Hey, guys today I wanted to do a top ten tips for my first-time teachers. So I realized the other day that I have a lot of viewers that are in school to be teachers. They are about to start their student teaching. They’re about to go out and try to find their first real job in teaching and I have had so many requests to do tips for first-time teachers and what are some things that? You need to be looking for and job hunting and there’s just so much that you can talk about.
Because I know with my first my first year there was a lot going on and there’s a lot to take in that first year teaching. I feel like you know they don’t prepare you as well as what you think when you’re in school yeah they give you lots of great tools and you know strategies to use in your classroom. But it’s nothing compared to when you actually have your own classroom and you’re having to set everything up from scratch.
So today, I have ten tips for my first-time teachers and even if you’re a veteran teacher. You may find some of these tips really useful. So let’s dive into the very first tip. So my very first tip for you is to choose one thing. Now here’s what I mean about that so you come into teaching and if you’re a general ed classroom in elementary? You’re teaching a lot of different subjects. You’re having to do reading writing small groups.
You’re doing science and social studies. You’re doing the math there’s just so many different things that you’re trying to do and learn all in one time. So here’s my tip is to choose one thing you are going to constantly be improving as you are getting the experience in so the more you teach the better. You get right so that very first year. You cannot expect to just jump right in and be able to do it all and everything’s going to absolutely be perfect?
Yes, you should try to do your very best in each of the subject areas. But I want you to focus in on one area that you want to really kind of put a lot of your attention on for that year so that the next year. You can focus on a different subject area and you can improve yourself on that one. If you try to say that well. I’m going to get better in math and reading and small groups in all of these. It’s going to overwhelm you. You’re going to get tired and it’s a lot of work. You can’t try to do all of the subject areas and have all of your attention and all of them all the time it gets extremely overwhelming for those very first years so focus on one thing and my suggestion for you would be small groups. Because small groups are going to be where a lot of your instruction is going to take place. So you will want to make sure that. That’s where the focus is for you in the very first year. I would definitely focus on small group small group was my focus area in my first year. Because I knew that that was going to be where? I spent the bulk of my time. So I wanted to make sure that. I was doing that to the best of my abilities.
Tip number two is to be strong in behavior management I cannot tell you how many times? That I have seen teachers who have struggled with behavior management who were first-year teachers and them kind of got that sense from you know the administration and just everyone else around them that. They just couldn’t handle their classroom you know that they just really weren’t quite cut out for it that.
They didn’t really know what they were doing just yet so the very first year. You want to make sure that you are really understanding what is your behavior management style what do you believe as far as what it comes to behavior management and how are you going to handle different situations so really be strong in it and make sure that. You stay consistent in it as well so if you tell your kids. If you do this is what’s going to happen?
You need to make sure you stick with it because that’s going to help you gain respect from your students and if administration comes in and they can see that you have like a well-oiled machine that you seem to have everybody kind of together that you may not be perfect in teaching all the subject just yet. But you have your behavior management now if you have your behavior management.
I think that’s going to be one of the most important things for you. If you don’t have behavior management. You’re not going to be able to teach your class. Because your students will not listen to you and they won’t respect you for that matter so make sure that you really understand your behavior management. How are you going to do it and lay that all out at the very beginning of the year? I would even suggest sitting down and writing it out what are your consequences what is your positive reinforcement how are you going to handle different situations and put that in there.
How are you going to communicate that with parents put that in there as well and give those out to parents at the beginning of the year and make sure you have it posted is somewhere in your room at the very beginning of the year too. Because that’s going to really help you be successful when it comes to teaching so that’s my tip number two be strong in behavior management.
Tip number three is to find some type of organization system you are going to get overwhelmed with paperwork and just papers that you have things that you need a file it is going to be the crazy overload so figure out an organization system are you going to have file folders. Are you going to have binders? Are you going to have things that? You’re going to collect for student data make sure that you understand where you’re going to be able to put things and how you’re going to put it and at the very least have tons of buckets.
Because at least that way you can sort everything out into those buckets and it’s all kind of tucked away it’s not anywhere visible because I feel like if you walk into your classroom and you see a whole bunch of mess and you see piles of papers.You’re going to be stressed out and it’s going to lead to a very stressful day for you so make sure that you have some type of an organization plan in place and that you’re implementing that on a regular basis so I did a video on managing your paper float and it’s going to give you a really good idea of some things that I do in my classroom that helps me manage my time manage papers that are coming in and out and it kind of gives you an idea of my organization system as well.
