What Would You Tell Your First Year Teacher Self?

Ms. Jones says:  “Don’t worry so much about what other teachers think. You were hired for a reason. Be that person! (But take advice as needed.)”

Ms. Dueck says:  “Be gentle with yourself!   Not every lesson plan or art project will go as smoothly as you thought or dreamed…sometimes they blow up in your face. That’s ok! You might be able to do it with a different group without any problems. I’ve been able to.”

Ms. Johns says:  “Don’t be afraid to show initiative and to try your own ideas!! Bring something new to the grade level table!! As a veteran teacher, I certainly don’t expect the first year teacher to mirror me. Many times, I’ve had young teachers simply use my plans and then walk out the door by 4 pm while I’m there till 7 each night because they “have a life”. If you haven’t had much experience with five and six year olds, then do some research into developmental characteristics and milestones that are expected during this stage of life.”

What Would You Tell Your First Year Teacher Self?  Find out what teachers have said!

Ms. Dawn says: “You need to brace yourself for how much you are going to love your students!”

Ms. Seals says:  “Remember that you have a life and family outside of the school and your students. It’s OK to stay after school but set a time to leave. My first few years it was nothing to eat dinner in my classroom with another new teacher as we planned and graded, so we could be prepared. Now I work for no more than 1 hour after the kids leave. I’m still as prepared for the following day, but I have time to go home and spend quality time with my family and friends.”

Ms. Salmon says:  “Since this was my first year, I’d have to say the following: You don’t have to do what your coworkers do to fit in or out of peer pressure. Sometimes, you need to shut your door and teach to YOUR greatest ability. You don’t have to be like everyone else. We were all made different with different styles.  Second, don’t be the teacher who says that your students can’t do something. Yeah, they may stumble at first but with practice, the sky is the limit.”

Ms. Butler says:  “What they taught you in college is a very small fraction of teaching. Ask for help and accept it when offered. But most importantly, take time for yourself each and every single day.”

What Would You Tell Your First Year Teacher Self?  Find out what teachers have said!

Mrs. John from The Kindergarten Connection says:  “Living at school does not always equal a better teacher…. you can feel overwhelmed and pressured to spend tons of time there (let’s face it, the work is never done) but remember to step back and try to keep a life for yourself so you don’t burn out. Even the most organized, best laid plans, won’t turn out that great if a tired, burned out teacher is leading them!”

Ms. Lyle says:  “Don’t be afraid to make your own identity as a teacher. I’m surrounded by coworkers telling me “this is what we always do,” and I quickly realized that didn’t fit who I was. It was terrifying to seek out my own resources, stand up for what little playtime I had, and forge my own path as a first year teacher, but it’s paid off! Trust your instincts!”

Ms. Amato says:  “Student Teaching is nothing at all like a real day on the job! Don’t go into teaching thinking it will be as easy as student teaching. Prepare yourself for all of the extra hours, stress, and emotional stress! Side note: I love what I do, just being honest!!”

Ms. Leccese-O’Brien says:  “Breathe.”

What Would You Tell Your First Year Teacher Self?  Find out what teachers have said!

Ms. Talbert says:  No matter what happens on any given day, ALWAYS start the next day with a clean slate. Especially with your favorite trouble makers!

Ms. Thielen says:  “It’s okay to just “survive” some days.. I wanted to have perfect days every day but ended up just barely making it through a few of them. You know what? My kiddos still learned!! grin emoticon You’re still learning as a first year, and all you can do is do your very best (just like I tell my kids!) I think what is most important is staying calm and building good relationships with your kids. Another teacher told me once that nothing I try to teach will hurt them, only help them. Even if you totally screw up a lesson, they’re no worse off than when you started. It helped me relax a little my first year (this year!)”

Ms. Lupnacca says:  “Be consistent! I felt as a young teacher there were times I was inconsistent and it bit me in the long run.”

What Would You Tell Your First Year Teacher Self?  Find out what teachers have said!

Mrs. Ellsworth from The Creative Classroom says:  “That it’s okay to leave everyday without accomplishing your entire to-do list!”

Ms. Rohr says:  “1st- Enjoy your students.  2nd – They will learn, don’t stress over every little thing.  3rd – Learn from your team, but don’t be afraid to adjust what they do to fit your students and your teaching style.”

