As I approach my first official year as a teacher there are many questions going through my mind as I prepare for my career. How will I constantly keep my students engaged? What classroom management skills will be the most effective? Will my students comprehend my lessons? Many of these questions have actually been answered in many of my pedagogical classes, but until I actually experience them they will only remain theories. I began to do some research and I came across an article titled “Advice for First-Year Teachers”. The article describes how they asked “sophomore” teachers to reflect on their successes and failures, and to also provide advice to first year teachers.
Here are some advice pointers given:
Keep students busy and engaged
Get peer support
Get parental support
Organize your students
Write and reflect
The article even provided 1st year teachers an ABCs list
Admit your mistakes — and learn from them.
Be firm but flexible.
Communicate with parents.
Develop a homework policy — and stick to it.
Empower your students; don’t just lecture to them.
Find time to attend after-school events.
Get to know all the teachers in your school and make friends with the cooks, custodians, aides, and secretaries.
Have the courage to try something else if what you’re doing isn’t working.
Institute a clear discipline policy — and enforce it consistently.
Just listen — both to what the kids are saying and to what they’re not saying.
Keep a journal.
Learn your school’s policies and procedures.
Model desired attitudes and behavior.
Non carborundum ignorami. (Don’t let the imbeciles wear you down.)
Prepare interesting lessons.
Quit worrying and just do your best.
Remember that you teach students first, then you teach whatever academic discipline you learned.
Understand that the learning process involves everyone — teachers, students, colleagues, and parents — and get everyone involved.
Volunteer to share projects and ideas, and don’t be afraid to ask others to share their ideas with you.
Work within your limits.
Xpect the unexpected — and plan for it!
Yell if you need support.
Zero in on your strengths, not your weaknesses. (Remember — nobody’s perfect!)