What New Teachers Need to Know

How would you finish this sentence? "When I was a new teacher, I wish someone had told me..."

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

It is very important to take a deep breath before each day, and you cannot solve all the classroom problems in one day.

Shelly Green, Vancouver, BC, Third grade


Never assume anything about students, parents, or other educators.

Lyn Fox, Upper Darby, PA, Fourth grade


If you want to cover the textbook, sit on it!

Sally McGuire, Greensboro, AL, Fourth and Fifth grade


Enjoy the journey and not worry so much about the end result of each day, each grading period, or each year. Teach the best you can and love each child the best you can.

Ann Eisenstein, Columbia, SC, Grades K–6


Be sure and concentrate on managing behavior before trying to teach lessons!

Nena Lucero, Oxnard, CA, K–Fifth grade


There is a lot more to teaching than just giving kids information. There is a whole other side to teaching, which involves juggling five different "hats" so that you can provide the best education to all of your students — not just those who are in the middle stream of the classroom.

Vanessa Carter, Sydney, NSW


Be firm, firm, firm!

Jennifer Yelinek, York, PA


Relax. Your class doesn't know your plans or the expectations of your daily lesson plans. If you don't cover everything you will have time. Review what you did that day and, if needed, continue what you did not finish. Enjoy your students and let their creativity, as well as yours, flow.

Michele Kikas, Balto, MD, Kindergarten and Second grade


How much work was going to go into it!

Nikki Del Barto, Gilbert, AZ, Second grade


There are other options for students who insist on making learning difficult for other kids. I learned that teachers have rights when it comes to sending children out of their classrooms when their behavior becomes intolerable.

Amy Olsen, Olympia, WA, First grade


Your tone of voice makes a world of a difference.

Mrs. Perdomo, Santo Domingo, DR, Fifth grade


To take time for myself, read a good book, talk to my friends, exercise, and do something outside rather than worrying about all the work before me. Try to enjoy small moments of success in the classroom. Our minds and bodies need to be nurtured and tended to in order to be effective at long-term teaching and to stay healthy.

Joan C. Fingon, Poultney, VT


Not to sweat the small stuff. I was not going to change the world in a day.


Name withheld

  • Subjects:
    Classroom Management, Survival, New Teacher Resources, Teacher Tips and Strategies
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