So I will leave a link down below so you can go and check that out if you haven’t already? Tip number four is to collaborate. Now here’s what I mean about that yes you’re going to be working with other teachers? You’re going to have to be able to collaborate in some ways but what I really mean about collaborate is that take what they already have. This is that time of it this is the very first year that you’re teaching it is pretty much survival like so many teachers it did tell me this at the very beginning and I didn’t believe them but it honestly is survival.
There are so many things that are coming at you and you’re going to have to you will want to take things from other teachers. That they’ve already had in place they’ve been doing it for years and years until you learn to develop your own style. I think that it is important that everybody and develop their own style their own way of teaching their own ideas of teaching. But that very first year take what you can get and run with it? Because you don’t want to have to try to recreate every single wheel out there.
Because it’s going to be exhausting. You’re going to burn yourself out and you’re not going to stay positive and you’re not going to stay motivated as a teacher so be sure that. You’re using those people around.You’re using the tools that they’re giving you and you’re using all the materials that you get they are giving you to help survive that very first year. Tip number five is to accept and embrace change I probably changed the layout of my room about three or four different times.
Because I realized that it just wasn’t working for me it wasn’t working for my kids it was causing chaos. So I accepted and I embraced change and my students learned to embrace the change so they were kind of figuring out that. I was one that just needed to do things to make it fit and make it work better. So they understood very much about a change they would come in and you did this that looks really cool.
I really like that so they kind of got into it as well my very first year. But it is so important that if something isn’t working for you just change it. what is the worst that can happen you know? You might have to change it back to make sure that you are accepting that and embracing it and just changing it is done with it and we hang on. I feel like so many people just have it one way and they say well. that’s the way everybody else has it well.
It may not work for you so change it to make it work for you to make it fit your needs to make it fit your student’s needs and in the long run. If it doesn’t end up working out you can always change it back to accept and embrace that change. Tip number six is to plan and be prepared. So many people tell you about this but planning out those lessons making sure your standards are on there making sure that.
You have your materials ready to go is so important for that very first year. You’re going to have people from your County walking through your room. You’re going to have your principals are constantly going to be in your room and that doesn’t mean that you’re an awful teacher it just means that you’re a new teacher they just want to be there to see. If your everything is running okay and if you need any assistance you may have other teachers walking in your room.
You may be going to other teachers rooms to observe them to see how they’re doing but be sure that you are the plan and prepared have your lessons out on a certain spot every single day have all of your materials out and ready to go so that when they walk in your room. You seem like you’re the well-oiled machine and everything’s going the way it needs to be going to make sure that all of those materials are out every single day make that a number one priority.
Tip number seven is to learn to turn off the teacher time so this was a big one for me. Because I would end up staying at school probably until six seven o’clock. I would go home eat dinner and I would continue working until baby about 10:00 or 11:00 o’clock it was not healthy for me. I was exhausted and I was getting to a point where I was burning myself out. So I realized very quickly that I there just moments where I have to learn to turn it off and I need to give myself me time and I need to make sure that. I’m doing that on a day-to-day basis and pretty regularly too so set a time and every day.
That’s when you need to tell yourself. I’m turning it off.It’s going to get done. I promise you sometimes you’re like well. I need to finish this. I need to do this. I need do that. I promise you-you will end up getting it done and the minute that you get those tasks done. You’re going to have about five or six more things that fall on your plate and you realize you need to do everything will get done that first year and you don’t have to stress yourself out as much as what you think you will somehow get it done.
I have no idea. How I got so many of the things that. I had to do that very first year done but it did get done and everyone told me that and I never believed them. But I promise you and you will get it done. So set a time say that’s it. I’m turning off my teacher’s brain. I’m putting on me and I’m going to spend the time on me and on my family and I’m going to focus on that so be sure that. You’re giving yourself that me time and that quality time that. You need just to make yourself a better teacher.
So tip number eight is to smile stay positive and don’t show stress so there was one teacher that every time you walked past her in the hallway and this was her first year every time. You walked past her in the hallway. She wasn’t smiling and getting on with her kids. She seemed stressed and that wasn’t something. That you would want to portray to your administrators or to your team or other teachers in the building to them it gives them the idea of machines. You just can’t-do it.
She’s not cut out for it this isn’t where she needs to be whether it be the grade level or it is teaching in general. You want to make sure that you, whenever you’re walking out into that hallway people, see you as being a positive person that you’ve put together that you really understand what you’re what you’re doing and that you love what you’re doing so make sure that you’re staying positive.
