Back to School Advice & Tips for New Teachers

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This school  year will be my 10th year teaching! Ten years blows my mind because I can still tell you the names of all the kids in the class I student taught. It’s strange realizing that you’re not the total newbie on campus anymore.

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Reflecting on my 9 years of teaching leaves me with some complicated feelings. I’m proud of myself for hanging in there, amazed that I still haven’t figured out all the things that I thought I would surely know at this point, peaceful & calm about a new year starting (which is a definite improvement from Brand New Teacher Me’s summer stress levels), & excited to keep trying new ideas & to meet a new crew of cute kiddos!

These feelings would go good with pie.

I was so nervous about everything the summer before my first year began. I spent so much time in the library taking notes from copies of Young Children & The Reading Teacher. At home I used my slow dial up internet to stalk Kim Jordano, Nellie Edge, & Mrs. Flanagan at Little Giraffes. I’m so grateful to these amazing ladies who shared so much on their websites. This was the “Before Pinterest Era” and finding new teaching ideas was a very slow process compared to today. I can’t imagine planning without Pinterest now. It makes me feel like poor LC below just thinking about it!

lauren conrad crying

I’ve been thinking about the advice I would have given to myself that summer and I want to share it with any readers who are getting ready this summer to teach their first class. Here it comes!

1. Set a reasonable time to leave school each day & stick to it!

abby lee miller wants to go home

There is always more work you could stay & do at school. It’s not going anywhere. Establishing boundaries for your personal life can help you manage stress & be well rested for the next day with your class.

#2 Get serious about germ prevention!

sneeze monster

Make it as easy as possible for your students to frequently wash their hands. Check to see if they can reach the sink & pick up a stepping stool if they need a boost. The soap dispenser in my first classroom was completely out of reach of any 6 year old so for about 4 months they were just rinsing their hands with water until I noticed what was happening.  Gross memories!

#3 Ask to observe your more experienced colleagues teaching in their own classrooms.

Business Women

I learned more from watching my grade level team members in action than in any professional development. I was lucky to join a strong & welcoming kindergarten team and these informal observations made a huge difference in my teaching.

#4 On Sunday, plan all of your after-school activities for the week & write them into your plan book.


Force yourself to get organized & schedule things like workouts, grocery shopping, meal prep, laundry, etc. Writing these  in my plan book helped me focus on doing things that would alleviate stress & just make my days go smoother. I have so many memories of coming home exhausted to find no clean clothes for the next morning let alone anything to eat for dinner. It’s simple but planning these more mundane things will help you when there is so much going on at school. It gives me a sense of being in control & on top of things which is reassuring when things at school get crazier.

#5 Stock an emergency drawer in your desk.

alex mccord

You will spend so much time in your classroom that it will start to feel like your second home. Keeping some essentials on hand at school will save you in all those little kerfuffles that can pop up. Here’s what I have stashed in mine: dental floss, hair ties, cough drops, deodorant, slippers, gloves, scarf, socks, flip flops, nail clippers, batteries, lip gloss, compact, extra birthday cards & thank you notes, gum, & snacks. I also keep an extra coat in my classroom for those days when the weather changes dramatically.

#6 Document ALL parent & administrator contact.

nightmareI have to be honest and admit that I still struggle with this one. It is a tedious job but an essential one. Get a simple notebook at one of the back to school sales coming up & keep it with your plan book. It doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated. Jot down the date, who you had contact with, & a few lines to remind you of the most important points. Angela Watson has a great freebie with a template you can use.

#7 Prep emergency sub plans now so you are ready for any unexpected illness during the year.


This is one of those things that you will be so grateful for during the year. Most likely, as a new teacher, you’re going to get sick. During my first year I ended up with all kinds of weird illnesses (highlights include slap cheek, double pink eye, & scarlet fever!) and there is nothing worse than trying to write sub plans while you are feeling so unwell. It’s so much nicer to send an email that directs your sub to your emergency plans and then go back to sleep!

#8 Practice some positive phrases to use in difficult situations with parents and/or administrators.

