20 Educators Share Their Secrets to Success for First Year Teachers

Dec 12, 2023
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As a first-year teacher (or seasoned pro) you’re probably feeling just excited as you are scared for the upcoming school year. The start of any career path can be scary! But, have no fear. Our amazing community of educators of Facebook shared their best advice for your first year of teaching to calm your nerves and prepare you even more. Relax – you’ve got this!

  1. “Breathe and give yourself some Grace. Do your best. Take notes of what worked well and what to do differently next year. Otherwise you won't remember. Just love the kids.” – Michelle H.
  1. “Take care of yourself first. Drink water and remember you have a life outside of school. Spend time with your family and friends. Budget yourself and don’t think you have to buy everything upfront.” – Porcha M.
  1. “Get to know your kids as people. Share expectations/rules over and over the first two weeks. Give all kids a fresh start, after all it’s a new school year. I seldom had issues with kids who were often said to be problems.” – Cindy W.
  1. “Make friends with the custodian and office workers, be organized, and do things you love.” – Sandra D.
  1. “It's going be hard, you're going to mess up, and you may even want to quit, but don't. It does get easier and you're not alone. Ask questions, get help, drink lots of water, and take care of YOU!! No matter how tough it gets, never forget your "why". Then in a blink of an eye, you'll be on year two with lots of memories, both good and bad, and funny stories to tell. And take a "mental health day" if you need to. We get personal days for a reason.” – Tiffany B.
  1. “The first two weeks are essential for getting to know your students, teaching rules and expectations, and creating a successful classroom environment. Teaching those expectations at the beginning and repeating them over and over will eliminate many of your possible frustrations!” – Amy H.
  1. “Build relationships with your students, it’s so important! It’s ok if things don’t go as planned! Have fun and don’t take on too much!” – Valerie M.
  1. “Rapport and your expectations with the students are key. Also, ask all the questions. There is no way you will retain all the information; veteran teachers also can’t remember it all! Teachers are always willing to help!” – Amanda B.
  1. “Remember at the end of the day what doesn’t get done will be there tomorrow. Set a time and leave at that time.” – Kristina E.
  1. “Get a veteran teacher to take you under their wing and help mentor you through your first year!” – Darlene N.
  1. “Relax! Don’t think you have to get it everything done the first week! Everything takes twice as long in the first week or two as you teach routines and expectations. It will all fall into place!” – Lisa S.
  1. “Write down why you decided to become a teacher. Put it in an envelope and keep it close to your desk. On hard days, open the envelope and read your note.” – Rick W.
  1. “Admit to mistakes. Your students will be in comfort knowing everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes=teachable moments for yourself and your students.” – Michelle R.
  1. “Make sure to take a part of each day to have some “me time”. Also spend a part of your weekend doing something for yourself or spending time with your family.” – Jennifer F.
  1. “Focus on relationships and classroom management first and take a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect on the positives.” – Michelle K.
  2. “Remember why you wanted this at the beginning of every day. Get to know your students - find something personal about each. Then figure out why your subject matters to them. Teaching is not giving information but giving students the tools to find the answers. Teach to help them in this journey.” – Diane M.
  1. “It will be your hardest year, but you got this! Remember why you chose to become a teacher and always make time for yourself!!” – Kirsten A.
  1. “Every day is a learning day - for the kids and for you. You'll learn what works and you'll learn what doesn't. Be strong enough to stand firm with what is working and to change course when something isn't working.” – Ashleigh O.
  1. “Set a schedule for non-school time that includes self-care.” – Amy S.
  1. “It is important to always have back up lesson plans always!! Keep in a folder on your desk.” – Connie W.

Looking for more advice from educators to prepare you for success? Be sure to subscribe to the Edmentum blog for daily emails on all things related to classroom management, intervention strategies, and more!

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