UPDATE: Voting is closed! Check below to see which entry won the prize!
A few weeks ago, we posted an article called "What New Teachers Should Know" and challenged our readers to submit their own advice for teachers new to the profession. We received several excellent submissions, all included in this article.
At the end of the advice below, you'll see a survey to vote for the best entry. No ballot stuffing -- ONE vote per person per day. The winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card! Share this advice with teachers, particularly new and young teachers, and ask everyone you know to read and vote!
Entry #1 by Ryan Rondorf
Be proactive with establishing positive parent relationships! Build a healthy and consistent method of communication with families that creates a mutually beneficial partnership for student success.
(Don’t wait until the first bad grade or disciplinary issue!!!)
Entry #2 by Cassie Piggott
The best advice I know to give is that everyone sucks during their first year of teaching. Your mentor, your principal, the snooty teacher down the hall, they all were terrible teachers at one point in time. Be kind to yourself and realize there is a learning curve to teaching. Also, don’t try to adopt a style of teaching that doesn’t work for you!
Entry #3 by Amy Voigt
The first year is like nothing else; parents think you are roadkill, some kids will take advantage, and in most states, new teachers are not protected by tenure (here in MI we are a “right to work” state). That said, kids are amazing! They love new energy and enthusiasm. New teachers need mentors who want them to succeed and not who see them as competition (that happens). Advice? Try new things, but also do what your colleagues do. Think ( but not too much). Keep records- when you call parents, when they do or don’t respond, and when/if you need administrators help. JOIN THE UNION. Take time for yourself- go to the gym and the doctor when you need. Remember, while teaching is a calling, it’s also work....At least one weekend day is for FUN. And thanks, thanks so much, for wanting to teach. We older kids need you to take up the torch, to teach our grandchildren, and to continue to do the greatest job around: to build the future.
Entry #4 by Heather Brown
Be ready to admit to your students that you don't know the answers to every question. Look up what you didn't know, and report back to them with both the answer and where/how you found it. Model lifelong learning.
PRIZE WINNER ~~ Entry #5 by Kristin Grandfield Schimanski ~~ PRIZE WINNER
I always tell them that it doesn't always get easier but it gets better. The work and time we spend pays off in ways we didn't or couldn't imagine. Being a veteran doesn't mean we've figured it out because we change, kids change, schools change. Ride the wave of change and know that if you truly love teaching and love being with the kids, then we've got the best gig around.
Entry #6 by Janet Long
The most important part of teaching in high school is building relationships and taking care of people. Be yourself and find things you have in common with the kiddos. Treat them like human beings with feelings. They aren't just numbers. When students behave in ways you don't like or don't understand, don't assume they're bad or stupid. Assume they're smart and that their behavior makes sense from their perspectives. You need to convince them that what they want is very similar to what you want. Also, make time for yourself. Don't let planning and grading ruin your twenties. Go out and have fun. If you aren't happy, you won't be the best teacher you can be.
Voting is Closed! Thanks!
Because no one else