Tips for First-Year Teachers
The first year of your teaching career can be overwhelming. You have stepped away from being the student to having students of your own, and now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice.
It is not uncommon for first-year teachers to feel uneasy as they gain their footing and discover for themselves what kind of teacher they will be.
Here are some of the most common tips from teachers who have been there:
There are many tips offered for how to get yourself and your classroom organized for the first day of school: Color-coordinating and labeling materials, keeping a planner for yourself, and making folders for each child for all parent-teacher communication to name a few. Resources such as Pinterest can also provide a helpful hand in collecting classroom organization ideas. However, when it comes down to it, you know what works best for you. The tip here is: put in the time and legwork to develop a system ahead of time.
According to a report by the Alliance of Excellent Education, of the 3.4 million public school teachers in the U.S., over 230 thousand leave the profession every year. Though there is debate as to leading factors for these numbers, one major consensus is that teachers are simply getting burned out, and quickly. Though many teachers who have stuck it out express gratefulness that they did, it is important to take precautions to prevent burnout. A few veteran teacher tips to help prevent stress-overload include: Don’t take things too personally, find an outlet (see tip below) and make time for breaks.
Find a mentor.
One common reason teachers become burned out or leave the profession is a lack of support. Having a mentor as a first-year teacher is invaluable. Teacher Retta Threet, told Education World that her “biggest mistake was not insisting on a mentor, or at least a peer teacher.” Missouri law actually requires every district to have a teacher-driven mentor program, where new teachers are provided a mentor within the school for a minimum of their first two years.
With over 600 of our education alumni acting as education leaders in school districts across Missouri, William Woods University is Missouri’s leading institution for educating educators, equipping those pursing a degree in education with the tools needed for success – from their first day in the classroom through their entire career.