28 Veteran Teacher Tips for New Teachers

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I talked to a number of teaching veterans and asked them to share tips specifically for first-year teachers. They all had amazing advice to share! Many of the ideas were repeated so I've compiled them into a list. Here’s their wisdom:

I talked to a number of teaching veterans and asked them to share tips specifically for first-year teachers. They all had amazing advice to share! Many of the ideas were repeated so I’ve compiled them into a list. Here’s their wisdom:

I talked to a number of teaching veterans and asked them to share tips specifically for first-year teachers. They all had amazing advice to share! Many of the ideas were repeated so I've compiled them into a list. Here’s their wisdom:
  1. “Start to build your library of
    themed picture books for the units you teach right away. Books are perfect
    as a backup plan and sub plans on short notice.”
  2. “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do
    not allow behavior that you do not want to have continuously.”
  3. “Be consistent in…meeting
    deadlines, being on time for work…being prepared…establishing routines
    and procedures…following protocol…knowing when to “lead” and when to
    be “led”.”
  4. “You are not their “friend”. You
    can have great relationships with kids without being friends. Create
    boundaries and structure and operate within those….. kids will thank you
    for that!”
  5. “The biggest thing is to keep
    consistency. Remind students of your expectations. Keep lessons tight, and
    when they are not following your expectations, stop and reteach.”
  6. “Removing privileges is not
    ideal. They’re kids. Add additional movement breaks, or engage them more
    deeply in their work. If you don’t already have a class contract (with
    like 3 broad expectations) you could work with your students to create
    one. Then, when students do something unexpected, refer back to the
    expectations. “Remember, our expectation is to show kindness to everyone
    in the class. Let’s make another choice.””
  7. “Create office hours and stick
    with them! Your family shouldn’t suffer for work. It’s not worth the
    stress. Use free time at work to be productive, not social. It helps!”
  8. “Leave school at a decent hour
    and don’t take work home. It can consume you.”
  9. “Forgive yourself for what you
    can’t do yet.”
  10. “A couple others have said it,
    but don’t stay at school forever. I used to set an alarm on my phone that
    would make me go home at a reasonable time. You don’t get paid extra to
    stay late!” 

  11. “Build relationship, set
    reasonable expectations, be consistent, and always let the kids see that
    you are real. They can find a fake a hundred miles away.”
  12. “Find a teacher buddy that will truly
    support and help you ‼️ Stay positive ‼️ Have at Least one day you don’t
    take work home or do school work ‼️”
  13. “Have big dreams for sure but
    take it one step at a time. Understand and accept that not everything will
    come together right in the beginning. Do a lot of reading of blogs,
    educational articles etc. That’s always helpful.”
  14. “Google is your friend. I have
    found soooooooo much information from different tech blogs.”
  15. “Maslow before Bloom. Every day.
    Relationship building is key. Walk the walk. Deadlines important? Impose
    them on yourself as well. Want them to be life long learners? Model your
    learning. Be human. Share your school challenges so that they know you
    struggle but can overcome. Be willing to laugh at yourself. Remember that
    the kid who needs the love the most often makes it most difficult to give
    it. Be the adult that doesn’t give up on them.”
  16. “Find a teacher buddy or mentor
    that will help you know what is coming up, where to find things, and who
    to go to.”
  17. “Be kind to yourself.  Don’t be afraid to learn something from
    and with your students.”
  18. “It will get done tomorrow. I
    spent hours at school, in the beginning, trying to do it all and now I
    know that the work I do is sufficient for today. If it does not get done,
    that is what to-do lists are for.
    Same for emails- they will be there tomorrow. Answer them only if
    an emergency – the rest will be handled the next day. We put a ridiculous
    amount of pressure on ourselves to immediately handle something but a
    banker or lawyer who waits until the next day is not seem as a
    problem.  Maslow before Bloom – love
    them and help nurture their souls before anything else.  Remember that you are not their only
    teacher and that you may not be their fave teacher.  Keep them busy.  Find a marigold – a bright spot –
    teacher in your school that you can talk and giggle with….and complain
    to when needed.  Say I don’t know –
    when kids ask something and you have no idea, be honest – show them that
    you are always learning and don’t know everything.”
  19. “Turn off notifications for
    school emails. Do not check it on the weekends or at night.”
  20. “Make sure everything is ready
    for the next day’s lessons before you leave. And have a bin or folder with
    emergency sub plans. You never know when the unexpected will happen.”
  21. “A good mentor and a grade
    partner who is willing to share ideas!”
  22. “Focus on routines and behavior!
    Set expectations and you will be amazed how smooth your year will be!”
  23. “Read good books and change your
    voice for different characters and when they beg you for one more chapter
    look up at the clock and down at the book and choose the book sometimes
    (or every time)!”
  24. “Breathe and be organized and
    always have a plan b.”
  25. “Make sure they know you love
    them and that you believe in them. Get to know them. If they know they are
    loved and you have high expectations of them, they will work hard and will
    go farther than you ever expected.”
  26. “Don’t grade everything!!! Some
    work is practice and can go into file 49 (trash).”
  27. “You can’t do everything! A lot
    of the time, what is being asked of you won’t fit in a day. Choose what’s
    best for your kids and don’t fret over the stuff that doesn’t really help
    them! Do what you can.”
  28. “Not every lesson has be over
    the top with songs, dances, Bitmojis games, etc. If you do this every day
    for every lesson, you’ll never leave work.”
Would you add anything to the list? Let me know in the comments.
Pin this blog post to refer back to later:
I talked to a number of teaching veterans and asked them to share tips specifically for first-year teachers. They all had amazing advice to share! Many of the ideas were repeated so I've compiled them into a list. Here’s their wisdom:
Brittany Washburn

Brittany Washburn

Hi, I'm Brittany. I'm an educator obsessed with technology and passionate about teaching students 21st century skills. I'm so glad you came to visit my website.

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