New To Teaching? These Tips Will Help You Feel Confident

When you are a new teacher, the first day of school can be just as scary as when you are a new student.

New To Teaching? These Tips Will Help You Feel Confident
Photo by Max Fischer:

Here are some tips that will help you have a great first year as a teacher.

Bring People Together

Your relationships with other people will make you strong, and they may be the key to giving you the energy you need to keep going when things get hard. Build strong relationships with your students, their parents, and your coworkers and administrators. If you’re shy, now is a good time to learn some ways to connect with other people. Ask people questions, knock on their doors, and invite them into your class. When things are hard, your community will be supporting. Sending out a meet the teacher letter can also help you to get to know your students before they start too. 

Find Mentors Who Are Hopeful And Positive

Some experienced teachers are sad and jaded, while others are wise and optimistic. If you find yourself with the cynical types, you should leave. Stay away from that bad stuff. You need mentors who can share their knowledge and wisdom with you and remind you that things will get easier at the end of October. If you can’t find any at your school, look in other schools in your district. They are out there, and many of them will be glad to help you. Ask.

Ask For Help And Insist On Good Career Growth

Yes, I do think you should ask for good professional growth (Personal Development). As a new teacher, you know you have a lot to learn, but you can’t do it all by yourself an ideal world, you’d have an instructional coach, coaching is a type of personal development, but if you can’t get one, you’ll still need some good PD. Ask other teachers what workshops, online courses, and conferences they think you should attend. Your bosses don’t think you have to be perfect. They know you still have a lot to learn, so keep asking for help to fill in the gaps.

Observe Other Teachers

If you can, watch good teachers at your school or other schools. Even if they don’t teach what you do, you will still learn a lot from them. Pick one thing to focus on so that you don’t feel too much. For example, pay attention to routines and procedures, the pace of a lesson, how questions are asked, and the different ways students are engaged. Ask your bosses to give you a day off so you can do this. If they say no, at least take ten minutes a few times a month during your prep time to peek into another teacher’s classroom. You can learn a lot by watching the people you work with.

House Calls

Just going to the homes of a few of your students will give you a new and different view of them. Almost any of your students’ homes would be like this if you went there. Visit the home of a student you’re worried about and the home of a student you’re sure is doing well. This is simplest to do in the first few weeks of school when you are getting to know your students’ families and can say that you want to know more about them. Use the visit as a chance to talk to the parents about their child’s likes, family, friends, and other things. Be interested. It’s not a good time to talk about your problems.

Write Down What You Want To Do As A Teacher

What do you think your job as a teacher is for? Can you say what you want to say in a short paragraph or a few sentences? When things get tough, having a personal vision or mission statement can help you stay on track. It can help you figure out what to do when things go wrong. You don’t have to make it too fancy or hard to understand. You don’t have to tell anyone else. I wrote this for you.

Take Care Of Your Body

Sleep. Rest. Good food. Exercise. You’ve already heard it. During your first year of teaching, when stress and all the new germs weaken your immune system, it really matters. Don’t start taking care of yourself when you get the flu in January; start now. Sleep.

Do Something That Isn’t Related To Teaching

Do something for yourself at least once a week. Take a pottery class or a dance class on Saturday. Run long races. Join a book club for romances. Do something that gets you to use different parts of yourself. During your first year, it’s easy and tempting to get caught up in teaching all the time, but you need a break from it.

Make A List Of Each And Every Success In The Classroom

Put them on paper. Make a list of all the good things. List all of your successes, no matter how small: Alfredo smiled when he walked into class today. James remembered to bring his book. Jackie said goodbye to her mom without crying. I ate lunch, and my lesson plan for tomorrow is done. If you don’t do any of the other things on this list but do this one thing every day, I can almost guarantee you’ll have a great year.

Don’t Work For A Day

Most teachers have days off. Plan ahead, find a replacement and take them. Take them and do some laundry, go to the dentist, get some sleep, or take a walk. Try them. You need breaks. It’s okay.

Your first year doesn’t have to be hard, and the years after that don’t have to be either. These tips can help you do well in your first year as a teacher and build the kind of toughness you’ll need to handle the many challenges we face as teachers.

By the way, welcome to your new job as a teacher. You are about to start a wonderful, wonderful trip.

About the author

Petra Monaco is an artist, author, and professional problem solver for creatives, rebels, and multi-passionates.

She is here to help you remove frustration from your life and achieve your creative dreams with more ease and confidence.

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