Monday, March 12, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers Storefront: Hojo's Store

For new teachers, stepping into the classroom is exciting and terrifying. They wonder if they learned everything needed in college, such as: How are classrooms set up? What materials are needed? What if students won’t listen? What if lessons go poorly?

Below are some helpful hints and tips for new teachers:

Things to Do before School Even Starts:
• Set up the classroom. Where will students’ tables/desks go? What about other tables? The teacher’s desk? Where will students’ supplies go?
• Decide what will be put up on the walls.
• Have grade level standards printed and readily available.
• Post a daily schedule.
• Keep clocks visible for students.
• Post rules, procedures, and consequences.
• Build a chore chart.
• Be prepared for emergency drills – fire, tornado, lockdowns, etc.
• Have a grade book set up and ready to go!

Lesson Planning:
• Actively engaged students are not discipline problems.
• How will papers be collected and handed in?
• What is the policy for papers without names?
• What will each day’s opening and closing look like?
• Find out lesson plan requirements for the district. When are lesson plans due to the office? How much detail should lesson plans include? Are standards written in?
• What is the late work policy?
• Make all assignments clear for students and parents.
• What centers are needed? What are the subjects? How will students be grouped?
• Read aloud often to your students, or try
• Hold high, yet realistic expectations for all students.
• Give enough WAIT TIME!
• Keep learning fun!
• Be flexible. Emergencies happen, and lessons change.
• Plan twice as much material for the first week as what you think you’ll need! Then, plan a few more activities!

Classroom Management:
• Be consistent: have routines and procedures in place. After all, children love structure.
• Have a reward/discipline plan ready.
• Practice students’ expectations. For example, to line up quietly, they should practice it. Model good behavior for students.
• Plan for transition times.
• Create a morning routine. How will you know who is present? Who is having cold or hot lunch? What will students do as others come into the room?
• Determine how the class will be quieted down so you can talk.

Building Student Relationships:
• Communicate with parents/guardians/families. Use the free Communication and Contact Log. Use e-mail, send out newsletters, or make phone calls. Use the “sandwich method”: start with something positive then state the concern and end with something positive.
• Give students notes or cards about something awesome you “caught” them doing.
• Show students love every day!

Other Miscellaneous Tips:
• Become friends with secretaries and custodians.
• Be ready for a sub! Have an emergency sub folder ready with daily schedules, students who can provide guidance, some random games/assignments, etc.
• Continue professional development to grow as a teacher.
• Label personal classroom items. If you bought it, it’s yours. If it was at the school when you got there, it stays there.
• Go to rummage sales and see what “steals” can be found.
• If the school doesn’t provide a mentor, reach out and find at least one person for guidance about school norms.
• Dress professionally!

There are going to be rough days. Keep the “pats on the back” received throughout the year to look at when feeling down. Keep a file of all the cute things children say, as well as numerous cards and items students give as presents. These can really encourage new teachers after tough days.

New teachers need to ask many questions. Don’t be afraid of reaching out and asking for ideas and help. Veterans in the building know how lonely and tiring the first year of teaching can be. Also, visit internet sites, such as Teachers Pay Teachers. There are so many wonderful ideas and resources available online that will save new teachers time and money.

Need more ideas?
Try the Pinterest board devoted to tips for new teachers.
Check it out here: Hojo's TpT Store for New Teachers  

Related Teachers Pay Teachers Products:

Free Tips for Teachers!
Class Handbook for Open House / Back to School Night, $3.50
Board Games: A Unique Assessment Activity  $1.50
Lucky Leprechaun Short Vowel Partner Game  $2.00
Shamrock Blended Consonants Game  $2.00
Visualization Mini-Lesson with Active Engagement/Script  $2.49
St.Patricks Day Mystery Graph Pot-O-Gold Coordinate Graphing  $2.75
Adjectives with Dr. Seuss  $3.00
Weather & Climate Tic-Tac-Toe Differientated Learning Plan  $3.18
Graphic Organizers--22 Appealing Activities for Any Book  $4.00
Grammar Fail! Bulletin Board or Literacy Center   $5.00
High School Five Paragraph Theme Set  $8.00
ESL Teacher Tips  $9.99


  1. Thanks for the tips! I have two years until I can officially teach, but this helps me see that there is help out there!

  2. Thanks! I just finished my 2nd week of school! My school district just moved to a 4 day school week so our calendar school year has started early and kids start the day earlier and leave later! It is a long day especially for my 1st graders! Any tips regarding a 4 day school week? Incentives on being present every day? Tips for the long weekend, etc? Thanks! :)

  3. Also does anyone know of some good workshops centered on the Common Core Standards? My homework assignment is to find a workshop for my 1st grade team to attend this school year!


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