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28 Veteran Teacher Tips for New Teachers


I talked to a number of teaching veterans and asked them to share tips specifically for first-year teachers. They all had amazing advice to share! Many of the ideas were repeated so I've compiled them into a list. Here’s their wisdom:

I talked to a number of teaching veterans and asked them to share tips specifically for first-year teachers. They all had amazing advice to share! Many of the ideas were repeated so I've compiled them into a list. Here’s their wisdom:

I talked to a number of teaching veterans and asked them to share tips specifically for first-year teachers. They all had amazing advice to share! Many of the ideas were repeated so I've compiled them into a list. Here’s their wisdom:

  1. “Start to build your library of themed picture books for the units you teach right away. Books are perfect as a backup plan and sub plans on short notice.”
  2. “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do not allow behavior that you do not want to have continuously.”
  3. “Be consistent in...meeting deadlines, being on time for work...being prepared...establishing routines and procedures...following protocol...knowing when to “lead” and when to be “led”.”
  4. “You are not their “friend”. You can have great relationships with kids without being friends. Create boundaries and structure and operate within those..... kids will thank you for that!”
  5. “The biggest thing is to keep consistency. Remind students of your expectations. Keep lessons tight, and when they are not following your expectations, stop and reteach.”
  6. “Removing privileges is not ideal. They’re kids. Add additional movement breaks, or engage them more deeply in their work. If you don’t already have a class contract (with like 3 broad expectations) you could work with your students to create one. Then, when students do something unexpected, refer back to the expectations. “Remember, our expectation is to show kindness to everyone in the class. Let’s make another choice.””
  7. “Create office hours and stick with them! Your family shouldn't suffer for work. It's not worth the stress. Use free time at work to be productive, not social. It helps!”
  8. “Leave school at a decent hour and don’t take work home. It can consume you.”
  9. “Forgive yourself for what you can’t do yet.”
  10. “A couple others have said it, but don't stay at school forever. I used to set an alarm on my phone that would make me go home at a reasonable time. You don't get paid extra to stay late!” 

  11. “Build relationship, set reasonable expectations, be consistent, and always let the kids see that you are real. They can find a fake a hundred miles away.”
  12. “Find a teacher buddy that will truly support and help you ‼️ Stay positive ‼️ Have at Least one day you don't take work home or do school work ‼️”
  13. “Have big dreams for sure but take it one step at a time. Understand and accept that not everything will come together right in the beginning. Do a lot of reading of blogs, educational articles etc. That’s always helpful.”
  14. “Google is your friend. I have found soooooooo much information from different tech blogs.”
  15. “Maslow before Bloom. Every day. Relationship building is key. Walk the walk. Deadlines important? Impose them on yourself as well. Want them to be life long learners? Model your learning. Be human. Share your school challenges so that they know you struggle but can overcome. Be willing to laugh at yourself. Remember that the kid who needs the love the most often makes it most difficult to give it. Be the adult that doesn't give up on them.”
  16. “Find a teacher buddy or mentor that will help you know what is coming up, where to find things, and who to go to.”
  17. “Be kind to yourself.  Don’t be afraid to learn something from and with your students.”
  18. “It will get done tomorrow. I spent hours at school, in the beginning, trying to do it all and now I know that the work I do is sufficient for today. If it does not get done, that is what to-do lists are for.  Same for emails- they will be there tomorrow. Answer them only if an emergency - the rest will be handled the next day. We put a ridiculous amount of pressure on ourselves to immediately handle something but a banker or lawyer who waits until the next day is not seem as a problem.  Maslow before Bloom - love them and help nurture their souls before anything else.  Remember that you are not their only teacher and that you may not be their fave teacher.  Keep them busy.  Find a marigold - a bright spot - teacher in your school that you can talk and giggle with....and complain to when needed.  Say I don't know - when kids ask something and you have no idea, be honest - show them that you are always learning and don't know everything.”
  19. “Turn off notifications for school emails. Do not check it on the weekends or at night.”
  20. “Make sure everything is ready for the next day's lessons before you leave. And have a bin or folder with emergency sub plans. You never know when the unexpected will happen.”
  21. “A good mentor and a grade partner who is willing to share ideas!”
  22. “Focus on routines and behavior! Set expectations and you will be amazed how smooth your year will be!”
  23. “Read good books and change your voice for different characters and when they beg you for one more chapter look up at the clock and down at the book and choose the book sometimes (or every time)!”
  24. “Breathe and be organized and always have a plan b.”
  25. “Make sure they know you love them and that you believe in them. Get to know them. If they know they are loved and you have high expectations of them, they will work hard and will go farther than you ever expected.”
  26. “Don’t grade everything!!! Some work is practice and can go into file 49 (trash).”
  27. “You can’t do everything! A lot of the time, what is being asked of you won’t fit in a day. Choose what’s best for your kids and don’t fret over the stuff that doesn’t really help them! Do what you can.”
  28. “Not every lesson has be over the top with songs, dances, Bitmojis games, etc. If you do this every day for every lesson, you’ll never leave work.”
Would you add anything to the list? Let me know in the comments.
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I talked to a number of teaching veterans and asked them to share tips specifically for first-year teachers. They all had amazing advice to share! Many of the ideas were repeated so I've compiled them into a list. Here’s their wisdom:

