The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

Sharing creative ideas and lessons to help children learn

Tips for New Teachers


BLOGS-TipsforNewTeachersPNG[1]So, you’ve always wanted to become a teacher, and finally you are! Being a new teacher reminds me of the feeling I had when I brought my first baby home from the hospital. Of course I had read everything I could about babies, had decorated the nursery, and had dreamed about how I wanted to raise the little one, but once I brought him home, I had this tiny bit of panic inside of me, thinking, “Now what?”

As you look at your empty (or not so empty) classroom, you may also be thinking, “Now what?” Well, don’t panic! You can find lots of great advice here from veteran teachers who want to help you have a successful first year:

  1. If you make learning fun, you’ll have kids who want to be there. (S. Ramsey)
  2. Enjoy every moment. Keep a journal of the cool and funny things that happen. On bad days, look at the things that made you smile. (T. Carroll)
  3. The hardest kids may be the ones who need you the most. (M. Sautbine)
  4. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” (N. King)
  5. Do not be tentative when you discipline. Be able to say “No” or “Stop” with conviction! Stand by your decisions (even if you would handle it differently the next time it comes around. (The Room Mom)
  6. It’s okay to fail. First Attempt in Learning… Teach your students that. It makes success so much sweeter! (L. Greer)
  7. Never stop learning. (D. Young)
  8. Make sure the class and school rules are practiced consistently! Also for your transition times. Good luck and enjoy! (S. Shelton-Farmer)
  9. Grab a mentor, someone who will give you honest feedback. Stay positive. Smile with the teaching moments that your kids enjoy, but reflect on opportunities for improvement. (M. Ann)
  10. Have some kind of organization system. (J. Maddux)
  11. Don’t forget to keep some balance. There will come a day when teaching will be second. Don’t lose yourself. (E. Koht)
  12. There are days where nothing will go as planned and all you want to do is cry. Go ahead and cry. Just don’t do it in front of your students. (K. Mahaffey)
  13. Get your rest. You will need it!! And you will never poke fun of another teacher having summers off! (V. Carter)
  14. Write funny stuff down! It can be published some day! You think you’ll remember, but you won’t!! (C. Blue)
  15. Work smarter and not harder, and take time for yourself! You won’t be any good to your students if you’re always tired. (B. Navy)
  16. When I did my student teaching, my cooperating teacher told me that no matter what happens, always be fair and consistent. It was the best piece of advice, and I live by it, even on those days when I think my 75 eighth graders may be secretly plotting my demise. (R. Petrone)
  17. Show all the kids that you like them, especially those who are hard to like. They need love and acceptance the very most. (G. Blats)
  18. Have a fully equipped toolbox and know how to use it. (B. Partin)
  19. Learn to have strong classroom management skills. It’ll make a huge difference in the learning environment and how you feel at the end of each day! Sign up for any related trainings that have good reviews by your seasoned colleagues. (C. Louie)
  20. Develop a family atmosphere in your classroom and let your students know you really care. And give your best when lesson planning because they deserve your best. (A. Murrieta)
  21. Keep it simple sweetie (KISS). Sometimes we can over-complicate things! If you’re not sure what the object of the lesson is, don’t teach it until you do. (The kids won’t get it, either). Grab a great mentor, be open to life-long learning, and have fun doing it! (O. Wright)
  22. Don’t beat yourself up over a lesson. Sometimes it’s about quality, not quantity. Sometimes less is more. (T. Wheeler)
  23. Be flexible. Work with others. Love your students! Know the support staff at your school. (P. Carvalho)
  24. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You won’t be perfect at everything your first few years, but you will be good at many things. Focus on your strengths and reflect on your shortcomings. (D. Barr)
  25. Always remember that every day is a new day. You’ll have some awesome days and you’ll have some blah days, but the key to not giving up is remembering the reason you became a teacher. It surely wasn’t for the paycheck. (S. Perez)
  26. You can do this! If not, fake it until you make it! Turn to Pinterest and blogs for more information about the things you are unsure of. (A. Cook)
  27. Do the best you can and then just keep on going! (R. Williams)
  28. Make a connection with each child every day. Make each one feel valued. (R. Johnson)
  29. Make sure to use humor whenever you can to capture attention or to gently redirect behavior. (R. Schmoll)And finally, my best advice…
  30. You really do set the tone of the classroom. Make your classroom a warm, inviting place where kids look forward to coming to school and enjoy learning. When kids have 1st grade or 3rd grade or whatever grade… they really have YOU! Make it the best year possible for them. (J. Larson – The Teacher Next Door)


A big thank you to all of my Facebook teacher friends for their words of wisdom and best wishes to you for an awesome school year!

Jenn Larson 2

Jenn Larson has been a teacher for 20 years and has taught grades K–5 at least once but has enjoyed teaching 4th/5th for the last nine years. Jenn loves to create curriculum that is engaging and meaningful for the busy teacher as The Teacher Next Door. Jenn is also the mother of two children and lives in Northern California.

Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest


  1. Hi Jenn,
    I really enjoyed reading your words of advice. I have just completed my final internship 2 weeks ago and have already accepted a contract starting in 2 weeks for the whole of Term 4 here in Australia. It is at a different school from where I have been. It is a grade 5 class that is particularly challenging. I spent this past year in a very low-socio-economic area school with 31 grade 5 students with extreme behaviours and I coped well. This is why I have been asked to take this on. I am so nervous though, as it is my first teaching position and it is at the end of a school year with reports due in week 5! I will be the 3rd teacher these kids will have had. The most important thing for me to do firstly, is to connect with the students and build positive relationships in my first week.
    I am not sure what their previous literacy group system has been or maths rotations but I am expecting I just have to prepare something myself. The school is closed for the next 2 weeks and the first time I will get into my classroom will be early in the morning of my first day. So I have no idea what resources there are to use. My deputy advised me that the class is fully resourced with posters, books, pencils, whiteboard markers etc. But I am not sure about filing systems and all that jazz.

    I am so nervous. My tummy is in knots but I am also excited to have this opportunity to be the teacher that can connect and make a difference.

    I am trying to work out a good organisation system that will work for me and that I can transport from my home to my classroom. I plan on trying to do all my planning and marking at school. I know there will be long days and very stressful especially with reports coming up – something a new teacher has no experience with! EEEK.

    I think I will be using your blog as well as pinterest and other educational help sites a lot over the next 12 weeks.

    Thanks again for setting this website up.

    Kind Regards


  2. Hi Kimi,
    Congratulations on your new position. It sounds exciting and I’m sure you’re doing a great job already with your new students. Being a new teacher can be challenging but I think if you follow your heart, most things will fall into place. That and using blogs and Pinterest as resources. So many great ideas out there!

    Thanks so much for your note. I hope that this post has inspired you and has also set your mind at ease. Best wishes to you and take care,

    The Teacher Next Door

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.