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Top 3 Tips for New Teachers

Learn the top three tips for new teachers from education consultant Grace Dearborn in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Being a new teacher is like trying to learn how to fly a plane while building it. It's an impossible job. There's always more red ink you could put on those essays. There's always more time and energy you could've put into that lesson plan. So my number one tip is cut yourself a break. If you get to the end of your first year of teaching and you still want to be a teacher, you had a successful first year of teaching.

It's going to be hard and it's going to be overwhelming, so look for those places where you can be at ease. Set aside a day, Sundays, when you don't do any school work. No prepping, no grading. That day is just for you. Set a time limit on school days. After 6:00 pm, I am not doing any more school work, because if you don't set those guidelines for yourself, you will find yourself up at midnight, planning instruction for the next day or grading papers for the next day every single day of the week. It's okay if the kids don't get their papers back the next day, if it has to go a couple more days. It's okay if you don't have every cool activity you could've possibly had in that lesson for tomorrow. It's fine to cut yourself a break and to find ease inside of what you're doing or you'll burn out really fast. So that's my top tip for new teachers.

The other thing I would advise is find yourself a trusted colleague, a mentor. Somebody who is on your campus, or maybe they're not on your campus but somebody who knows about teaching and you can go to when you're feeling down, when you need advise, when you need help, when you need support. Have somebody there who can help talk you down or away from the ledge. That will make a really big difference in how successful you feel in your first year, because the more alone we feel and the more overwhelmed we feel, the less we feel we're good at what we're doing and that we want to continue doing it. Sometimes we just need somebody out there to just hold our hand and say, "It's okay and it gets better and here, I can help you tomorrow with this or this or this."

Those are my top tips for new teachers.

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