Back-to-school can be both an exciting and overwhelming time for teachers. There are several nuggets of advice that veteran teachers wished someone would have told them when first starting out. Here are five of them:
1. Organize Your Classroom as Soon as Possible
Teachers need to organize their classrooms as soon as possible. For those who have never put together a classroom before, take a walk around the school and see what other teachers are doing. Make sure to invest in a solid bookcase; preferably one with wheels so the room can easily be rearranged throughout the year.
2. Make Name Cards for Every Student
It’s important to learn each student’s name as promptly as possible. The sooner we learn names the more quickly we create a comfortable learning environment in the classroom. It’s a good idea to securely tape a nameplate to each child’s desk and to even have the students wear nametags for the first week or so.
3. Set Behavior Standards Right Away
Standards for classroom behavior need to be established on the first day. Most children crave solid routines. Make sure all classroom procedures, including behavioral expectations, are posted prominently in the room.
4. Make Staying Healthy a Priority
First year teachers are notorious for catching every bug in the school – especially throughout flu season. Fortunately, a teacher’s immune system gets stronger after the first year. During the first year, however, it’s necessary to exercise regularly and get as much sleep as possible. Here are some Daily Tips to Stay Happy and Healthy All Week Long.
5. Keep Lesson Plans Done a Week Ahead
This is important because each of us will have times when we’re so busy that preparing adequately for the next week just won’t happen. It’s especially important to have a substitute kit or binder with general information and lesson plans that can be used in case of an unexpected absence. Keep a sturdy binder with plans on the desk at all times.
Being organized and prepared is the key to successful teaching. Following these few tips will help you make it through those first few weeks with confidence.
What addition back-to-school wisdom would you pass along to a teacher just starting out?