First Year of School

Survival Guide


  • Start now to prepare for the predictable events of your first school year.
Seek advice, study your strengths and weaknesses, eliminate trouble areas
  • Using small steps, overcome your fears.
Shyness, self consciousness, anything else uncomfortable

Keep a Teaching Journal

  • A teaching journal can be any notebook that is large enough to hold your teaching thoughts and suggestions.
  • Useful to record any ideas and helpful strategies you discover.
  • A chief characteristic of the reflective practitioner
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Find a Mentor

  • Mentors can provide a first year teacher with more knowledge than a textbook.
  • They can tell you about the school, coworkers, and regulations at your workplace.
  • A mentor will serve as a guide, and confidant throughout that first year.

Allying with Students' Parents

  • Take a positive, proactive approach toward parents.

Steps to form an alliance

  1. Prepare a short statement to be taken home, signed, and returned, introducing yourself to parents and outlining your goals for the year.
  2. Once you have established disciplinary and homework policies, send a copy of those policies home for parental sign-off and return.
  3. On the first day, get the home, work, and cell numbers of each students parents or guardians.
  4. It is a good idea to call home early in the fall. If the student appears to be falling behind, turning out, or misbehaving, you can quickly correct the issue.
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Take Evaluation Seriously

  • Understand thoroughly how your work will be evaluated.
  • It is important for teachers to take the feedback seriously and utilize it for the future.

Take Care of Yourself

  • One of the greatest surprises of full-time teaching is how tiring it is.
  • New teachers need to give special attention to their health.
  • Reduce stress by trying to solve key problems that are bothering you.
  • Take vitamins, plan a weekend away, or exercise.
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