Teacher Resources

Navigating the New Teacher Experience

The following tips are taken from "The Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know" by Catherine Wilcoxson, Ph.D.  A full copy of her article is available here: Top_Ten_Things_Teachers_Should_Know_2013.pdf


1.  Don't worry so much about doing the right thing.  There is no one right way.  You must determine what works best with your personality, your students, and school policies.  Read your school's student handbook for basic guidelines and insight into the culture of your school.


2.  Relax.  Get to know your students.  Listen, empathize, and above all be patient.  Your students are great people.  Let them know you care about them and their education.


3.  Teaching is hard work.  Be flexible in managing your time.  It will help if you thoroughly think through your day's activities and objectives, keep careful records and notes, and prepare to explain and give common everyday examples.


4,  Standards cannot be ignored and should not be feared.  Standardized tests are often used to determine many things including district performance, allocation of funds and to gain public approval.  Look at these standards as an aid to good teaching and let them help you decide what to teach and to support your decisions about what and how to teach.  To gain a better understanding of standards and their use in your district, offer to serve on the committee that implements standards in your school.


5. Don't isolate yourself.  New teachers are often overwhelmed with the demands of their first teaching job.  Take the initiative to develop personal and professional relationships in your school.  Work closely with your mentor and seek out resources for support during your first year experiences.  Your teacher education program is a key resource in supporting you through these first years in the classroom.  Stay connected with them!


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