I just landed my first teaching job! Any advice?

No need to fear! WeAreTeachers is here!

You’ve taken years of coursework, aced your teaching exams, and finally scored your first teaching job! Now what?

So asked newbie teacher Hallie over on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE this week. “I am nervous and excited!!” she writes. “Any advice from experienced teachers for my first year?”

Hallie, you came to the right place! Here is some of the top advice for nailing your first teaching job from our community of veterans:

Take care of yourself, new teacher!

From meals to comfortable clothes, be sure you are fueling yourself for success:

“Put meals in the freezer for the first two weeks.” – Jennifer M.

“Find an outlet completely unrelated to school – dancing, swimming, cooking, needlepoint, hiking, soccer, anything to help you get your mind off the stress in a classroom when you need it. And trust me, you will need it.” – China R.

“Buy a very good pair of comfortable shoes!” – Meta G.

“Your work will never be done, so walk away when you need to.” – Jenny E.

Keep in mind the the flip side of that, though: “People always say take time for yourself. It’s a nice thought, but depending on the school and kids, be prepared for no life, little sleep, and working on weekends and breaks.” – Mindy J. Don’t worry, though–it will get easier!

Scope out the best resources.

“Check out Teachers Pay Teachers.” – Janelle M.

“Be sure to read the book The First Six Weeks of School. Also, watch some Harry Wong videos if you can!” Doreen G.

You won’t be perfect; you’ll be learning.

“Be gentle with yourself.” – Jennifer M.

“You will have days where you want to cry (and you probably will), but it’s a roller coaster, so focus on the good. Set high expectations but not impossible.” – Ashley A.

Find your unofficial mentors.

You’ll probably be assigned an official mentor, but make a habit of learning from everybody. “Make friends

“Make friends of experienced teachers.” – Marsha H. “Find colleagues you trust in your school who will help you reflect and grow. Ask lots of questions!” – Scott C. “Be able to accept criticism and advice. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and try new things!” – Jessica G.

“Find colleagues you trust in your school who will help you reflect and grow. Ask lots of questions!” – Scott C. “Be able to accept criticism and advice. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and try new things!” – Jessica G.

“Be able to accept criticism and advice. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and try new things!” – Jessica G.

Do your homework.

“Reflect on your lesson plans in writing and save it so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel next year.” – Scott C. “Prepare, prepare, prepare! It will be really hard if you don’t.” – Andrew B. “Make lots of lists, because the number of things to remember will be overwhelming until they become habits.” – Sam D.

“Prepare, prepare, prepare! It will be really hard if you don’t.” – Andrew B. “Make lots of lists, because the number of things to remember will be overwhelming until they become habits.” – Sam D.

“Make lots of lists, because the number of things to remember will be overwhelming until they become habits.” – Sam D.

Procedures, procedures, procedures.

One of the best things to prepare? Procedures! “Decide how you want the children to move about the room, how to come to the rug, pencil sharpening, bathroom, and so on. Teach and reteach procedures every day the first week and again as needed afterward.” – Dianne K.

Go easy on yourself, though.

“Teach routines often, and give yourself a pass when things aren’t perfect.” – Linda W.

Remember to model, not just explain, all that you want them to learn.

Get to know the community and its culture.

This includes getting to know parents, students, administrators, even the board of education. Go into the school willing to learn with an open mind.

Remember why you’re there.

“Have fun every day!” – Verna W. We couldn’t agree more!

 

Looking for more support? Check out our Facebook page, exclusively for new teachers!

Join our Facebook group WeAreTeachers—First Years! to connect with other new teachers, and learn more about how you can navigate your classroom and life.

Just landed your first teaching

Posted by WeAreTeachers Staff

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