What do you think are the top five valuable tips for new teachers? I love to conduct surveys with my teacher following about their thoughts on different topics. Veteran and novice teachers alike are incredibly creative and always trying to find ways to make their classrooms more manageable and effective. Since teachers are so eager to offer advice and share strategies that work for them, the surveys can offer valuable tips for teachers. One popular poll was: If you had to give a new teacher one piece of advice, what would it be? I love the answers! I gathered them together and here are the top five!
- YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL
I wasn’t surprised to see this answer as the number 1 response. I can’t tell you how many times I felt overwhelmed, even when I was a veteran teacher! Seeing and hearing about all the wonderful ideas that work for others, I wanted to implement them all right away. Not only do teachers think about the aesthetics and management of their classroom, but you also search for effective ways to present each lesson, motivate students, and meet the individual needs of each student. It is A LOT to think about! And yes, it can be overwhelming! Well, I’m here to say that it is OK. You can’t do it all. The best advice is to pick one or two things to focus on each year. Don’t try to do everything right away. It is a process.
- CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
The next popular answer was classroom management. If you don’t have control of your students or rules and expectations in place, you will go home with a headache every day. This should be one of the first things to focus on in your career. As a first-year teacher, I wanted all the kids to like me. I quickly realized I didn’t have control. I spent time talking to other teachers and my principal about ways to manage my classroom. Once those ideas were in place, I stopped going home feeling like I was run over by a MACK TRUCK. I actually had a better rapport with my students. Believe it or not, students like to know their boundaries and have consistent expectations and consequences. Click here a FREE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT GUIDE.
Then there is organization. If you are a teacher, more than likely you are already an organized person. Regardless, there are so many tips of organizing everything from how to keep track of students to how to organize planning materials. Unfortunately, this isn’t a class in your teacher prep classes or will your new school have everything you need to establish an organizational system. However, teachers know how to take non-educational products and find ways to use them effectively in their classrooms. In this Tips and Strategies blog post, there are oodles of ideas to help with organization and make your year run smooth like butter! Instagram and Pinterest have been amazing tools to find ways to organize everything within your classroom too!
This may seem obvious and more than likely required by your administration, but keep an open communication! Always take time to get to know your students and understand their parents. Don’t leave the parents second-guessing. Establish a weekly communication so students and parents know what is happening in the classroom and when assignments are due. Parents are busier than ever and children are involved in many afterschool activities. When everyone comes home from a long day, they don’t want to try to figure out what you need from them. Make it easy! Not all parents will be your fan, but keeping consistent communication is important. They will appreciate you and the emails and phone calls won’t come flooding in. Then, when it is time to have a conference, involve your students and parents with STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES. This was a game changer for me!
- MEET THE NEEDS OF EVERY STUDENT
Differentiation is the key to have every student successful. Not every child learns the same way or has the same abilities. Offer materials that can differentiate the lesson. Does a student need a lower-level reading passage to understand the content? Does someone need help with taking notes? Does someone else need enrichment activities for higher-level thinking? Differentiation hits home for me. I have a dyslexic child. Learning was very difficult for him. The elementary teachers differentiated his instruction and he was successful, but once he got to middle school, things fell apart for him. No matter what age, students need lessons at their instructional level to have progress in their education. Even colleges offer services for dyslexic students, so middle school and high school should too. This blog post provides ideas for students with dyslexia.
PROMISING STRATEGIES THAT ACTUALLY SUPPORT DYSLEXIA.
That about sums up the top five tips for new teachers! I hope you gained some valuable information. You are in one of the most rewarding professions so go out and ROCK YOUR TEACHING!!!!
To go along with these ideas, you can find specific ways to incorporate some of these tips in your classroom at this blog post: 30+ THINGS I WISH I KNEW MY FIRST YEARS TEACHING.