Lucille Bluth

There will inevitably be some tense conversations during your first year of teaching and beyond. Do everything you can to stay calm, to listen more than you speak, & to show empathy for the person you are talking with. I used to feel like I had to have an instant answer or solution to share in these moments and I often felt like a failure because I didn’t know what to say when I was caught off guard. Now I try to respond by saying something like this, “Thank you for letting me know about this. I’ll think about it some more and get back to you soon.” This type of statement gives everyone time to simmer down and reflect on what the next steps should be. I also highly recommend downloading Aspire to Inspire’s wonderful freebie, “Dealing with Difficult Parents: Unexpected On-The-Job Training” It has a wealth of great tips!

#9 Do at least one thing with your class each week that reminds you of why you became a teacher in the first place.

sheldon with trains

I love to sing & play the piano so teaching my first graders to sing songs like The Rainbow Connection, Inch by Inch, & A You’re Adorable makes me smile & feel more connected to my class. I also love to get down on the floor with my kids to do art projects. We really enjoyed working on coloring in Jenny’s awesome math collaborative posters together this year. We also had a Frozen singalong during our last week of school. It was so much fun! During the year I always try to read some of my childhood favorites like Noisy Nora, Pinkerton, Pippi Longstocking, George & Martha, and Lyle Crocodile. Finding a way to share the things that truly put a smile on your face with your class will help you feel less stressed and more cheerful. There’s always a way to work these types of activities in & you will feel so much more energized to keep going throughout the year.

#10 Keep a journal for all of the hilarious & cute comments you will get from students.

noted-ryan-the-officeYou might think you’ll always remember these moments but they do start to blur pretty quickly. One of my favorite student stories is from an awesome little girl who was the talk of  our kindergarten all day because her pet dog had just, in her words, “laid puppies”. We heard names, vital statistics, every imaginable detail about these new pups. A few mothers got in touch with our little story teller’s mom after school because they were hoping to adopt puppies only to find out that not only were there no puppies there also wasn’t even a pet dog! Got to love her imagination! My journal has several pages for this one student alone & it always makes me smile to remember her that year. Reading your journal can also be really powerful when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out about teaching. It’s nice to have some reminders of the funny times right at your fingertips.

#11 Don’t drive yourself crazy with an elaborate classroom theme.

Money to Burn

Your students will still learn and have a great year even if you don’t decorate your classroom with a fun theme. I love my classroom filled with rainbows & bumblebees but I’ve had 9 years to gradually make fun purchases & fancy things up.  I always joke that my classroom theme for my first few years was “school” followed by “learning” with maybe a dash of “tidiness”. Seriously though, save your money! It’s much more cost effective to check out garage sales, retiring teachers’ classrooms, Craig’s List, Ebay, etc for those fun classroom extras along the way.

#12 Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

worry about yourself

I love this quote! I know that it’s way too easy to get caught up in comparing your classroom to other classrooms you see at your campus or online and  that usually leads to feeling  inadequate about yourself as a teacher. This is something that I still struggle with at times & I think most teachers do to a certain extent. I’m trying to have this be my mantra though and hopefully you can remind yourself as well, especially as a first year teacher. I wish you luck in your first year of teaching! Be kind to yourself & remember to have fun with your students! Please feel free to comment or email me with any questions you have. I would love to try to help out!

Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle

Inspiration for New Teachers

image & font credits:, Woaiss/, Iravgustin/, Kimberly Geswein Fonts,


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    • Diana says

      #1 still gets me all the time too! I always underestimate how long I think things will really take to finish and then suddenly it’s dark outside for the drive home. Thanks for commenting Lucy! 🙂

  1. says

    August 7th is my very first day as a classroom teacher. Internship does not prepare you for the emotions and demands of landing your first job. I’m sure you know that — but it’s hard to experience and even harder to say out loud. Thank you for this kind post.

    A few of them I have heard before but didn’t put much stock in them. Now, I’m rethinking them.

