With graduation ending and summer approaching, many fresh-faced individuals are preparing to embark on their journey into the classroom. While the experience is going to be vastly different for every new teacher, there are a variety of tips that you can utilize before the school year starts.
Below, I have outlined ten excellent tips to help prepare you for your first year. Now, while there is now way to unburden the already filled brim of what you will be experiencing, these tips will help you ease your way into classroom for a fun and successful school year.
1. Summer Reading
For the summer time, these two and a half months will provide educators with the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop within their field. To help you with this process, take the time to read various educational leadership books and education news on various online forums. That type of information can provide you the necessary insights into the education world, while also giving you tips for the classroom. In one of my previous blogs, I outlined three educational leadership novels. Take a look here: Summer Reads for a Teacher
2. Know your Roster and Subject
Before the first day of school, you will receive a somewhat accurate list of the students and subject you will be teaching for the following year. Make sure you analyze your roster and evaluate the overall status for each student by evaluating his or her previous test scores. This can give you a stronger insight to the type of classroom you will be walking into this up and coming year.
3. Talk to a Mentor
No matter what field you are in, getting advice is never a bad thing. Try and reach out to some of your former mentors, especially those within the education sector. Ask them a variety of questions and what you can do to prepare for the first day of school.
4. Attend Professional Development Seminars
There will be various professional development seminars scheduled for you to attend. Be sure to double check with your school on any sessions they would like for you to attend. These sessions will provide you with a more holistic view of the academic school year. In addition, they will review various education pedagogies and tactics that you can utilize for the year.
5. Shadow a Teacher through Summer School
Summer school may be one of the best opportunities to get a taste of the classroom. Try and reach out to various schools and see if you can volunteer, shadow, or observe their classes. The more involved you are, the better.
6. Outline your Vision and Goals
Like any young professional, it is imperative for you to outline various long-term and short-term goals. For education, you want to go back and reflect on your reasons for going into the classroom. Like it or not, teaching is not an easy job. What will help you get through the year is by creating strong tangible goals that can continue to spark your passion and drive, especially when things are not going your way.
7. Outline your Classroom Management and Procedures
In my opinion, this is probably one of the most important steps in this list. Without classroom management, you will not have a class. Because of this, it is absolutely vital that you iron out all of the operational logistics of your classroom. From how the students are seated to how they write in their notebooks, these guidelines and procedures will make the biggest difference in how successful your year will be.
8. Prepare your First Week of Lessons
While you may not be required to teach, having various lessons set, especially for the first day, will set the overall tone of your class. In addition, it will provide you the opportunity to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your students.
9. Decorate your Classroom
With today’s new age of teaching, classroom decorations will always be seen as a part of your classroom management. As much as you want to optimize your walls for stronger student learning, just have fun with it. Take this as an opportunity to showcase your creative side. Even throw your interest and throw up a Michael Jordan power for your kids to see.
10. Enjoy the Journey
This is the start to the next 20+ years of your life. Enjoy this moment. Just know, there will never be anything like your first year of teaching. So congratulations and good luck!