Are You a New Teacher or Work with New Teachers?
Over the summer, many of us have had to say goodbye to colleagues who have retired or transitioned out of education. Districts are feverishly hiring new teachers and others may be joining shortly.
For those new to the classroom, veteran teachers are a great resource. These teachers have honed their professional skills over the years and possess a wealth of wisdom – not to mention a few battle scars. Some veteran teachers or administrators are specifically assigned to work with new teachers, while others provide “unofficial” support and encouragement.
How can ThinkFives help?
ESGI and ThinkFives surveyed hundreds of teachers to find out what is the best advice they would share with new teachers. Here are their Top 5 for your consideration.
Many teachers identified the skill of flexibility as an important attribute for teachers. While you will not need the dexterity of Cirque du Soleil, the ability to adapt to school situations and student issues will be crucial.
- “Be patient, be flexible, remember why you chose to be an educator.”
- “Find and work with mentors who are dedicated to their student’s success!”
- “Be flexible and don’t sweat the little stuff. Love the job or leave it.”
- “Don’t feel you have to know everything when you start teaching.”
- “Learn to be flexible and LOVE your students. It really is all about relationships!”
Set Your Goals
Knowing what you want and how you want to get there is another important piece of advice for incoming teachers. With flexibility being needed for adapting to whatever may come your way, it’s also important you never lose your sense of direction. Having goals and measuring your progress toward them is equally important.
- “Always have a goal that is hard to reach, it gives you something to look forward to achieving every day!”
- “Be ready to never stop learning. Just when you think you’ve got it down, you learn something new that makes you change the way you teach again.”
- “Don’t let anyone change your mind!”
- “Have a lot of perseverance, never give up your goals in life.”
- “Don’t just teach the content, teach kindness and love.”
It may be an old Boy Scout motto but being prepared should also be a mantra for teachers. Teaching is as much a science as it is an art, so preparing lesson plans, assessments, and the dynamic activities that drive motivation must be part of your weekly routine.
- “Be prepared for all the extra stuff.”
- “Nothing in the books prepares you for the reality of balancing and being responsible for a million things at once.”
- “Hold on-it’s a bumpy ride!”
- “It’s not always easy, but you know you’re making a difference.”
- “Get as much experience working with different age groups so you know which direction to head.”
Do Your Best
It may be true in every field, but it is no less true for teachers. Every child deserves your best and sometimes your best will be the only thing that can help a student. The bar is set high for teachers and the good ones meet the challenge.
- “Always do your best and believe in yourself, even when others may not.”
- “Be the person you needed when you were a kid.”
- “Follow what your students need, not what the book says they need.”
- “Learn to love the challenges that each day brings.”
- “The power of yet… because you can do it! Maybe not yet, but you will!”
To paraphrase an old but classic movie, “sometimes when you feel up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating you, …” remember why you are doing this in the first place. That vocation that drove us to teaching in the first place is what will drive us toward the goal line.
- “Always remember why you chose to become a teacher.”
- “Believe in what you are doing.”
- “Do it for the love of teaching, not the love of money.”
- “Don’t listen to the people who are negative about the profession. You can do this and you will love it!”
- “It is a calling to be an educator. It is not a job.”
What advice would you give to a new teacher?