    • Diana says

      Hi Chelsea,
      Congratulations on your new job! I so remember feeling just as you described- that first year was definitely a hard one for me but as cliché as it is to say it was also one of the best experiences of my life let alone of my teaching career. Now I didn’t necessarily think that while I was going through it but I did eventually realize that! I’m sure you will do great! Try to do some relaxing before your first day too. Now go check your email 🙂

  2. Michael says

    Awesome post! I will be a first year teacher this year and I have been feeling all of these. No one can prepare you for how much work it is to get your classroom together and to plan. This humor is just what I needed before the school year starts! Thank you!

    • Diana says

      Thanks Michael! Congrats to you too on getting your new teaching job! I think getting your room ready always ends up being more work than you think it will be. I hope you get to do some relaxing before your school year starts up in the fall. I hope that your first day is a great one! Now be sure to go check your email 🙂

  3. Katie says

    Reading through this post is exactly what I’m feeling right now! I also am a first year teacher and am so nervouse that I won’t do something right, will say something that I shouldn’t to parents, and end up spending my nights at school (especiallysince I know from student teaching that I am not very good at doing work at home ). I really am going to try and do all of these things though! All the teachers I’ve worked with in the past have said the exact same things , so I know I better do it! Thanks for the great post and congrats on 10 years!!!

    • Diana says

      Thanks Katie! You will do great! I think we are always harder on ourselves that anyone else would ever be. I think that parents are mostly hoping to have an enthusiastic, kind teacher which it sounds like you already are. Have an awesome first year teaching! Now go check your email 🙂

  4. Summer says

    Thank you for these tips!

    I am very stressed out as I am returning to the work force after being a SAHM, and I am a first time teacher in a subject I never really thought about teaching. I am feeling overwhelmed and very anxious. I am also Junior class sponsor!

    We are in the process of moving, sold our house and haven’t found a place to land yet, plus my children will be moving to new schools in the same district, and it is the first time I will not be able to take them to school on their first day!

    So much stress! Still working on lesson plans and feel they are not up to snuff. I have no background in the subject I am teaching, this makes me crazy! LOL!

    I love the GIFs you have incorporated here and wish I knew a way to do that in my power points or Prezi presentations! I don’t even know where to go to find GIFs or use tumblr. That would be a nice Pintrest addition if anyone could work that out! Hint, hint! 🙂

    Thanks again! Hope your year is great!

    • Diana says

      Hi Summer! It sounds like you have so much on your plate right now with moving and getting ready to teach all new stuff- that is tough! My fingers are crossed for you that you’ll get to work with some teachers who will share their plans with you. I know I was super lucky to have that happen my first year and it did relieve a ton of my stress.

      I guess it is pretty clear that I am addicted to adding GIF’s everywhere, huh? 😉 They are actually really easy to use- you can browse and when you find one you like you just right click and save as just like you would do for a regular jpeg or png image. The GIF images work the same way- I just insert them as pictures into my posts and they end up looking fancy 😉 I haven’t tried adding them to a powerpoint before but I think it works the same way. Here’s a tutorial about it that I found:

      I hope your year gets off to a great start! Be sure to go check your email 🙂

  5. Evelin says

    Thank you for this! I’m starting my 4th year and although I’ve learned some of these on my own, I appreciated all of the advice!

    • Diana says

      Hi Evelin! I hope you have a great back to school season this fall! Go check your email for a little something to help the year start out right 🙂

  6. Kayla says

    Thanks so much for this awesome post! I landed my first year teaching job this year after completing a year of service with MN reading corps! My official position is an ECSE teacher. It’ll be part time K-3 & part time preschool! Ahhhh is all I can say for now! This post was exactly what I needed to read while prepping for the upcoming years!

    • Diana says

      Thanks Kayla! Congrats on your new teaching job! That sounds like such a cool position to get to work with that age range of kiddos. You will do awesome! Make sure to do some relaxing this summer too! Check your email for a little something to help you get started 🙂

  7. Chrislyn says

    I am starting my first teaching job: Primary Strategies (kiddos with autism from grades 1-3) and I am terrified. How do I plan activities and art projects for kiddos with sensory issues?? How do I block everything out into 15 minute rotations and still get some student work?? I’m with a new principal, and I have two aides: one is crazy and the other I have never met.

