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Our tips: Don’t spend too much or stress too much before day one! You did it! You just signed your contract for your first teaching job.It’s tempting to rush out and spend every spare penny you have on cute letters for your bulletin boards, coffee mugs with apples on then and other decorations for

Aug 02, 2017

Our tips: Don’t spend too much or stress too much before day one!


You did it! You just signed your contract for your first teaching job.

It’s tempting to rush out and spend every spare penny you have on cute letters for your bulletin boards, coffee mugs with apples on then and other decorations for your classroom.

Don’t.

Instead, invest in a book called The First Days of School by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong. The book is considered a bible by many teachers who have had successful first years.

Here are four of the Wong’s best tips.

  1. Start the year with empty wall space.


If you must have color, cover your walls with colored paper. But leave plenty of work to display student work. There is no need to decorate your room like a gallery or department store window. No one has the time or money for that!

  1. Develop your classroom rules and a plan for explaining them to students before reporting for new teacher training.


Your classroom rules are yours. Pick three to five rules that set behavior guidelines. As a new teacher you will want them to be specific. “Keep your hands and feet to yourself” is a clearer guideline than “Be respectful of others,” for instance.

Plan out how you will post the rules in your class. And be prepared to go over the rules daily until students follow them automatically.

  1. Write a script for the first day of school.


Over plan day one by writing out everything you will need to do from taking attendance to explaining the first homework assignment. Even if you normally are good on your feet, it’s easy to lose focus with 25 or more brand new sets of eyes watching your every move.

  1. Network!


Find out as quickly as you can which teachers at your school are the most effective and reach out to them as mentors. Most experienced teachers are flattered when asked to share what they know. Great teachers love to teach, after all.

You can also find tips from Harry Wong on YouTube.

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