Tips for New Teachers

So, you’ve always wanted to become a teacher, and finally, it’s here! Being a new teacher reminds me of the feeling I had when I brought my first baby home from the hospital.

Of course, I had read everything I could about babies, decorated the nursery, and dreamed about how I wanted to raise the little one, but once I brought him home, I had this tiny bit of panic inside of me, thinking, “Now what?”

As you look at your empty (or not so empty) classroom, you may also be thinking, “Now what?” Well, don’t panic! You can find lots of great advice here from veteran teachers, who want to help you have a successful first year.

  1. If you make learning fun, you’ll have kids who want to be there. (S. Ramsey)
  2. Enjoy every moment. Keep a journal of the cool and funny things that happen. On bad days, look at the things that made you smile. (T. Carroll)
  3. The hardest kids may be the ones who need you the most. (M. Sautbine)
  4. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know but I’ll find out.” (N. King)
  5. Do not be tentative when you discipline. Be able to say, “No,” or “Stop,” with conviction! Stand by your decisions (even if you would handle it differently the next time it comes around. (The Room Mom)
  6. It’s okay to fail…First Attempt in Learning…Teach your students that. It makes success so much sweeter! (L. Greer)
  7. Never stop learning. (D. Young)
  8. Make sure the class and school rules are practiced consistently! Also, for your transition times. Good luck and enjoy! (S. Shelton-Farmer)
  9. Grab a mentor, someone who will give you honest feedback. Stay positive. Smile with the teaching moments that your kids enjoy, but reflect on opportunities for improvement. (M. Ann)
  10. Have some kind of organization system. (J. Maddux)
  11. Don’t forget to keep some balance. There will come a day when teaching will be second. Don’t lose yourself. (E. Koht)
  12. There are days where nothing will go as planned and all you want to do is cry. Go ahead and cry. Just don’t do it in front of your students. (K. Mahaffey)
  13. Get your rest. You will need it!! And you will never poke fun of another teacher having summers off! (V. Carter)
  14. Write funny stuff down! It can be published someday! You think you’ll remember but you won’t!! (C. Blue)
  15. Work smarter and not harder and take time for yourself! You won’t be any good to your students if you’re always tired, (B. Navy)
  16. When I did my student teaching, the first day my cooperating teacher told me no matter what happens, to always be fair and consistent. It was the best piece of advice and I live by it, even on those days when I think my 75 eighth graders may be secretly plotting my demise. (R. Petrone)
  17. Show all the kids that you like them, especially those who are hard to like. They need love and acceptance the very most. (G. Blats)
  18. Have a fully equipped toolbox and know how to use it. (B. Partin)
  19. Learn to have strong classroom management skills. It’ll make a huge difference in the learning environment and how you feel at the end of each day! Sign up for any related trainings that have good reviews by your seasoned colleagues. (C. Louie)
  20. Develop a family atmosphere in your classroom and let your students know you really care. And give your best when lesson planning because they deserve your best. (A. Murrieta)
  21. Keep it simple sweetie (KISS). Sometimes we can over-complicate things! If you’re not sure what the object of the lesson is, don’t teach it until you do. (The kids won’t get it either). Grab a great mentor, be open to life long learning and have fun doing it! (O. Wright)
  22. Don’t beat yourself up over a lesson. Sometimes it’s about quality, not quantity. Sometimes less is more. (T. Wheeler)
  23. Be flexible. Work with others. Love your students! Know the support staff at your school. (P. Carvalho)
  24. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You won’t be perfect at everything your first few years, but you will be good at many things. Focus on your strengths and reflect on your shortcomings. (D. Barr)
  25. Always remember that every day is a new day. You’ll have some awesome days and you’ll have some blah days, but the key to not giving up is remembering the reason you became a teacher. It surely wasn’t for the paycheck. (S. Perez)
  26. You can do this! If not, fake it until you make it! Turn to Pinterest and blogs for more information about the things you are unsure of. (A. Cook)
  27. Do the best you can and then just keep on going! (R. Williams)
  28. Make a connection with each child every day. Make each one feel valued. (R. Johnson)
  29. Make sure to use humor whenever you can to capture attention or to gently re-direct behavior. (R. Schmoll)

and finally my best advice…

  1. You really do set the tone of the classroom. Make your classroom a warm, inviting place where kids look forward to coming to school and enjoy learning. When kids have 1st grade or 3rd grade or whatever grade…they really have YOU! Make it the best year possible for them. (J. Larson – The Teacher Next Door)

A big thank you to all of my Facebook teacher friends for their words of wisdom and best wishes to you for an awesome school year!


If you’re a 3rd – 5th grade teacher, you might like this easy-to-use Back to School Unit. It includes both print and digital formats and has lots of fun activities, icebreakers, and academic activities that will help you start the year off right! It not only helps you get to know your students, but it also helps your students make a good transition to their new classroom.

Click here to see the print and digital Back to School Unit for 3rd – 5th Grades:

Back to School Activities for 3rd - 5th Grades


Here’s to a great school year for you!


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The Teacher Next Door - Creating upper elementary resources that target standards for busy teachers

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The Teacher Next Door - Creating upper elementary resources that target standards for busy teachers

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