Advice From The Pros

Successful Teaching

Teaching is a rewarding and satisfying profession, but also complex and demanding. On the first day of employment, new educators are expected to undertake essentially the same work as experienced teachers.

Make sure you reach out to your colleagues and line manager for support and advice.

Interpersonal Relationships

It is important to be able to work positively with your work colleagues. Teachers should maintain a good working relationship with the principal/ line manager and colleagues at their school as they will offer the greatest support.

Clarify with the principal or workplace representative what support and advice structures exist within the school.

It is important that you set realistic goals for yourself and ensure that your induction program is working for you.

Huge Learning Curve

Realise that you will probably learn more in your first year of teaching than you did in all four years of your university education.

Always Ask

Don't be afraid to ask for help from “seasoned” teachers. Most teachers are very willing to share their secrets. If you have the opportunity to visit other classrooms, do so. The more you witness teaching taking place, the greater chance you will have of knowing what will work for you.

You're not alone

At some stage every teacher has been in the same boat. An experienced teacher can help show a new teacher the ropes.

Join your union

You will certainly need help from them over the first few weeks of starting out. Don’t wait until you have a problem with wages or allowances or conditions to think about joining your union. Do it before you start.

Make A Great Start

Getting off on the right foot can make a world of difference. A good start can mean the difference between a successful year and a year of total distress. You're the boss, you have the degree, this is your classroom, and a strong plan and adequate preparation can set you up to achieve your goals.

Have A Plan

Have a plan in place for the first day of school. The plan should include rules and consequences, as well as procedures for sharpening pencils, going to the toilet, handing in papers, and so on. The rules and consequences should be limited to three to five of the ones that are most important to you personally.

Classroom Rules

Print up your classroom rules for students to keep, and for them to take home with them for parents to read and maybe even to sign and bring back to you.

Know Your Students

Getting to know parents early in the school year should be an essential part of a new teacher's plan. Send a letter home the first week of school introducing yourself. In that letter you might explain what you will be doing the first few weeks of school. You might even include some information about your expectations of students and parents. Then keep the communication lines open at all times.

Parent Contact

Stay in touch with parents - with good news and bad news. Parents want to know what is going on. They really do appreciate hearing from teachers.

Be Prepared

Be prepared with the day's learning objectives. You will impart an air of confidence. Students need to see that in a new teacher.

Take charge

Have a clear discipline plan set up, with both rewards and consequences. Explain it to the kids on day one and review throughout the first week. Send home a copy of the discipline plan. I asked parents to read it with their child and for parents and children to sign and return a contract stating that they agreed to the rules.

Keep students busy and engaged

I have one big piece of advice for first year Before the first day of school, have plenty of activities prepared for emergency use. I learned the hard way that kids will misbehave if they have nothing to do. A class full of bored kids won't all sit quietly for 10 minutes waiting for you to figure out what is next.

Organise yourself

Find an organisation system that you can live and work with and stick with it. It's crucial that you stay organised!

Organise your students

Don't assume they know how to organise themselves, because they don't. Show them how to organise their notebooks and folders. Show them exactly what you want on their papers and homework.

Write and reflect

Start keeping a professional journal. After the course of the year, this journal will allow you to After the course of the year, reflect on your professional practices and to witness what is probably going to be enormous personal growth.

School Policies and Procedures

Actively seek out as much information as possible on the school’s procedures and policies. Ask the administration at the workplace for your own copies of the relevant policy documents. Learn more about the workplace by attending meetings. Keep a diary!

Identify your strengths and areas of need

Look for ways to utilise your strengths.Observe your colleagues and undertake professional development wherever possible.

Professional Approach

Look after yourself. Maintain a friendly and respectful relationship with students but be sure to maintain professionalism in this relationship.

“Have fun. Do your best and have fun doing it. Once I finally relaxed,I had a great time.”