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The New Teacher's Survival Guide

I know that my experience as a new teacher was crazy, fraught with laughter, tears, worries, problems, and mistakes that I would correct if I could relive it. And also mistakes I wouldn't correct because I learned so much. I thought I would curate some advice from veteran teachers, especially the kind of thing I really would have liked to know ahead of time.
A Collection By Margaret Frederick
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
The New Teacher's Survival Guide
  • evidencebasedteaching.org.au
    evidencebasedteaching.org.au

    6 Avoidable Mistakes That Can Kill A New Teacher's Career

    8 minute read
    Margaret Frederick says:
    All of these tips are useful, but numbers 5 and 6 are things I would have loved to have heard in such clear terms. Of course, we know teaching is hard and that classroom management is important, but the steps and linked advice would have saved me a lot of heartache during my roughest classes. I also knew what an appropriate relationship between a student and a teacher was, but I never heard it described as well as they did when they called it the balance of warmth and authority.
  • washingtonpost.com
    washingtonpost.com

    10 Tips for new teachers (expect to make 'hideous' mistakes, etc.)

    6 minute read
    Margaret Frederick says:
    This advice comes from a thirty-year teaching veteran, but I love how it covers everything from the typical teaching advice to advice on clothing (I will never forget the first few tops I had that were ruined by dry erase markers and the slacks with belt loops that caught on my classroom doorknob--don't be like me!), custodians, and where to shop to make your classroom unique and cheap.
  • nea.org
    nea.org

    Management Tips for New Teachers

    6 minute read
    Margaret Frederick says:
    One of my biggest shocks as a new teacher was just how different the management challenges were from what I expected. No matter how good your education was, a room full of future teachers just can't create the craziness that you'd find in a real classroom. I would have loved to have someone ask me all of the questions this article asks so that I could have spent more time being proactive and saved time that I had to spend being reactive.
  • Margaret Frederick says:
    Again, some of these tips feel like boilerplate and appear on every list, but there are some real nuggets of wisdom about comparing and criticizing your teaching based on criteria that aren't actually about teaching. The comments section (aside from a few spam comments--please scroll past them and read more, it's worth it!) also has a lot of people sounding off about what has and hasn't helped them on this list, plus a lot of commenters threw in their own ideas.
  • learningfirst.org
    learningfirst.org

    Teacher Advice

    6 minute read
    Margaret Frederick says:
    This is a great guide to how to give better advice to new teachers and how to handle well-intentioned advice from others. It's a great thing to get advice, and by all means, I cherished most of the advice I got (and I still do!), but there are some limitations and some things to take with a grain of salt. After years of getting and giving advice, the writer breaks it down to not only help people give better advice, but also how to parse it well on the receiving end.
  • larryferlazzo.edublogs.org
    larryferlazzo.edublogs.org

    The Best Questions To Use For Class Closing Activities - What Are Yours?

    6 minute read
    Margaret Frederick says:
    I don't know about anyone else, but the closing part of my lesson plans was always one of the hardest parts for me to plan as a new teacher. "Check for understanding" and "Exit slip" look great on paper, but they are essentially meaningless in practice (and most of my classes didn't give question lists like this). I found a few ways to manage, but this list would have been incredibly helpful for some of those times when I was stuck on a closing--and I still plan on using some of these!
  • Margaret Frederick says:
    Parents can be one of your biggest allies or your greatest enemies, depending on you and the parents. It's not really something you get many lessons on in teacher prep, though! However, especially in public K-12 settings, setting up a good parental rapport with all of your parents can take some time and work. This guide breaks down some of the types of parental involvement and their uses, benefits, and potential setbacks. It still won't help you make a tough phone call, but it can help.
  • nea.org
    nea.org

    Germs! Germs! Go Away!

    6 minute read
    Margaret Frederick says:
    "New Teacher Disease," or getting sick all the time from germs your body isn't used to, is a real thing, and it's rough (even with good sick leave and a good substitute!). There are plenty of tips here to help cut down on the number of days that you get sick. Your body will thank you. (By the way, my "pills and potions" include vitamins and drinking lots of cups of hot herbal "cleanse" teas when I'm sick. They may be nonsense for weight loss fads, but I tend to get better sooner!)