40+ Tips for New Teachers – From Veteran Teachers (Uncensored)

About Franchesca Warren

For fifteen years Franchesca taught English/Language Arts in two urban districts in Atlanta, Georgia, and Memphis, Tennessee. Increasingly frustrated with decisions being made about public education from people who were not in the classroom, in 2012 she decided to start a blog about what it was really like to teach in public schools. In the last four years, The Educator's Room has grown to become the premiere source for resources, tools, and strategies for all things teaching and learning. To learn more about Franchesca Warren's work, please visit www.franchescalanewarren.com.

As a new teacher, you try your hardest to learn all of the new procedures and cultural norms of your school, but many times it can be hard but what if all of the veteran teachers poured their knowledge into you? Well, we’ve compiled the best advice from veteran teachers and here you go.

-Don’t try to be great at everything all at once.

-Set work hour limits for yourself or you will easily work yourself into the ground! There are never enough hours in the day to get it all done so learn to prioritize!

-Set discipline standards on day one and stick to them. Be strict, but fair.

 –Don’t take on any extra projects, jobs, or work. Focus on planning and teaching the entire time. 

Be consistent in your discipline plan….If you don’t follow it, your students won’t either.
-Less is more.

-Look up Love and Logic for teaching. It’s a great resource I wish I had earlier in my career.

Use humor when possible. Students respond well and your attitude will be positive.

– Read “First Days of School” by Harry Wong to help get you ready. I read it every year before the school year starts.
 -Let the students do the heavy lifting.
 – Make friends. Better yet, make your coworkers your family. You will be seeing them more than your family, anyway. and they give great advice and input.
-Not every day needs to be innovative and new. Some days, you just “hold the line” and reinforce concepts.

-Sit next to the art teacher in meetings. They have the best doodles.

Let the students do the heavy lifting. Click To Tweet

-Don’t get discouraged. You’ll have days when you feel like a failure. I let myself have a little pity- party for like a day then get back in there and change lives!!

-Don’t let them (students) engage you in a public battle. Settle problems calmly and in private, when it’s possible for kids to admit they’re wrong without losing face. “Never wrestle with a pig — you’ll both get dirty, and the pig will enjoy it.”

-Make meaningful connections with each student. Take time to learn who they are and use their interests in your instruction whenever possible.
– I was given this advice for my first-year from a teacher “don’t smile until October.” — While I know why it’s totally not me. So I didn’t listen because I smile, I laugh, I joke…. But seriously, don’t smile until October. I’m on year 3. I will be doing that this year.
– Set up routines for students. Greet each student every single day at the door before they enter the classroom.
– Parents are jerks. Beware.
– It is ok to let some things go. Sometimes you have to pick your battles.
-Be prepared for NO SLEEP and a lot of being sick the first year.

Don’t quit… the second year is way  better!

-Work smarter, not harder– take advice from others, have a learning attitude, and collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!

– Get in there now and organize and decorate the room. Meet with Principal, fellow teachers, parents, kids. Take written notes, read them. Work hard these next two weeks to ensure a great start. Use Harry Wong’s “The First Days of School.” Around November reread your beginning notes.
– Beware of the school’s cliques; all schools have them. You will be OK; confidence is everything.
-Always assume parents want their child to be safe, and successful emotionally and intellectually. You are on the same team even when they are emotional remember to step back give data without emotion and everything will work out.
-Make learning fun for you and the kiddos! Everything everybody else said is all necessary, too! Have a great year!
-Have fun.
– Spend the first part of the school year on classroom expectations and procedures. Longer than you think you need to.
-You are there to teach not to be their friend. Don’t go in wanting to be liked. They will like you because they will respect you.

-When you have back to school night or parent teacher conferences always let the parents know to come to you calmly with any issues. I always tell them ” you believe half of what they tell you happens at school and I’ll believe half of what they tell me happens at home”

-Do the best you can with the kids. Play nice with the grown ups. Be political. It’ll matter later.
– What ever you come up with. You’ll throw out 90%.
-There will be bad days. Impossible days. Guaranteed.

It’s ok if you don’t get done with everything you had planned for your students. There’s always tomorrow!

– I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. .. GET LESSON PLANS DONE AT SCHOOL. DON’T SPEND YOUR SUNDAY NIGHT DOING THEM! Sunday and Saturday are YOUR days. Enjoy your first year!
-Breathe…Love your students…Listen…Accept the mistakes and Smile!
-Make good with the custodian and the secretary. THEY’RE the real leaders of that school. They can make you or break you.
-Here’s some random additions. Comfortable shoes are more important than style. Wipe your dry erase board side to side when in class- less booty jiggle than up and down. When talking to a student at a desk, kneel down to their height. 
-Get the parents on your side.
-Go home! Your work will still be there tomorrow. I stayed so late my first year because I always felt like I hadn’t done enough to get work done. Make yourself a to-do list and rank each item by importance. Take care of what has to be done and space out the rest. Don’t forget your friends/family/significant other because you’re consumed with work. I sort of did and it wiped me out.
GO TO BED peacefully. Do not think about you students on your days off, unless you are praying for them and let them go. On bad days remember the good days. You will experience at least one bad teaching year, but shake it off, learn from it and keep going. Remember that one student that needs you and desires to learn from you.
-Try to remember how you felt at that age and react to them in a manner that they can save face in front of their peers.
-A new teacher is a new teacher regardless of one’s background. Be organized. Keep duplicates of everything (handwritten and computer). Keep detailed logs of parental contact, student anecdotes, staff meetings. Be aware of deadlines.
-Find a colleague– in the true sense of the word. Someone you can be friendly with, someone you can ask questions of and for advice or to help you problem solve. Don’t go it alone. But don’t become a parasite, either.
-Classroom management is more important than classroom content. Manage well and they will learn.
Be consistent with expectations. The moment you let something little slide it can be a downward slope.
– Stay away from the negative teachers.
 new teachers
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About the Author:

For fifteen years Franchesca taught English/Language Arts in two urban districts in Atlanta, Georgia, and Memphis, Tennessee. Increasingly frustrated with decisions being made about public education from people who were not in the classroom, in 2012 she decided to start a blog about what it was really like to teach in public schools. In the last four years, The Educator's Room has grown to become the premiere source for resources, tools, and strategies for all things teaching and learning. To learn more about Franchesca Warren's work, please visit www.franchescalanewarren.com.

3 Comments

  1. Shweta March 13, 2017 at 2:43 am - Reply

    very nicely explained..now when I’m about to take teaching as my profession these tips surely will help me going on..Thanks n keep sharing☺☺

  2. Arditë Ibrahimaj April 7, 2017 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Very meaningful and helpful for me as a new teacher. Thank you and keep motivating because that is what we need, motivation and strategies.

  3. Christina July 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    This will be my first year teaching and I’m excited and nervous. These tips makes me feel a whole lot better.

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