10 tips to help new teachers
Updated: Jul 8, 2022
Hello, edumagicians. Welcome to another cross-over episode with Brittany Rincon of the Teacher Leader podcast. Brittany helps new teachers in their first few years as a mentor, and I work with aspiring teachers to become educators of excellence. We talk about ten tips for new teachers.
Let's jump right in!
1. Selfcare - You have to take care of yourself - first! It would help if you made time for yourself on your calendar and scheduled it so you can be successful by taking care of yourself. Selfcare is not selfish! For more self-care tips, you can read and listen to this podcast episode: Self Care: Let's do this. Also, you have to check out Kiana Cole's work in self-care.
2. Make a list of go-to people who can help you. On that list, identify who they are, office location, phone number, email address, and how s/he/they prefer to be contacted. Not only have go-to people in your district but also online. Build your PLN on Twitter and Instagram.
3. Set boundaries - Be protective of your time. Set boundaries for your email, DMs, messaging, etc. I let my students know I will get back to them in 24 hours on a weekday and 48 hours during a weekend and that I don't respond to messages after 9 P.M. Set boundaries for yourself and let your students know about them.
4. Don't be afraid to ask for help! It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. Don't be afraid to ask those questions. We are new to this and not perfect - and that is OK! We are always learning and getting better at the art of teaching.
5. Get to know your students - This is not just a first week or first day kind of thing. Continue to get to know your students, reach out to them, and let them know they are valued, heard, and appreciated. We can always get to know our students each day of the year. You can do polls, forms, four corners, agree/disagree, and more. You can also allow your students to get to know you!
7. Make a monthly checklist - Create a list of what happens each month. Jot down what happens each month - you may even want to pick up the Edumagic planner to help you do this! Also, reflect upon your lessons, units, and more on your experience in the classroom with that lesson.
8. Try something new with edtech - Use educational technology meaningfully in the classroom. Please get to know a few edtech tools well and then use them with your students in the classroom. I recommend nearpod and peardeck. Brittany recommends padlet. She shares how she uses it with her team and her students! So creative!
9. Find a mentor. Sometimes you are assigned a mentor; also, find one who inspires you! Ask for support, ask questions, and build a relationship. When you have the right mentor - your first-year changes for the best, you can also find an online mentor! Get connected! You can find a Facebook group by Melinda Thomas called New Teachers Connect.
10. Pitstops - Your first year is challenging. Sometimes you will have amazing days when your face hurts from smiling, but you will also have days that drain you - these pitstops. Don't stay here long. You will get through these times together. To learn more about pitstops - read EduMagic Shine On A Guide for New Teachers.
11. Work smarter. Not harder. - You don't have to recreate the wheel. Use best practices around you and be as efficient as possible. Be intentional with your time, connect with your mentor, and ask those questions.
Connect with Brittany Rincon