Hello New Teachers! Congrats on making it (almost) through your first year--- I'm incredibly happy about that, but I find that what I'm going to have to do over the summer to prep for the new year rather daunting at times.
To help the new teachers coming in next year to this wonderful forum and to remind ourselves after summer is done, maybe we could start a list of tips! What did you find out about teaching this year that you wish you had known in September? What do you hope to remember to change or do for this up coming school year?
My school only has 18 more school days, but I'm going to use some of the time thinking about what I need to change and improve on.
5th Year Science Teacher to Elementary Kiddos
“The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
Confidence. Even if you don't think you know, look like you do. I learned it the hard way, and it's amazing how discipline improves when kids perceive you as credible and knowledgeable in your subject matter.
Stay on top of your paperwork, especially grading. Don't wait until the last minute before entering grades or progress report comments. Don't wait until the last minute to put in requests for copies. Don't wait until the last minute to prepare your exams.
There's always the possibility that something will go wrong, including a technology malfunction or a sudden illness. If you are prepared ahead of time, those sorts of problems won't have any real impact.
Evidently I'm going to be posting these comments one at a time.
Go into each class period with more stuff than you think you'll need. It takes a while for new teachers to get into the groove of figuring out how long each lesson or lesson component will take. If you are over-prepared, you don't have to worry. If you're under-prepared, you have to scramble to fill the empty space, or else that space becomes wasted instructional time.
The unhappiest teachers (job wise) at my school are the ones that have rigid routines. I am NOT saying do NOT have a routine (students benefit from routine) but things come up all the time ... be flexible, work around it, roll with the punches.
I learned not to put names on anything the first couple weeks of class. My school does so much moving around and so many students start late that I was scrambling everyday to change and add names to everything. (Kinder)