There’s no doubt that most new teachers benefit greatly from having a more experienced teacher guide them as they venture into this demanding career. WeAreTeachers HELPLINE Heather T. recently started a new position coordinating the new teachers and their mentors in her building. She wrote in for advice about how to best help them.
“I have the privilege of co-leading the new teachers and their mentors this year. What is the best advice or practical tip you ever received (or wanted to receive) as a new teacher or mentor of a new teacher? Thank you in advance for your positive feedback!”
Our teacher community came through with these awesome words of advice and practical tips:
Best tips for new teachers:
- Even the kid who seems the most unlovable is the whole world of someone, so treat them the way you would want your child treated.—Dawn M.
- Every person in your school is an important cog in the wheel; treat all respectfully.—Mary F.
- Don’t be afraid to change something if it’s not working!—Doreen G.
- The first weeks are crucial for routines and expectations.—Vale V.
- Keep it real…. don’t be someone you’re are not… kids see the fake!!! —Barbara C.
- The neediest child in your room needs the most love.—Mary F.
- Don’t try to be perfect your first year (or second, or third). Also, don’t try to mold your teaching style to match someone else’s. Do what works for you and your class!—Brindy B.
- Keep your eye on the goal and don’t get overwhelmed by the process. It’s a little different for all teachers! —Michelle D.
- Listen to hear not to respond.—Mary F.
Best advice for new teacher mentors on what to share:
- How to make a sub binder or sub tub for emergency absences. When I was a new teacher, I didn’t know what all to put in sub lesson plans, let alone how to tell them my procedures.—Jordan S.
- How to find free stuff so they are not spending gobs of money during your first few years.—Linda L
- A dictionary of acronyms, including what they mean and how they play into the overall function of the school, would be very helpful!—Michelle D.
- Notes on how to document on students who need extra help. Also, notes on how to enter grades and how to run reports.—Cathy T.
- As a new teacher coming in four years ago the hardest thing was all the little things that everyone knew about but weren’t on the calendar. I try to give the new teachers heads up for the first two months and then monthly via emails.—Darenda D.
- Show them where to find important items they might need. Don’t assume they know. Show them how to use any school technology … such as the lesson plan website, how to sign in etc..—Marissa D.
- Give them time to work together in the new teacher’s room! I found meetings with the staff were informative, but having time to sit in my room or chat and work on things were SO much more useful.—Sarah M.
- Get someone to cover their classroom so they can watch each other teach. The new teacher can observe the mentor teacher to get ideas, especially about how the curriculum works. The mentor teacher can also observe the new teacher and give them any pointers or praise for how they are teaching.—Jordan S.
If YOU are in your first three years of teaching and some days, it’s amazing and your students have lightbulb moments so bright you need shades and other days, and we mean, far too many other days, you want to cry in your beer . We feel you.
Join our new Facebook group WeAreTeachers 1st Years-The Struggle is Real for support and advice!