As you’re preparing, here are 5 tips for new teachers to set up for success.
First of all, Congratulations! You aced the interview and you have your own classroom!
But… now what? You’ve worked so hard over the past several months (perhaps years) to study, take tests, go through multiple interviews to land the job of your dreams: a professional educator. Now that you have this job, it’s time for you to think about what’s next as you ready yourself for your first year as a teacher.
While there is a great deal of preparation that you already started to think through, we compiled a few simple steps that will enable you to be as effective as you can be, from day one. Leaderally believes that educators can thrive, but only through preparation.
Here are our top five tips for being a well-prepared, first-year teacher:
- Set your vision: Who do you want to be as a teacher? This may seem like a no brainer. You know who you are, but strong leadership starts with vision. Think about your role models – from teachers you saw as a student teacher, to college professors and supervisors in other jobs you had throughout your life. What great things did you learn from them in terms of leadership? What did you observe that you would like to avoid in your leadership vision?
- Review your class list, any notes and any information you can get your hands on. This is a critical step in your day one prep. Your students are anticipating meeting you just as much as you anticipate meeting them. Find out as much as you can before you meet your students so that you are prepared with special requirements, such as sensory gadgets, standing work stations, or special seating placements. The more you prepare to meet each individual student, the smoother the first week of school will go.
- Plan some first week of school activities. Think about drafting a list of icebreakers and getting-to-know-you activities. The first week of school can be blissful and stressful at the same time. Over manage this aspect of your planning by creating a list of more ideas than you think you will need. Do you need a place to start?
- Make a timeline for the first six weeks of school and set benchmarks. Here is where you grab your handy copy of state, district, or Common Core State Standards. These will give you a place to start. What are your goals for the students this year? What lessons can you plan to do in the first 6 weeks to begin to attain the goals? Leaderally suggests creating this 6 week plan in pencil or on a document that you can easily change. Teaching is a very dynamic process and you will absolutely need to pivot during these first several weeks of school. (That’s why we wear comfy shoes, right? All that pivoting?)
- Get to know your team. You have time before the students arrive to set up your classroom and attend teacher orientation events. Take that time to meet your peers and ‘neighbors.’ You don’t need to find your work BFF, but you will need support in this critical first year. Don’t be afraid to shake hands and introduce yourself, this is your team, and they want to know you, too.