New to the classroom? These five tips will help you gain the confidence and support you need for long-term success.Nov 13, 2021
Starting your career as a teacher is exciting — you’re embarking on one of the most rewarding careers out there. But it’s also a tough job that takes a lot of time and effort. And that, unfortunately, can lead to feelings of doubt for new teachers just beginning their journeys. Fortunately, you don’t have to struggle through the early years. With the right support, your first years as a teacher can be a launchpad for success — not distress.
Here, we share a few words of wisdom for new teachers beginning their journeys.
1. Be Flexible
During your first years as a teacher, you’ll learn your preferences and establish the methods that work best for you. What strategies will you use to manage your classroom? How will you measure learning objectives for your students? How will you develop your weekly lesson plans? Applying your skills in the classroom will help you learn what works for you — and what doesn’t. If one approach doesn’t work, don’t stress. Learn to recognize when something isn’t working, then reassess, and try again.
2. Celebrate Achievements
As you’re learning the ropes as a new teacher, it may seem like you only have time to deal with the things that go wrong. It’s important, however, to take note of — and celebrate — your achievements. Did you put together a lesson plan your students loved? Did you find a way to collaborate with one of your fellow teachers? Help yourself refocus on the positive by taking a few minutes each day or week to think through what went right.
3. Build Community
Nobody knows the challenges, frustrations, and joys of being a teacher better than fellow teachers. That’s what makes your colleagues such an important source of support and new teacher advice. Plus, building relationships with fellow teachers can open opportunities for collaboration, allowing you to tap into the skills of others and giving you the opportunity to share your skills with them as well.
4. Seek Out Mentorship
Who better to support new teachers than a veteran teacher? A mentor is someone who has walked the path you’re on and can provide invaluable guidance and support as you navigate your career as an educator — and especially during the challenging early years. Arizona K12 Center’s New Teacher Support program is designed to do just that. It provides beginning teachers with trained mentors and coaches who use research-based tools to support their teaching journey.
5. Remember Why You Started
One key priority of the New Teacher Support program is to help new teachers remember their “why” — the reason they chose this profession in the first place. Most teachers are united by their passion for education. But when you come into the profession as a new teacher, you’re expected to perform at the same level as a veteran teacher while learning the ropes and honing your skills. The first few years will be tough and, on the tough days, it’s important to remember why you started.