New Teacher Words of Wisdom

If you are looking for a safe place to learn the ins-and-outs of teaching, join our Elementary New Teacher group on Facebook.

I recently put out a post in this group asking the question, “What is one lesson you learned this year that will make you better next year?” Teachers in years 1-3 responded with great advice! See what they had to say below:

First Year Teachers Say:

“Active listening. Staying calm while feeling overwhelmed. All kinds of classroom management ideas. And working with an amazing team of teachers. I was hired 5 days before school started so next year I want to think of more creative ideas and take the summer to lesson plan.” – Liz C.

“Set your own goals and strive for them.” – Maddie M.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I got my smart board moved just because I asked every chance I could! Don’t be afraid to move things around constantly until you like it! I always felt bad moving my room around because I wasn’t happy with it. Every time I did the students loved it even more the next day!” – Kristen C.

“Don’t worry about how other teachers perceive you. Some may think you are a know it all because you are new. I did a lot of creative things with my kids my first year and would get the side eye from the veteran teachers. Little do they know all my observations were rated effective or highly effective. Just stay true to yourself.” – Tiffany M.

“Having classroom meeting regularly are needed and my kids love them and knowing that their voices are being heard.” – Debra C.

“Taking extra time to be consistent with classroom and behavior management is worth it. At first it seemed like there was just NO time for the small things like making them line up the right way, get materials the right way, etc. but once I just took the time and did it, it made things much easier. And help with my time management in the long run.” – Amber G.

“Don’t let other teachers who are being negative bring you down or tell you you are not doing a good job just because you are not doing something how they do it. Don’t let people walk all over you.” – Lauren R.

Second Year Teachers Say:

“You need to take care of YOURSELf and not let what other people stop you from doing what is best for you. If you are unhappy where you are it is okay to change schools. I will be going into my second and a half year (I started teaching January 2017) in my third school/third county. I was told by so many people I need to stop jumping around, it looks bad blah blah blah. But if I stayed where I am right now, the little dignity and hope I have that things will get better will be gone. You have to take care of yourself and move around until you find the place that is best for you.
Also never think less of yourself. I kept settling for certain types of schools because I didn’t think I would be good enough for a good school. I took a chance at a job fair and got into the best district in my area and into my dream school.” – Brittany A.

Third Year Teachers Say:

“I learned that I don’t need to make a huge deal with one on one conferencing with students during daily 5 or silent reading. Just walk up to a student and take a couple minutes to ask about their reading, joy some notes and move on. In the past I would have the student come to me and take 10 minutes. I didn’t get to many students that way. I also seem to make great connections with students this way!” – Jeni M.

I hope these words of wisdom help you start your teaching career ahead of the game!

If you are a newer teacher, what advice would you share for those just starting out?

About the author, Gretchen

I am an educator of almost a decade, passionate about cultivating talent in aspiring and new teachers through practical tips and strategies. My blog, book, and podcast are geared towards empowering teachers to enter the profession and stay there due to the advice and encouragement I provide. We have a real need in our nation for strong leaders in classrooms, and I believe its my calling and duty to coach teachers to achieve and maintain best teaching practices in order to drive the growth and success of our students in and outside the classroom.