The New Teacher Advice Column – Part 1 of 2

Being the new teacher on the block can be an overwhelming and lonely experience. It can often feel like everyone around you is thriving whilst you are barely surviving!

But we are here to tell you, every teacher that has walked the steps before you has FELT EXACTLY THE SAME WAY!

Many experienced teachers are often also trying to keep their heads above water with the many responsibilities expected of us as educators.

One thing we learned early on in our careers is that teaching is a team effort. So, we decided to ask our amazing community of teachers a question guaranteed to provide helpful and insightful answers.

We asked WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU WERE TOLD AS A NEW TEACHER? and were flooded with responses. Here is a snapshot of what they said:

    • Follow your heart, engage with the students, treat them and teach them the way you wished you were treated and taught when you were a student.
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      • Enjoy your life and family outside of work. Your kiddos don’t need perfectly cut and laminated games that take you hours to prep. They need love, they need someone to care, they need someone to help them. No matter what you do with them, they will love it.
        • Take care of your health by eating, sleeping, exercising, and balancing your personal life with work. Take a day off if you need it.
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          • Stay away from teachers that talk bad about students and complain no stop. They will drain your energy.
            • Teaching is way messier then anything you saw in school. You won’t do everything right, and that is ok. Even experienced teachers mess up regularly. You’re still human, and as long as you’re putting in your best, you are doing just fine.
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              • Keep a box or album of nice notes and drawings from kids.
                • Continue to be professionally curious throughout your career. Keep attending PD sessions, reading about ways to improve your practice, and keep trying new ways of teaching content and relating to your students.
                  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. Some students might look like non-thrivers, and they will end up surprising you. Believe in ALL of them.
                    • Kindness and grace go a long way. They are kids. Love them like you’d want a teacher to love your own child.
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                      • If a student doesn’t do what you asked, they might not have understood what you wanted them to do.
                        • Nothing can prepare you for what you are expected to do every day as a teacher except experiencing it first-hand.

Don’t compare the 1st chapter of your teaching career to the 30th chapter of someone else’s. You will always feel like you could be doing more. Year after year you will, but your first year is about surviving, doing your best.

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This post is the first half of a 2-part series. Check out Part 2 here.

If you loved these nuggets of wisdom, you will want to get your hands on the FREE document we put together with all the teacher advice we collected.

To make it easier to absorb all the excellent teaching advice, we have organised the advice into categories, from self-care to classroom management, to handling workload. We have covered it all!

Grab your free copy here!

What to read next:

5 quick tips for beginning teachers

A checklist to help you get organised

The biggest mistake I made as a first year teacher

Part 2: The Teacher Advice Column

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