When you finally get your first contract as a teacher, you should be proud of how far you’ve come. With that pride, though, there is usually a hint of anxiety; you’re not in school anymore, and you don’t have your teachers there to help you. But fret not! The following is a list of the best tips for first-year teachers.
One of the most important first steps you can take in your teaching career is to find more experienced teachers who are willing to help. As you get to know your new coworkers, find the ones that seem the most enthusiastic about their jobs.
These are the people who will have the most wisdom about taking pride and joy in your work. Finding other teachers that you can connect with will also help you build a sense of community and fit in.
Take Care of Yourself
You should already know that kids spread germs. The best way to protect yourself against this is to eat well, rest, and keep an exercise regimen. These are the keys to a long life in general but will help keep you healthy during your first year.
Taking care of yourself can also include occasionally taking personal days off. Teachers almost always have personal and sick days built into their contracts, and planning for a day to yourself is a great way to avoid burnout. This is one of the best tips for first-year teachers.
Implement Active Listening
Everyone has been in classrooms: when you think of one, you probably imagine thirty desks evenly spaced apart, all facing one direction. However, this doesn’t have to be your layout.
Active learning is a relatively new method of teaching that focuses on the Four C’s: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. With these strategies, students are more likely to participate and often retain more knowledge than those following traditional methods.
Your first year of teaching can feel daunting—but remember that every teacher felt the same when they first started. The best teachers you ever had were, at one time, beginners. Look for mentors, stay healthy, and find your teaching style with active learning to take the first steps in your new career.