Tips for New Teachers- From Those Who’ve Been There

New to Teaching? We know you’re probably getting plenty of advice but we thought we asked some of our veteran teachers and alumni what they would have liked to have known when they started their teaching experience. We hope you find this beneficial.  Let us know what you think or if you have some suggestions of your own.

1. Teaching is the most important profession. Each child you work with is someone’s entire world; handle their education with great responsibility, dignity, and care.
Joe Manko – Baltimore City school principal and former teacher

2. Teaching is about building a repertoire and matching appropriate pedagogical practice to the correct child, at the correct time. Lean into the complexity of the profession and reflect everyday on how you can improve.
Joe Manko – Baltimore City principal and former teacher

3. For the beginning of your teaching career, you will be overwhelmed by the curriculum, administrative demands, loads of paperwork and managing your overall life. My advice -keep it easy in the beginning and take the time to setup a foundation for the rest of the year.
Bobby Moore – Elementary school teacher

4. Set clear expectations, rules, and procedures for your students. Plan activities that allow you to build a community culture of trust in your classroom. Most importantly, work hard to build solid relationships with your students.
Bobby Moore – Elementary school teacher

5. My biggest challenge the first year was navigating the curriculum, which I received the week before school started. I worked hard to stay ahead of my students. I would encourage new teachers to call on their colleagues when they need help.
Jasmine Williams – Middle School Teacher

6. Your class will not be silent when you want them to be. This is a fact. Get used to it. In order for today’s classrooms to work, students will need to collaborate. To collaborate, they will need to talk and discuss.
Robyn Ford – Middle school teacher

7. The assignment and the material must be engaging, particular students need to have special spots in the classroom that limit distractions. Reward students who are doing the right thing and most of the class will join in to get a sticker with a puppy dog on it. As a new teacher, stickers, candy, and Class Dojo will be your friends.
Robyn Ford – Middle School Teacher

8. Think about how you talk to your kids. How would you feel if someone talked to your kids that way.
Ann Coy – Associate faculty, Johns Hopkins School of Education and former teacher

9. If you want students (and parents!) to know you care, build relationships one on one. They aren’t invested until they know YOU are.
Ann Coy – Associate faculty, Johns Hopkins School of Education and former teacher

10. You must make time for YOU each week. A cup of tea. A run. Cook dinner. Carve out some time for you, otherwise there won’t be enough of YOU left in October.
Ann Coy – Associate faculty, Johns Hopkins School of Education and former teacher

11. At the end of every single day, take a second to reflect and write down a little something (a sentence or two) about your day. You only get one “Year 1,” and you’ll be surprised at how little you remember in year 3, year 5, and year 10.
Daniel Sass – High School Teacher

About JHU School of Ed

SOETalk is an outlet for news, information, commentary and debate on the world of education with a focus on what affects students, prospective students and alumni of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education.
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