    On top of all this, I am moving to a new place, so my stress level is through the roof. This post was very helpful and gave me a bit of hope.

    • Diana says

      Hi Chrislyn! What a cool field to start your teaching career in- you will learn so much from those kids.

      I totally feel your panic though- especially knowing you’ve got to work with someone difficult. Fingers crossed that your other aide will be awesome though! Hopefully there will be another teacher at your site who can help you find ways to best work with the more challenging aide.

      I don’t have tons of experience teaching children who have autism but I did find a couple of cool blogs that might be able to help you:

      You will do awesome with all of this! Now be sure to check your email 🙂

  8. Brittany says

    Thank you for this post! I’m in college pursuing a degree in elementary education and I love reading/hearing advice from experienced teachers about that first year of teaching. I guess I’m trying to prepare myself for that first year!

    • Diana says

      Thanks Brittany! You are so smart to be thinking about your first year now… I think I just started panicking after I graduated with my credential 😉 Good luck with all of your studies!

  9. Candace says

    Awesome post! I will be a first year teacher this upcoming year and although excited, terrified! My teacher prep program was awesome but there is so much to think about that some mornings I wake up and do not even know where to start. This is great advice I will try to keep in mind during these coming hectic days. Also, love the funny pictures with each piece!

    • Diana says

      Thanks Candace! I hope your first year gets off to an awesome start! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  10. Karen says

    I think you might re-title this one “Everything you want to know about the first year of teaching but were afraid to ask!”

    LOL. This is fantastic, and the help I need before walking into the room on August 20th. Not just practical day to day advice, but help keeping it all in perspective.

    My friends say “congratulations!” And I say “I’m still in shock, but I’ll let you know when the panic sets in!”

    You sound like an awesome teammate to have, I bet your colleagues love you!

    Good luck this year!


    • Diana says

      Oh thanks Karen!! You are too sweet! Have an awesome first year! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  11. Kathryn says

    Thank you for posting! I needed to hear this. I am a first year teacher as well. I have spent three days getting my classroom ready, and I still don’t feel any closer to finishing (LOL)! It is definitely a lot of work, but I know it will be worth it when I meet my 3rd graders 🙂 I am definitely going to try and follow your advice…especially the journal of all the funny things they say! Wonderful keepsake 🙂

    • Diana says

      Thanks Kathryn! I seriously think getting your classroom ready is one of those jobs you could keep working on for years…. There is always one more thing to do! I hope you can escape for some fun before the new year starts! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  12. Lauren says

    Thank you for the awesome tips! I have been sweating all of the small stuff trying to get ready for my first year as a teacher! I am so excited about my 3rd grade kiddos but it is great to have a reminder to not compare my beginning to someone else’s middle. Cheers to a new school year!

    • Diana says

      Thanks Lauren! Your 3rd graders are lucky to have you- I hope your first year is wonderful! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  13. Rachael says

    Thank you for your post. I too am a first year teacher and I am beginning to get a little stressed. Thanks for the advice!!

    • Diana says

      Thanks Rachael! Good luck with your first year- you will be awesome!! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  14. Jodi says

    Thank you for these great tips! I will be starting my student teaching in the fall and though I am familiar with the school and even the students (I was fortunate enough to be an aide last year) I’m beginning to get nervous about the upcoming school year. My greatest weakness is taking criticism from parents. I always want what’s best for the student but sometimes parents can make things difficult. One tip I’ve heard is to keep things like drawings, thank you notes, Christmas cards, and Valentines from students as a pick me up and reminder when feeling unappreciated. My little box came in very handy last year when we had a very difficult parent. I will be revisiting your site often when I need a little reminder to step back from my classroom and continue to be a human being!

