We know how overwhelming teaching can feel when you’re just getting started. That’s why we’re on a mission to help as many new teachers as we can to conquer all the biggest challenges encountered at the start of the school year.
Being a new teacher can be daunting. But we want you to know, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Stick with us, and we will have you feeling more in control in no time.
We hear from many new teachers at this time of the year, and they all have the same concern – Where do I start? and What do I need to do over the break to be prepared and ready?
Today those questions will be answered. Here are 3 things you can do over the Christmas holidays to be prepped and ready for your first year of teaching:
1.Plan your First Day/Week
Getting ready with activities for the first day and week means you are going to start with a confident mindset. It also allows you to free your mental space so you can concentrate on developing relationships with your students.
The first few days will be a mixture of:
- Housekeeping tasks – For example: handing out supplies, organising seating, ensuring students know where to put their belongings and how to access necessities in the classroom
- ‘Getting to know you’ activities (remember this is a time where the students are getting to know you too)
- Setting up routines that will sustain you for the year
- And perhaps some testing, depending on what your school requires
Teacher tip: We highly recommend you don’t do any testing on the first day of school, no matter what your requirements are. Students should leave your classroom on the first day excited and ready to return for a great year of learning with you.
When planning your first week, we recommend you have a few extra activities up your sleeve just in case. Having a plan B and C as a teacher will stand you in good stead.
Click here for some icebreaker games that we love to use at the beginning of the school year.
2. Get clear on your classroom management plan for the first week
This can be one of the most daunting things for new teachers. Dedicating some time to collect ideas and then reflect on what you want to start with will be time well spent before you begin the school year.
Once you get to know your students, things may need to change, but in the meantime consider:
- What is my whole class positive behaviour plan
- How will I reward positive behaviour
- How do I plan to deal with negative behaviours
- What is my school’s approach to these things?
Teacher tip: Keep things simple. The best classroom management strategies are the ones that aren’t complicated. We all want to feel seen, heard and valued and the kids in our class are no different, so if you keep this at the forefront of your mind a simple approach is often the best (and easiest to action!)
3. Start to prepare for setting up your classroom
This is something that we still get excited about! There are so many options and considerations depending on what year level you’ll be teaching. The aim is to create an inviting space for your students, so they feel welcomed and comfortable.
Begin by making a list of what you think you will need. Then sort your list into must do, can do and if I have time lists. This will help you focus on your priorities.
For more guidance in setting up your classroom, check out this blog post about things we believe are must-haves and things we think you can leave behind.
Teacher tip: Remember not every wall needs to be decorated within an inch of its life. You will continue to create a homely classroom environment with your students over the course of the year.