Brittany Washburn
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Top Teaching Tips for Tech Teachers

Top Teaching Tips for Tech Teachers

I interviewed two tech ed teachers, asking them to each give their top 3 tips for fellow tech ed teachers.

First up, Kathy Weir, who has been teaching for 20 years.  She was a former classroom teacher for grades 1,3,4,5, and a former K-8 specialist for PE and Technology. She also served as the technology integration specialist and tech coach for a K-8 school district. She is currently an Elementary Technology instructor but due to COVID, is also doing a lot of PD and tech coaching.  Here are her top 3 tips for fellow edtech teachers:

“1. Limit the number of online resources you have students accessing during distance learning. Make sure these websites and software are easy to navigate with little or no guidance. When possible, explore the ability of tools already familiar to students as well as native tools within your school’s choice of platforms. 

2. Whenever possible during live sessions, limit the number of resources students have to access during that live session. Fewer tabs open equals better Wi-Fi connect for students. Better connect for the student could lead to a higher level of engagement and lower level of stress and frustration.

3. If offering PD, reference the SAMR model. Teachers may be feeling overwhelmed in learning a lot of new tech tools. The SAMR model can celebrate the transition teachers are making with remote learning and highlight how teachers are elevating the learning experience for their students with the integration of technology.”

Next we have Beth Hamlin, a K-1 Remote specials facilitator and Middle School Technology Teacher.  She has been working in education for nearly 2 decades and loves presenting and sharing creative ways to utilize G Suite tools, Chromebooks, Computer Science, and other technologies such as 3D printers and Raspberry Pi. 

“1. Don’t try to do it all. There are an incredible amount of resources, tools, and ideas. It can get really overwhelming. Try having a goal or two for the year or part of the school year in what you want to improve or explore. 

2. Don’t try to know it all. We often think we have to know the tool before we share it with students. We need to make sure the site is safe and meets our requirements for compliance and privacy. I find students love the ability to play and explore with you. Celebrate their findings.  Be inquisitive with them and allow them to be part of the evaluation process. It gives students more buy in. 

3. Simplicity/ Consistency-  Especially this year, when our learners are not in consistent environments, it’s important we not introduce too many different places or logins. If you have multiple places students need to log in- try to make the login the same. Single sign ons are helpful. Families are at various stages of stress, trauma, and ability. The more consistent and clear you make things, the more manageable they can be. If you give 3 sites with different logins to students- it can be muddling. Making videos to explain how to log in (no matter the age level) are very helpful. Even better if you can involve your students and community in creating these help tutorials to help others.  Post these tutorials in one place and also link to them each time students need to use them. Less clicks makes for a better user experience and saves you more time in the long run.” 

I also asked technology education teachers from a variety of different backgrounds to give their top tips to fellow tech ed teachers.  Here is what they said!

  • “Make technology fun! Something the kids look forward to!”

  • “Don’t reinvent the wheel-don’t make it too complicated-it’s ok if it’s not quiet, the best learning isn’t quiet.”

  • “Start a “Done Early” list of extension activities for students that finish early.”

  • “Make a class website! Make sure to pick a platform that allows for a password protected page for sharing files with students.”

  • “Go slow”

  • “Find a few favorite tech tools that can be used for different things and use those. Teach your kids to use them in multiple ways. Don’t feel obligated to use everything. It’s too much for you and the kids.”

  • “Remember that you are a teacher first.”

  • “Use humor and make connections. Tech is a journey not a destination.”

  • “Keep those non tech kids at the forefront of your lesson planning. Start simple to avoid frustration but always have extensions for those ready to fly.”

  • “Remember Developmentally Appropriate, even though students have tech at home, it’s not always used the way you think.”

  • “Reteach reteach reteach”

  • “Let the students explore new tools and see what they can discover on their own. Give general guidelines for projects so students can surprise you with their creativity!”

  • “Create a website that has common educational links on it making it easier for students and yourself."

  • "Don’t get hung up on everything being perfect, allow flexibility. When technology doesn’t work give it grace, I constantly say “I love you air server!” While I say it, I’m doing what it takes to make it work but I'm teaching my students that patience is better than showing anxiety when things don’t work."

  • “Always have a plan B!”

Top Teaching Tips for Tech Teachers

Brittany Washburn
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