First-day jitters are not the exclusive domain of students. Teachers also worry about what to wear, how to act, how to make a good first impression, and how the school year will turn out. If you are a fresh face on the teaching scene — or even if you’re just looking for new ways to hone your teaching skills — the following resources will help you get going.
Building Relationships With Students, Parents, and Others
Building solid relationships with your students and their parents can help you adjust your teaching methods so that learning can be more personalized for your pupils. These resources will give you tips and ideas on how to forge those important bonds.
- Back in August 2014, Edudemic published an article that served up five essential back-to-school relationship building tips for new teachers. One of your relationships should be with a mentor, whether that is an experienced coworker at your school or a mentor whom you find online.
- What ingredients go into positive student-teacher relationships? In this resource, Phyllis Ohr, a teachers’ consultant and school psychologist, lists the elements of such relationships using “POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS” as an acronym. A few parts of the acronym stand for praise, openness, support, and interest.
- Teachingthecore.com describes four keys to an impactful teaching career, one of which is the ability to get along with parents, administrators, and school support staff. The 14 tips that follow include things like assuming that administrators have positive motives and keeping in touch with parents via email.
- Much of a child’s education takes place at home, but you can impact even that aspect of your students’ learning if you keep in touch with parents. This article from teachercreated.com offers five ways you can connect with parents, such as by inviting parents to the classroom and making an effort to remember their names and faces.
- All workplaces — including schools — have a mishmash of personalities that may present a challenge to those who are new to the environment. Tweakyourbiz.com is not
- A website that focuses on education, but the pointers that they give on how to get along with all your coworkers may prove invaluable.
Managing Your Classroom
Managing students’ behavior is a challenge whether it is your first day on the job or your last. These resources may help you keep the classroom environment on the calm side of chaos.
- What kind of rules do you need in your classroom? Setting out behavioral expectations may be easier if you think of rules in categories. Edutopia discusses the five categories of rules, which include academic, social, procedural, cultural, and personal rules. Considering these may help you craft an effective set of behavioral guidelines for your classroom.
- If you have written a reasonable set of rules but still find that the atmosphere in your classroom is a little wilder than you would prefer, try these tweaks from Smart Classroom Management. Many involve making small changes to your behavior — and even to the way that you think — to influence the way that your students act.
- Top Notch Teaching provides an easy-to-scan article that gives lists of simple suggestions that you can use to take charge of an unruly class. The ideas include doing things like varying your lessons to keep students interested, getting to know your students, and fairly and consistently applying the rules.
Planning Your Lessons
The ability to plan effective lessons will benefit you for your entire teaching career; it will save you from the stress of not knowing how to approach a subject. These resources will help you transfer information from pages and devices to students’ brains.
- This well-organized list from discoveryeducation.com gives links to free teacher resources. The list has material for different grade levels and subjects. The resources include things like lesson plans, games, and worksheets.
- Teachers are crunched for time, and you may find it difficult to slide in opportunities for your students to go beyond learning the facts to using their creative abilities. This list gives 40 ideas you can use to incorporate creativity into everyday lessons; the list is organized by grade level and contains links that show examples of the suggested ideas.
- This list from webanywhere.us directs you toward some of the best resources for free lesson plans. The list contains such reputable sources as Education World, Kids Discover, and Lesson Planet.
Other Resources to Help You Start on the Right Foot
You might be fresh out of college, but standards in education change so quickly that you still have to put forth effort to keep up. How can you do that? How can you manage stress at work, and how can you prepare for the new school year? These resources will help.
- New Teacher 911 from Middleweb.com is a treasure trove of handy information for new middle-grade teachers. The links on this page will help you with classroom management and relationship building, among other things.
- The National Education Association provides lesson plans as well as information about school life, classroom management, and teaching strategies. The website also addresses the politics of education; it has sections that focus on things like Common Core standards and college affordability.
- Making the mental switch from summer vacation to the new school year presents a challenge. This article from “The Guardian” gives pointers on how you can prepare yourself to dive into your classroom routine without feeling overwhelmed. The advice is not geared specifically for new teachers, but the principles still apply.
- The American Psychological Association offers tips on how to cope with stress at work. The information here can help you identify your main stressors and deal effectively with them as you settle into your new career.
Teaching comes with profound personal rewards, but starting any new job is a challenge. The above resources will help you put your career on the right path from the get-go.