Ms. McCourt says:  “These are the ones I share when I mentor: 1. Be flexible and over-plan. 2. There is “no perfect lesson” or a “perfect teacher.” 3. Have patience and empathy – every difficult child has a parent that would die for them. 4. You are now going to learn to be a teacher – college just touches the surface of REAL teaching. 5. Reach out to your experienced colleagues – you learn from each other.”

Ms. Pointer says:  “Stand up for yourself.”

Ms. Lynn says:  “Remember that your students are someone’s baby.”

What Would You Tell Your First Year Teacher Self?  Find out what teachers have said!

Ms. Hagan says:  “Have expectations, but be thankful whatever the outcome is.”

Ms. Rosenthall says: “… make friends with the custodian and the secretary. They will save you in countless ways over the years!!

Mrs. Armstrong from Teacher Laura says:  “I would advise new teachers to set up an organizational system from day one. Where will daily lessons be stored? Where will you put copies/projects that are prepped in advance? Where will you put handouts from staff meetings, notes from parents, or anything else. When you have a place for each of these things you don’t get buried in paperwork. Staying organized helps you manage your day and keep the lessons flowing. Your room will look better when you have organizational systems in place. Just as students need routines, teachers themselves need structure to maintain a classroom.”

Ms. Todd says:  “Be a positive force in your building. Avoid gossip and negative people as much as you can. Lastly, find a way to squeeze in fun every day with your class.”

Ms. Heumann says:  “You aren’t perfect and don’t hold yourself to that goal. Twenty-seven years later and I’m not perfect.”

What Would You Tell Your First Year Teacher Self?  Find out what teachers have said!

Ms. Neal says:  “1. Take Airborne religiously. 2. never doubt yourself as you should always teach w/confidence! 3. Avoid negative co-workers. 4. Be a part of the solution and not the problem.”

Ms. Austin says: “Procedures, procedures, procedures for your students. They are your best friend.”

Mrs. Cassidy from Kindergarten Smarts says:  “Be firm and consistent. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When you’re feeling overwhelmed talk to your admin (even if they scare the day lights out of you!), and see what they can do for you. That way they know you care and are giving it your all. Ugh. That just brought back memories!!”

Ms. Barr says:  “Read and listen to the videos “How to be an effective teacher.” by Harry Wong.”

Ms. MacLaughlin says:  “Start organizing now!!!! I can’t find a system that sticks even 8 years later!”

Ms. Hartsfield says:   “Don’t give out your cell phone number!!  I gave out my cell number my first year of teaching and I had a couple of parents who would call me over silly things ALL THE TIME! One grandparent would even call me multiple times and if I didn’t answer she would call my family members and ask where I was and why I wasn’t answering! (We live in a small town but enough is enough!) My principal finally had to call and tell her to stop calling me!”

Ms. Tietjens says:  “You will be tested with a tough group of kiddos and parents this year but next year will the opposite and it will be the best gift ever.”

Ms. Scrivner says: “Learn everything you can from a mentor teacher!”

What Would You Tell Your First Year Teacher Self?  Find out what teachers have said!

Ms. Jackson says:  “Don’t spend every waking hour at school! Stay out of the lounge. Make friends with the janitor and the secretary. It’s OK to be in bed by 8! You will be exhausted the first and last month. You can’t save them all. Not everyone will love your students like you do. I still need to remind myself of these 20 some years into the career!”

Ms. Adams says:  “Don’t sweat the small stuff and you’re doing a great job….just give yourself a break!!”

Ms. Green says:  “If you don’t have a supportive principal, get out of that school -fast. My first year and years after that, are like night and day when it comes to support. So glad I stuck with teaching. Almost didn’t due to my first year.”

Ms. McNicholas says:  “Don’t argue with children!”

Ms. Williams says:  “Sing more! Children do not care one iota that your singing voice sounds like a cat crying at midnight.”

Ms. Flynn says: “Be yourself…don’t change your personality based on the views of your “older” co workers ( many of mine were bitter..)”

Ms. Muckell says:  “Remember to breathe every once in a while.”

What Would You Tell Your First Year Teacher Self?  Find out what teachers have said!

Let us know, what would you tell your first year teacher self?

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