Hi guys! I wanted to stop by today and give some tips for brand new teachers! I know so many of you are back in school, and some of you are in your very first staff development! Your first year of teaching is truly such a special time, and I wish I could come along side you and hug you and buy you flair pens! For those of you that aren’t new teachers, I truly hope this post is helpful to you too! Every year I learn so many new things, and these tips are things I have learned along the way!
One of the best pieces of advice I can give a new teacher is keep it simple! It can be SO overwhelming knowing the best way to teach things, and wanting to be the very best every single day. Sometimes the most simple lessons have the most powerful return! Things don’t always have to look picture perfect to be a learning opportunity! Like this simple anchor chart! It took me just a few seconds to make, but we referenced it all year long!
Interactive and Shared Writing is one of easiest ways to make whole group lessons engaging, and the kiddos LOVE seeing their writing all over the walls! When I realized my kiddos weren’t doing their best on their work, this was an easy no-prep lesson for the very beginning of the year! Once we did this lesson, my students knew exactly what was expected during writing time and anytime they were expected to illustrate! When my kiddos struggled with decomposing numbers, our Math curriculum had the most perfect lesson and it didn’t require any preparation! All of these anchor charts were simple, but did the trick and provided a great mini-lesson!
For this activity, kiddos showed 3 different ways to make 10 using blocks and then drew it in their math journals! 🙂
All of these lessons were simple, low-prep and didn’t involve reinventing the wheel! 🙂
My 2nd tip is a lesson I learned from experience. My first year, I didn’t rely on my team as much as I should have. I thought that I knew more than I did, and I just didn’t foster those relationships the way that I should have. I KNOW some teams are easier to work with than others, and my heart hurts when I hear teachers who don’t get along with their team. But I totally believe that we can only control the way WE respond to others, and making sure I am always kind, professional, and helpful to my team has never steered me wrong! I love getting little gifts too…it’s an easy way to say “I appreciate you” and a small gift can go a LONG way! 🙂
Staying organized is the one of the most important things for ANY teacher, but especially new teachers. I am truly one of the messiest people I know. The ONLY way I survived is teacher binders, to-do lists, and a semi-organized classroom (thanks to friends who are much neater than I, haha!)
Keeping a class newsletter was an easy way to stay organized and keep parents informed! It kept me looking ahead, made sure I didn’t miss important dates, and parents loved it!
Even if you don’t keep a teacher binder, making sure you have a planner you love is essential! You can find adorable planners at Target too! Some teachers love desk calendars, and some love something on their wall! This year, I started using my Google Calendar and it helped a TON!! When I start to feel overwhelmed, I always sit down for a few minutes and make a list. Things feel much more manageable when they’re written down! 🙂
During your first year, classroom management is often the hardest part. Always, always, always focus on the positive! I used Class Dojo, a clip chart, and several other things in my room. At the end of the day, I truly believe that positive always worked better!
Mystery Motivators are super easy to use! Simply choose a reward (I choose Decorate Cupcakes) and when the WHOLE class is on task, they earn a letter! Depending on how quickly you want them to earn the reward determines how freely you give out letters! 🙂
My final tip is the one I think is MOST important! You will never have your first class back, and you will always, always remember those sweet kiddos. When things get too challenging or stressful, take a step back. Sit on the floor with your babies and enjoy them. Laugh with them at recess. Dance with them to Go Noodle. THOSE are the moments you will never forget! There are some days you will just want to cry…or scream. And those days are the days you need THEM the most. Hug them tight and listen to them. Learn about what they love, and listen to what they think is funny. THEY make it all worth it! 🙂
I hope each and every one of you has a FABULOUS first year! If you need to vent, ask questions, or just have a new teacher friend, you can always contact me and I’m happy to help!! 🙂 Happy Teaching!