Ten Terrific Survival Tips
Veteran teachers share their wisdom for teaching success now and in the years to come
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
1 Keep It Simple.
Avoid having too much
going on at once, and steer clear of grandiose productions. Even
in the upper grades, aim for simplicity - in the primary grades, this is especially important.
2 Listen. Listen. Listen.
On your first day among your fellow teachers, and then with the students - listen. Absorb philosophy, interactions, names, faces, worries. Keep listening, even when you begin to feel more comfortable in your new role.
3 Get an Early Start.
If possible, organize your classroom several days before school starts. Put name tags on desks, label homework baskets, set up desks in groups. Create seating charts and, when school starts, use these charts to practice each child's name until you have memorized them all.
4 Be Consistent With Discipline.
Consistent discipline is hard to achieve in the classroom and in life. During the first few days, discuss classroom and school rules. Ask for student input - they will often make tougher rules than you would. Post the rules and review them often. Learning doesn't take place in chaos.
5 Make Time for Each Student.
Make the rounds of your classroom. Don't forget the quiet one, and give time to the nervous one. Pause by each group at work. This is how you will learn about personalities and learning styles.
6 Build a Caring Community.
Have "meet and greet" activities. Greet each child at the door with a smile and a handshake. Encourage classmates to find out about each other by asking questions. Learn something unique or special about every student. Children need to know that you value and respect them.
7 Be Patient.
Allow children their space, their right to contribute. Don't hurry students. Like climbing a mountain, don't worry about how many steps it takes to reach the top. Just keep going, and trust that you, and your students, will get there.
8 Encourage Genuinely.
Notice what's positive about a project, paper, etc., and comment on that. Remember to be specific when suggesting ways to improve. Note improvements.
9 Be Creative.
Bring in a hobby, a new storybook, a special flower - something new once in a while. Show students anything that will help them remember to find interesting things right in their own backyards.
10 DON'T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY.
Take a deep breath
before dealing with a conflict. Try not to get emotionally involved. Deal
with the problem, then move on. Remember to have fun, grow, and learn!