I'm about 7 weeks away from summer, and I've learned so much as a 1st year teacher in 1st grade. A couple notes for me to improve upon for August 2013... -Procedure procedure procedure. I didn't pound it in my kids' heads enough, despite my partner teacher telling me. I did it for 3-4 weeks and thought they were doing pretty well, so I then tried focusing moreso on curriculum. Now it's April and I'm finding myself having to retrain them. They've been better this week but man... the last couple weeks... I've had to stop instruction so much just to teach procedure... my partner was right. Take the first 6-8 weeks, and it will actually save you instructional time in the long run, because you won't have as many disruptions during your lesson if they are well trained and expectations/procedures are clear -Clutter. Organization is not my strong suit, but I'm going to have to make it a priority starting now. I often have papers in my hand that I'll pass out, or I'll collect a paper a child gives me, and as I go to put it where I want to, a student will stop me and I will set the paper down wherever I am. Then, I forget where I put it! And then, the clutter in my room makes it hard to find, on a dime, where I last put something. I read in Harry Wong's First Days of School book that we need a consistent outgoing pile, and an incoming one. The kids will stop you at every turn, and if you set something down as a placeholder, you can easily forget about it since the kids seem to interrupt you every 2.8 seconds... -Smoother transitions. Goes back to procedure. I find if you're looking for a paper or a supply material, even for 30-60 seconds, your kids are gone. It also goes back to organization. You need to be thinking 3-4 steps ahead with 1st grade, rather than 1-2 steps ahead. Sometimes I'll sit them down at the carpet, and as I sit down, oops, I left my "long arm pointer" at the kidney table, which is, of course, conveniently placed on the far opposite end of where I'm sitting. So just being more thoughtful of not wasting any motions in the classroom. Not walking a groove into the carpet. It's tough, but I need to work on becoming more conscious about limited movement to grab supplies -Don't let homework grading/checking pile up. Sometimes I fall behind a week or so, and instead of grading/checking 20 packets, I'm at 40. Got to keep up to par -Being more firm the first 3 months of school! This is a biggie, as I am a naturally soft-spoken super nice guy. I saw what being nice got me... a classroom full of crazies! August will be different. The students will respect me and obey. We will walk in a straight quiet line. As many retries as it takes. No cutting corners or thinking "Oh well, I mean, they ARE 6, right??" I think I can do it! Anyway, I'd love to read from other posters what were some things you learned after 1st year teaching 1st grade, or even, what you have learned this year, regardless of whether it's your 2nd year in 1st or your 20th!