You’re smiling in the hallways and that you don’t really show that stress now some of the times around what those teachers that you are building those relationships with you may give. Let them know about some of that stress. Because that’s what some of those teachers are, therefore. I have teachers that none are next to me and I come up to them and say I can’t handle this.
I’m very stressed out this is you know driving me nuts. But that’s what they’re for you don’t want. The whole school thinking that or you’re administration thinking that you want them thinking that you have everything put together that you understand what you’re doing that you love your job and you have it together to make sure that every time. You’re walking out into that hallway or you’re walking to the office you’re smiling. You’re staying positive and you’re not showing that stress.
Tip number nine for you is to attend school events even if you don’t have to so schools hold lots of different events whether it be PTO events family events parent night game nights.There’s just so many different things that are happening in a school now you may not have to go to all of these it may say that your administer tells you: hey guys we’re doing this cookout.You are welcome to come but you don’t have to go to it show that you care about your community what you should care about your community.
You want to spend time with your kids but that very first year. You really want to make sure that you’re spending that time and you’re really getting to know the people that you are working with getting to know the community that.You’re working for and do the kids that you’re working for so go and spend as much time on as many events that you possibly can because in the end that’s going to tell your administrator that you care about the school you care about the kids and you care about what you’re doing for them.
So it’s going to give you some extra great brownie points. My very last tip for you guys is social media and teachers and here’s what I mean about that so you’re going to see things up in the hallways. You’re going to see teachers that are doing some really amazing and cool things and you’re going to go on a social media and say wow this teacher has it put together and look at all the cool stuff that.
They’re doing and you may start to almost feel kind of down on yourself like I can’t-do that. I’m never going to be able to get to that point where that teacher doing that. But here’s something that you have to remember you’re seeing the highlights. You’re seeing all the really good things. You’re not seeing everything else that’s happening behind the screen almost so make sure that you go easy on yourself.
Because for that very first dear you know? You’re not going to have it all you’re not going to get to do it all and that’s I don’t think. I do it all now there are sometimes where I have to say I just I can’t get to that and that’s not the most important thing. Because I need to make sure that you know? I’m focusing more on different areas and but don’t get down whenever. You’re going on social media.
You’re seeing these other amazing teachers at your school and they’re doing really cool things and you feel like. You’re not there you feel like you haven’t gotten to that point yet that because remembers your first-year teacher and you’re only seeing the really cool stuff that they’re doing. Because they’re putting it out there in front of your face. You know you’re only seeing the really cool stuff that they’re doing online again you don’t see all the other stuff.
That’s happening behind the scenes so make sure you go easy on yourself that very first year. It’s that you don’t get to do all the really cool things that you see so many other teachers doing or you feel like. You’re not doing as much as what everyone else is doing my tip for you on that too is making sure that. You’re just really teaching that standard. If you’re teaching this standard and you’re doing that you do it teaching that standard to the best of your abilities.
I think you’re doing your job great I think that’s what we’re here for we’re here to teach the standards and make sure our kids understand everything and make sure that.They’re learning all the extra fun and cool stuff is just an add-on um so make sure that you’re doing that first and then as you get better and you start to develop your teaching style and you’re starting to understand you know the ways of teaching and everything planning gets easier the fun stuff just starts to come in so don’t stress out about that the very first year don’t use that as a man.
I’m not very good at this use it as an inspiration use social media as an inspiration use those teachers next to you as an inspiration and get inspired by them. Because there are some amazing teachers out there don’t feel down on yourself about it instead use that to help drive you to become a better teacher. I hope that these 10 tips or really helpful for you if you are a first-year teacher or you’re about to go into your student teaching.
Let me know down in the comments which one of these tips really hit home for you and which one you really are going to try to take and run with it really quick. Before I end this video I have an amazing cousin who is a third-grade teacher in Texas and he very jokingly told me that I needed to place his Instagram name on my article. So I’m going to insert his little picture here real quick and I’m going to put his Instagram name there if you guys will go and check him out.
He is so inspirational. He’s a wonderful teacher he inspires me every day to become a better teacher and you guys will get some really great ideas for him to make sure you go and check him out on Instagram give them a follow tell them Bridget sent you and yeah that is it thank you guys so much for reading. If you have any questions or comments make sure you leave them down below.
If you enjoyed this post and found it to be very useful please make sure to give it a thumbs up and I will talk to you guys really soon bye. I wanted to talk to you about behavior management in the classroom when I did my post on a day in my life a lot of you left a comment about how well my students were working and how did? Please follow this blog.