There are some things your teacher prep program has neglected to mention: - Fire drills. They're IMPORTANT. But they also have a way of messing up your day. If you're in early elementary, don't be surprised if someone (my daughter Kira for example) has a total heart attack. She's terrified of loud noises, and fire drills are a real issue for her. In secondary, I can almost promise that a fire drill will coincide with your first test. When it does, tell the kids not to sweat it, just continue working at a normal pace; you'll grade accordingly. - Expect to get sick. Your immune system is in for a huge shock. It's about to get the workout of your life. You will have more colds this first year than any other of your life. So tonight, hit CVS or Target and get the medicines of your choice, and stock up. You'll be glad you did at midnight some night when it starts to hit. - Be careful not to let school consume your life. Yes, it's important. But there are few "teaching emergencies." Don't neglect your family or friends. My first year, I graded every Friday afternoon till about 6, had dinner, took a nap, then went out with friends. - A blazer lends instant authority. But however you dress, make sure it sends the message you want to send. - A sure way to disconnect with a kid is to not know his name. This is a huge struggle for me every year. This year, with 9 classes I can expect to teach over 300 kids a week, aside from my study hall or cafeteria duty. But I've got to learn all their names, and know how to prounounce them all correctly. It's non-negotiable. - A sure way to become a facebook joke is to be constantly unsure of your content. You need to be solid in your material. - No kid in the history of teaching has ever bought the line "I was just checking to see whether you were paying attention." If you make a mistake, be honest about it, fix it, and move on.