Advice and encouragement for rookie teachers

Updated: Jun 9


Dear New Teacher,


It's August, so you spend your pennies at Target Dollar Spots, Dollar Trees, and Walmart Back-To-School sales. You are also probably feeling a wide range of emotions as you start this new journey as an educator: overwhelmed, excited, nervous, competent, incompetent, anxious, ecstatic, etc. Those feelings are a normal part of the new teacher's journey.

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You have heard stories about the first years and the experiences of being a new teacher. Yes, it can be challenging. But, most importantly, it is worth it! You have to live it to learn it. You must go through the experience to learn the best practices for your learners, your environment, and your style. It won’t all be a walk in the park. There will be challenging moments.


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But remember these eight simple truths:


Expectations may not always hold, but that isn't all bad. We all have expectations of what we envision for our first job and classroom. However, as life teaches us, those expectations do not always hold. And guess what?! That's ok! Things work themselves out, and you will look back and realize those expectations that didn't hold were great learning experiences.


Disappointments happen, but stay positive and reflective.

Stay positive and reflective if you feel like you let your students down or things happen out of your control. Own your mistakes. We ALL make mistakes. It is part of life. Don't let your mistakes and disappointments define who you are as a teacher and person. Find the positive. If you can not admit you are flawed, how are you supposed to grow as a teacher of impact? Reflection is your most effective resource to bounce back from a disappointing experience and remember those #edumagic moments! Use a planner, lesson plans, notebook, etc., write down improvements for next time, and document the positives. You are going to do great things too, remember them.

You are unstoppable.

When you enter into the teaching profession, you are inevitably getting onto a ride called the "emotional roller-coaster ."Being an educator, you feel as though you have to carry your students' baggage. These are the situations that college can't prepare you for and catch you off guard. Just know when these situations arise, you ARE doing your best. Even though we want to, you will not be able to solve the world's problems alone. But you can give hope and support. You are giving a child a glimpse of hope, maybe just enough to help them get to the end of the tunnel. Just listen, do your best, and remember that you're trying, and that's all that matters. You may be that child's only resource or trusted adult.

You will make it all work.

There is a lot to figure out and pull together during the first years of teaching. Have faith, friend. You will make it all come together. Make a plan for tackling the to-do lists: classroom set-up, lesson prep for the first weeks of school, and weekly prep after. Stick to your plan and create a means of managing your time wisely. Time management will only help you create a healthy balance of work and personal life.

We're all in this together.

Do not take on the mentality of "I must do everything on my OWN!" Instead, think, "Teamwork makes the dream work." It is better to collaborate with others than to take on everything yourself. You will have many questions to ask, so ask them! Find your teacher group. Find the group that stays positive, supports you any way they can, and is approachable. This teacher group you create will help you get through your first year. They will lift you, guide you to help your students succeed, and advise you. We need our teacher groups!



Have a plan for getting ready.

Sure, you've been pinning classroom decor and all the "cute" trends, and you can't wait to start yourself. Set-up is essential, but a classroom is more than just aesthetics. Make a list of things you need to do (bulletin boards, student desks, back-to-school letters, etc.) Cross things off as they get completed. Stay organized: both for yourself and your students. How will you keep your things organized? What will the classroom routine look like? How will you keep students organized? Keep your classroom student-centered. Change your thinking from "How can I make my classroom cute?" to "How can I make my classroom functional?"

Don't forget your WHY.

Some days are more complex than others, and you may question why you decided to teach on those days. These days, it is essential to hold on to your calling as a teacher. These days, it is imperative to hold tight to your people, your words, and your inspiration. Who do you aspire to be like? Who comforts you on your tough days? What words motivate you? How do you uplift yourself?

Check yourself. Are you a bucket filler or dipper?

Words matter. Remember the toothpaste analogy we teach our students? Just like toothpaste can't get back into the tube after being squeezed out, our words can't go back into our mouths once said. Be mindful of what you say and how you say it. Also, stay positive with others aren't. Don't get drawn into negative talk and moods.

Congratulations, new teacher! You are about to start a fantastic journey. Believe in yourself. Have confidence. Find your people. And have a fantastic year!


Use the code SAM to get 10% off your copy of EduMagic Shine On a Guide for New Teachers here.

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