Updated: Jul 2, 2020
Congratulations New Grad Teacher! It is time to get out there and start doing what you love and have trained for all this time. It is so, so, so exciting to get your first teaching job, but boy it can be overwhelming as well (I remember all too well). This year is going to be a massive and rewarding one for you, filled with fun, learning and maybe a few tears (don't worry if you find yourself shedding some tears, it is completely normal!)
It is also very normal to be unsure of where to begin now you have landed a teaching position. This post is designed to help you get started on your teaching journey. I have put together some tips and tricks to help you get started with confidence and ease:
1. Where to Start
Most of us worry about planning, setting up our classroom and the first day of school. These are two big projects that take time. I suggest to start with smaller tasks and build up to tackling these larger issues. Some smaller and achievable places to start include:
Congratulate yourself on getting the job – it is an achievement to be celebrated
Find out what grade you will be teaching
Get in contact with your grade partner/s and introduce yourself
Source a class list if you can (this will be helpful later on)
Purchase a teacher planner to provide you with a place to keep everything you need together in one spot!
2. How to Prepare
No matter how long you have been teaching, preparing for the beginning of a school year can be a little daunting. There is so much to do. Break it down into small chunks and tackle one thing at a time. Here are some tips on how I begin to prepare for the start of the school year:
Start a ‘To Do list' and break it down into things to do now and things to do later (I always keep this in my teacher planner, so it is easy to access and doesn't get lost)
Ask for a key to your new classroom so you can go in and begin to set up your new space
Consider classroom decorations you need to create to make your classroom inviting
Find out what you need to teach during first term/semester. Ask your grade partner or mentor if there are already programs that exist which you can use to help or guide you
Consider how you intend to run your classroom (classroom management, reward systems, routines etc). If you don't know where to start with all of this, we have collated checklists and helpful tips in our First Year Survival Pack.
Take some time out for self care before you begin!
3. First Day Help
The first day is a big one! It is essential to be prepared for this day so you can focus purely on your new students. I recommend:
Planning activities for the week as well as an additional activity or two. There are loads of Back to School packs out there that you may find helpful or ask your teaching partners what they are doing. Most teachers are more than happy to share.
Start learning names from Day 1! This may involve name tags, playing name games and repeating student names throughout the day.
At the end of the first day, share with your students something positive that happened throughout your first day together and why you are looking forward to spending the year together. By doing this, you will set the tone for your classroom culture.
4. Where to From Here
Your first year is going to be a year full of learning and development for you. Take each day as it comes and keep in mind these important things:
You can't do all the things all the time (pick and choose what is essential)
Slow and steady wins the race, take your time and remember you are still learning and that is ok
Find a mentor, someone you feel comfortable with and trust, that can help you at school when you are feeling unsure, overwhelmed or want to celebrate something that happened in your classroom.
Need more help, strategies and advice? We have created something special you are going to LOVE!
This resource is designed to provide you with a one-stop shop to help you with all your questions and queries as a beginning teacher. It offers a range of preparation and planning checklists, easy to understand information about the general running of a classroom as well as a place to store teaching inspiration, ideas and reflections. It even includes 15 printables to get you started for your first week of teaching!
Take the tips you found helpful in this post, leave the ones you don’t and share it with anyone else new to the teaching game that you think it will help! Thank you for visiting and best of luck for your first year!
We also run a first-year teacher mentorship program. Tap into our combined 20+ years of teaching experience and fast track yourself into becoming the confident and efficient teacher you really want to be! The doors are open only twice a year. Click here to sign up or jump on our waiting list.
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