Your First Year of Teaching

My suggestions 2 help you get through the craziest year EVER

Lauren Carter

Durham Middle School

8th Grade History/8th Grade Girls Athletics


  • Write out your procedures so that you know what you want and how you like it.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice procedures with kids. I did this with activities. Put kids in groups with different procedures I had discussed in class (lining up, turning in papers, absent work) had the groups come with up with the how I expect it to be done and what not to do.
  • Make seating chart
  • Come off extremely firm for the first couple of weeks. Lighten up when you realize that kids understand and are following procedures.
  • HAVE SYSTEMS: turn in, line up, pencils, absent work.
  • Good time for ice breakers and learning style activities

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT (The essential element of survival)

****ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS****: Be real, be down to earth but don't be their friend

  • PROCEDURES- Kids should know what to do in any situation. GO over everything. Don’t assume that they know where the map pencils are because they are clearly in front of their face because those few kids all year will ask “where are the map pencils”.
  • CONSISTENCY – Don’t go back on your word. If you set a procedure. SET IT. Don’t tweak it every other day. MS students need consistency bc their hormones are so unstable.
  • SYSTEMS- Turn in, Absent work, late/missing, incentives, ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING
  • ORGANIZATION: Keep your self organized. I do this with binders. Discipline binder, RTI binder, Things to Keep Binder, extra copies, originals).
  • CONSEQUENCES: SET IT, FOLLOW IT. Keep in contact with parents. Pick your battles and handle all the problems in your classroom with the student/parent before going to the office.
  • REWARDS/INCENTIVES: When students do something right acknowledge it. They love compliments and good jobs! I also do CONTINENTAL DOLLARS as classroom cash for rewards.


  • Use it as a tool not as an everyday thing
  • Have about 4 apps you use regularly. DO NOT introduce a new APP a day. Introduce new ones when they have mastered the basic ones you started with.
  • Practice iPAD expectations just like you practice classroom expectations. Students will try to use it 24/7.
  • Use educational games for when students are finished with their work and waiting for others.
  • IPAD JAIL: Have a place where they put it when they aren't following the rules. HOLD THEM RESPONSIBLE
  • Record their usernames and passwords for your own files. They will lose it. Username: Carterlauren(studentID) Password: (studentid)+lastinitial ---> KEEP IT THE SAME

Things I Wasn't Prepared For

  • Extra duties and outside of classroom work-
  • Overwhelming amount of emails.- have folders in your email
  • Grading- keep up with it. Have a set time once a week to do at least an hour of grading.
  • Bathroom passes: Only allow a certain amount- 3 per 9 weeks is my policy.. if they want more they have to cash in their Continental dollars used for incentives.
  • PAPER PILES: Organize yourself. Binders help me. RTI Binder, Discipline Binder, Extra copies binder, Originals binder, KEEP binder.
  • TIME MANAGEMENT: Do not stay after 5:30. Make yourself go home and have a life. When you feel like you are drowning and can't come up for air.... YOU ARE DOING YOUR JOB RIGHT!
  • Don't take on too much: You can't be involved in everything. Take on a committee or extra task 2nd semester once you have a feel of FYT.
  • INNOVATION: USE OTHER PEOPLE AND RESOURCES! Don't reinvent the wheel, just tweak it.