wait until a problem arises before you take the time to speak with them.
6) Be emphathetic to the busy lifestyles of today. Many parents both work full time and have scarcely enough time to talk to their child about their day at school. Bend a little if assignments are sometimes not completed if there is a reasonable explanation. Remember that your ultimate goal is to have students learn the material that you are teaching them.
7) Arrive at school early, and stay late a few days a week. Most correctly, don't rush into work in the nick of time and then rush out at the stroke of 3 o'clock. Be available to students and parents. Be known as someone who is professional and always prepared.
8) Be prepared. Have your weekly plans written out before the week begins. Have a copy of them, or your plan book, available at your desk at all times in the event that you are out sick from school.
9) Establish class rules from Day One. Get a large piece of poster board and a marking pen. On the first day of school, ask students what they would imagine some good rules for the classroom would be. Brainstorm the best rules, have students write them out, then post them for all to see. Remind students that they decided on the rules, and have a penalty in place for those who choose not to follow them.
10) Remember that teaching children is hard work, but it is also quite a bit of fun. If you are prepared, you'll be able to enjoy teaching and your students. If you must rush and play catch-up all the time, you'll spend needless time worrying. Stay current in your field by reading teaching magazines and talking with more seasoned teachers in your school.
Enjoy your first year as a teacher!