Education Beyond Borders

5 Classroom Essentials for the First-Time Teacher

The classroom can be an intimidating place for a new teacher. You’re tasked with all sorts of obstacles that vary with the needs of your students. On top of it all, you’re learning the rules set by the administration and developing your own unique style of teaching. There’s a lot to be nervous about, but the following tips can help you gain confidence and develop a comfortable rhythm in the classroom.

Plan Your Lessons for the Week

One thing to avoid at all costs is arriving in the classroom Monday morning without a clear idea of what you want to do. The weekend is a good time to plan your lessons for the week. This can be tricky with the amount of papers and projects you will certainly be grading. Set aside time to make a thorough plan you can count on. You’ll find that you’ll seldom stick to your plans precisely, but at least it will give you a starting point and help you feel more confident.

Don’t Try to Be the Students’ Best Friend

Don’t make the mistake of trying to win over your students by working first to be their friend. You should be supportive and friendly with students, but remember that your main goal is not to be popular. You’re the adult and the teacher and you have to maintain a certain professional barrier if you want students to respect you. Demonstrate discipline and make clear boundaries immediately. Once these guidelines are set in place, it becomes easier to develop healthy relationships with your students.

Stay Organized

As a new teacher, you might be overwhelmed with all the books, forms and other materials you have to handle. It’s easy to lose track of it all. Even in the digital age, teachers must organize countless papers and supplies. Organizer companies like Quantum Storage make your job a little easier with various options to choose from. Color-coded and stack-able storage bins make it easier to keep things organized and in their proper place.

Observe Different Teaching Styles

You can learn a great deal by watching and listening to other teachers. If possible, sit in their classes and observe their methods. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Keep in mind that you have to develop your own teaching style that fits with your own skills and personality. Learning from other teachers can also demonstrate things you wish to avoid.

Build Constructive Relationships

As a teacher, your success depends largely on the relationships you build. This includes relationships with your students, parents, fellow teachers and administrators. While you will interact differently with each of these groups, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open with everyone. Remember that teaching is a collaborative profession that depends on many people working together.

The classroom is a challenging environment, especially for first-time teachers. Be patient with yourself and expect to make a few mistakes early on. Learn as much as you can from your colleagues and pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t work in the classroom. Before you know it, you’ll start to feel like a seasoned educator.

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