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Advice For Young Teachers

Updated on January 22, 2015

Teaching is the most noble of all professions. There would be no professions without teachers. No doctors, no lawyers, no bankers. Every career starts with a teacher. You have made the decision to help young people reach their full potential, and that is an awesome responsibility.

Like any job, your first few years in the classroom will be filled with plenty of challenges. You may feel frustration, fear and even anger. This will pass. As you get acclimated to your role and how to perform your duties you will gain poise and confidence.

Here are five tips that will help any young or first year teacher:

1. Be organized

Nothing trumps organization. Come into every school year with a plan for your classes and a strategy to execute it. Buy a planner and create an outline for how your entire year will unfold. Be sure you document the types of materials you will need to accomplish your curriculum goals. Ask the school if they can help you acquire any tools you may need. There will always be times when you have to adapt and change your schedule around, but it’s important to have a starting point.

Creating a well thought out lesson strategy for each year, semester, week and day will give you the confidence you need. You will have a peace of mind in knowing that you have a great plan. There is nothing worse for a teacher than not being ready for the day. The formula is pretty simple: organization creates confidence.

2. Set the right tone on the first day

You remember the first day of school don’t you? You and your friends talking about your new teachers. Who was the best teacher? Which teacher is going to be strict? Who was going to be the easy teacher? What class were you excited about? What class were you dreading?

What kind of teacher are you going to be?

The first day of school is the most critical day of the school year. Make no mistake, your students will be talking about you. What are they going to say? The first day of school is your opportunity to set the tone. Your students need to know that there will be discipline and structure in your classroom. They need to know that there will be rules and procedures. I strongly recommend that you establish classroom rules and display them in a place everyone can see. You don’t need many rules for them to be effective. In fact, you can make the argument that too many rules can be counter productive. Keep it simple and make sure you are consistent with the enforcement of your rules.

3. Use technology to your advantage

There is no denying the fact that computers, cell phones, the Internet and games are very much apart of every day life. If you want to know something, what do you do? You Google it. The simple reality is that technology is ever growing and student’s attention spans are shrinking. Don’t fight technology. You will not win. Choose to embrace technology. Find creative ways to incorporate technology into your lessons. You will keep your students attention longer and find they are more likely to do technology based assignments.

4. Make lessons fun

Nobody likes a boring teacher who likes to hear their own voice. A good lesson plan should take twice as long to prepare for than it takes to execute. Search for ways to keep things light and interesting. Use humor. A classroom is much more likely to remain focused if they know that something funny may happen at any time. From time to time it’s productive to do an exercise that has nothing to do with your subject. Something quick and fun that will lighten the mood. It does not have to be all business all the time. Let your students know that it’s OK to feel comfortable in your classroom while maintaining discipline and order. It can be a bit of a difficult tight rope walk. With practice and experience, you can achieve it.

5. Take interest in your students interests

There is an old saying: “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Your student’s could care less about how many college degrees you have. They don’t care what your IQ is or how much you know. They won’t truly buy into your message until they know that you genuinely care about them. It does not take much to achieve this. You can greet your students at the door. Ask them how their game or recital went. If you know that they are going through a difficult time with something, pull them aside and ask them if they are OK. If you know a student is really into space exploration and you find a cool article of NASA print it out and give them a copy. This is not brain surgery. It’s the extra effort that separates good teachers from great ones.

Which are you going to be?

What is the most difficult grade level to teach?

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    • coachmiller13 profile image

      coachmiller13 6 years ago from Florida

      hector...Just to be clear I did not suggest you should use humor on the first day...although I know plenty of great teachers who do. All the best

    • hectordang profile image

      hectordang 6 years ago from New York

      @ Natashalh - Not only have I taught, I was a Teacher of the Year in CA and I have led a Title 1 Academically Distinguished School. Humor is fine. I just necessarily don't think I would use it on the first day of school to set the tone for the year.

    • coachmiller13 profile image

      coachmiller13 6 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for reading Paul!

    • amanthkr01 profile image

      Aman Thakur 6 years ago from India

      I found this hub really interesting. Guidance for young teachers is given in a very lucid manner. Every new and youg teacher can learn art of teaching from this hub.

      Voted up.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 6 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      This is a very good hub. Any good teacher will utilize the five tips which you have introduced.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Great Hub. I have been teaching university students for 15 years now and I couldn't agree with your recommendations more.

    • coachmiller13 profile image

      coachmiller13 6 years ago from Florida


      Thank you. I wish you the best of luck. Remember, you are one of the good guys!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 6 years ago from Hawaii

      I am studying for my MAT and yesterday one of my professors had a couple teachers come in and talk to the class. So much of their advice was exactly what you just said. Halfway through the program, I have to admit I'm kind of worried. It's only been 8 years since I was in high school, but so much has changed with the schools since then it's sort of freaking me out! Thanks so much for the advice. Voted up and useful.

      hectordang - Have you ever been in a teaching-type situation? I lead curriculum based school programs at work and I know exactly what he means. You have to show kids that there are rules, but clear, consistent consequences for breaking them. However, humor helps alleviate boredom and refocuses kids on the lesson. My dad was a math professor for years and I took one of his classes. He would through humor into a calculus or statistics lesson to put people at ease because so many folks are nervous about math. It works.