As a first time teacher, it can be stressful to know where to even start when planning for your upcoming year. You have no idea what to expect and might not know what you want your year to look like. Here are some tips and different things to consider when planning for your first year of teaching.
Have a solid morning work routine
It can be stressful for students to walk into a big classroom every morning where they may not feel incredibly comfortable and not know what to expect. If you establish routines with your students, it can greatly ease their anxieties. One of the best ways to do that is to always start class the same way, every morning. Establish a solid morning work routine. Some morning work ideas can include:
- Question of the day
- Review Question
- Writing prompt
- Drawing prompt
- Silly Question
This will also give you time to take roll and let the students settle down while jumping straight into working mode.
Stay caught up
If you can manage to grade a little bit every single day and not procrastinate, it would help you a tremendous amount. So often, teachers will let their grade work pile up and then tackle it all at once. That can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful. When this happens, you may have no choice but to stay up super late into the night grading papers. Sleep is so important for your body to function and your brian to process and think clearly. Another thing to not put off is planning for each class. Don’t wait until Sunday night to think about it. Set aside a little time each morning to help you plan.
Don’t stay at school too late
If you can spend a little bit of extra time here and there, do it! However, staying at school hours after the students go home will quickly lead to teacher burnout. Don’t stay at school too late.
Be consistent with classroom management
This is a very important one that many teachers tend to overlook in their first year. If you start off the year with your main focus as gaining the friendship of your students without establishing strong behavior rules, your students will quickly pick up on the fact that you may not care. You can still establish consistent behavior management while being friendly, but if you let it slide, especially at the beginning of the year, your students will expect you to let everything slide and behavior will get out of control quickly. Students need consistency and actually like it. If you are consistent with behavior issues, it will help them anticipate your response. If you let a couple behaviors slide, they will begin to think you may have favorites.
Be patient with yourself
Last but not least, be patient with yourself. Being a teacher is difficult, and often relentless work. In your first year, you will be watched closely by administration and will be given feedback and maybe even criticism. Try not to take this feedback personally, but let it be a suggestion on ways that you can grow and improve. Remember, just as your students are learning, you are as well. Sometimes you will be your biggest critic. Make sure you are not comparing yourself to other teachers. Young kids can often say silly things without filters. Don’t let a silly comment they say to you get you down.