Back to School Survival Guide_Tips for New Teachers!

New teachers are full of enthusiasm and feel ready to take on the world! Teaching is a hard job and there's so much to learn during the first few years that it's easy to become discouraged.

Your job will feel easier as time goes by ... you'll gain experience, learn what your teaching style is and what works best for you in your classroom and with your students.

In the meantime, here are some tips for new teachers. Take a deep breath ... you've got this!

Image of worried teacher with text "Tips for New Teachers"

Classroom Management for New Teachers

  • Take lots of time at the beginning of the year to teach classroom procedures. Teach and model everything that you want your students to do. Take at least 2 weeks to teach routines before you let your students work independently.

  • Students need to feel valued and respected. Take time to create a community in your classroom. Greet them at the door everyday with a smile. Share and laugh with them throughout the day.

  • Consistency is so important. Make sure that students know what your expectations are and then follow through when classroom rules are broken. When students know that EVERY student is held to the same expectations and that their consequences aren't dependent on your mood, most behavior issues will disappear.

  • Before you begin any instruction, make sure that you have your students' attention and focus. If you try to talk over them you will eventually have a competition on your hands over who can talk the loudest ... and the students will win! Wait until they're all quiet and focused on you before you begin your lesson.

Organization for New Teachers

  • Make a file folder with each child's name on it. This can be used to record and keep all parent communication throughout the year.

  • Color-code everything that you can, both for yourself and for your students. If you and the students know that red folders and bins mean "math" it becomes much easier to quickly sort and organize papers, homework, etc.

  • After you teach a lesson or activity, keep notes in your planbook on what worked and what didn't. This will help you tremendously when you plan next year. You can tweak things that didn't quite work like you expected, maybe toss some lessons altogether, or make good activities even better.

  • Try to have a place for everything and make sure your students know where those are too. Even young students are able to place worksheets in the correct color bin, go to the student supplies when they need a pencil, and pick up today's work from the correct location.

Self-Care for New Teachers

  • You can't pour from an empty cup. Your workload is going to be higher than you've ever had. It's very discouraging to know that no matter how much you do in any given day, there is still more yet to do. Set a work cut-off time for yourself every day and stick to it.

  • Before you leave work every day, clean off your desk and have at least the next morning prepped and ready to go. That way you won't arrive at school and immediately have to run to the copier or laminator.

  • Set up a calm morning and evening routine. Give yourself enough time in the morning to do something for yourself ... journaling, meditating, yoga, drinking a cup of coffee in peace. And do the same thing in the evening to signal to your mind that it's time to rest and rejuvenate.

  • When you have so much work to do, it's tempting to give up hobbies and fun activities. But now it's even more important that you make time to do the things you enjoy that don't have to do with teaching. A Friday get-together with friends, hiking, Thursday night trivia, a painting class ... whatever it takes to get you out of your teaching brain for a while! 

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs in the world. But there are lots of ways to ease the workload and take some of the pressure off of yourself. Do you have any other tips for new teachers? Please share them! 

Here's a little gift for you - just grab it when you need it!


  1. Such a great list! I love the idea of taking notes about what worked well in a lesson. #teachergoals

    Thanks for the great post!

  2. So much of this relates to a homeschool mom the first weeks too!!

  3. Such great and NEEDED ideas and reminders! Also, I love the "gift". You are such a generous person.
    My tip for new teachers is to go to happy hour on Friday afternoons. :) Even if you have a glass of tea, go and laugh about the funny things that happened during the week.An hour of laughter will do wonders! :)


All messages are heartily welcomed!

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