Academic journal article Childhood Education

Advice for First-Year Teachers

Academic journal article Childhood Education

Advice for First-Year Teachers

Article excerpt

STUDENT SLANT

During the past several months, I have been surviving as a first-year teacher of 1st grade. Last year, I was teaching 4th- and 5th-grade math as an instructional assistant. To have my own class of 23 six- and seven-year-olds is quite a change of pace. It has been very enjoyable and more rewarding than I ever could have imagined, but not without some potholes along the way. It was crucial that I recognized I was not going to be "Teacher of the Year" right away. Being an educator takes a great deal of effort, hard work, long hours, dedication, and a willingness to identify what works and what does not. I thought that I might offer some advice of my own about the things that have been lifesavers for me. The first year is tough, and it is my pleasure to offer anything I can to help those of you in the same boat.

If your school has a mentor program, you already know its benefits. If your school does not have such a program, find someone you feel would be willing to take you under his or her wing. I have had more questions than I thought possible this year. My mentor has been wonderful in answering them or directing me to the appropriate resource.

Make certain that your students' parents feel welcome in your classroom. It will help you become better acquainted with their expectations, it will keep the lines of communication open, and it will provide you with a volunteer list when you need it. The more that parents are involved in what goes on in the classroom, the more your students will want to put their best effort into their schoolwork. …

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