    • Diana says

      Hi Jodi! How cool to be at the same school for your first year! I totally relate to you about being nervous with parents. The good news is that it’s never as bad as I am imagining things to be. And that’s a great idea to save the warm fuzzies for those tough days… I saw a teacher on pinterest who saves all those little notes in sheet protectors in a binder that you can flip through anytime. Be sure to check your email 🙂

  15. Christacarol Jones says

    Thank you for this, Diana! I’m a first year as we’ll (finally!) and am at a brand new campus that isn’t scheduled to be finished until Aug 1! So I’m a bit stressed on getting my room ready in time.

    I love all of your tips. I think I might type them in cute don’t to display somewhere on my desk as a reminder!

    • Diana says

      Thanks Christacarol! I hope you have been able to work in your room! That sounds so stressful but at least you’ll have a shiny new school to work in. Be sure to check your email 🙂

  16. Leslie says

    Thank you so much for this post! I am preparing for my first year of teaching first grade this summer and have been so anxious. Thank you for these tips!

    • Diana says

      Thanks Leslie! I hope your first year gets off to a great start! You will be awesome! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  17. melissa says

    These were very helpful reminders. This is my first year back after ten years. I taught for one year before I got married and had children. So, essentially this is my “first” year all over again. It a whole different world from 10 years ago, but the emotions are still the same. I love number 1 and 4. When I was first teaching I would stay a school for ever. I can’ t do that now with 2 school age children. I am already trying to plan my gym schedule and making sure my pantry is always stocked. Nothing worse than getting home to a hungry family and realizing that you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer!

    • Diana says

      I think the biggest change from 10 years ago is Pinterest! If it had existed my first year I would have saved so much time. Not to mention that my classroom would have been way cuter 😉 You are so smart to be planning your afterschool stuff now. You’ll be so glad as the year gets busier! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  18. says

    Thanks so much for sharing all of these fabulous back to school ideas!
    I linked up one of my back to school blog posts. Thanks for the opportunity to link up!
    Best wishes,

  19. Jamie says

    Thank you for this great information! I’m a first year teacher this year and have already started having nightmares about everything that can go wrong 🙂 I have a question regarding the sub binder – I’ve started mine but I’m not sure what to include! Any helpful tips to make an effective binder??

    • Heather says

      In my sub binder, I have included the following:
      my procedure list
      my expectation list
      helpful students
      helpful teachers with room numbers and phone numbers listed
      map of the school
      my room number and my room phone number

    • Diana says

      Don’t worry Jamie! Your class will love you <3 And I totally agree with Heather’s sub binder advice. Be sure to check your email 🙂

  20. Ashley L says

    This was very helpful! I am starting my first year in a couple weeks teaching 8th grade math and I am beyond nervous! Maybe this will help me out. I’m just afraid that I’m going to fail the kids or I’m going to get up there and choke! I don’t think internship prepares you for your own classroom at all! Thank you for this 🙂


  21. Jen says

    Thank you for such a wonderful post! I am starting my first teaching position in a first grade classroom this month and am SO nervous! I feel so behind in setting up my classroom already and am slightly overwhelmed feeling like I need to know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING before I enter the classroom! I am certainly keeping these tips in mind and going to do my best to implement them! Thank you! 🙂

    • Diana says

      Thanks Jen! I remember feeling that way my first year too. I was lucky to teach with really caring teachers who had a lot of patience for my questions & worries. I hope you will have the same type of support. You will be wonderful! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  22. Caseylou says

    Lovely reading these! I’m trying to prepare as much as possible..I’m going to be doing my PGCE soon, before I know it I’ll have my own class. Nervous.

    • Diana says

      Thanks Caseylou! Good luck as you start your teaching career! You will be awesome! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  23. Sam says

    Thank you for this!! I’m a new Resource Teacher and this made me feel a little bit better from the week and a half I have been having… This is saved to my bookmark bar for a pick me up (: I loved the gifs that went along with the tips <3

    • Diana says

      Hi Sam, I hope things are looking up for you. Once you make it through the back to school season it will all get better. Your school is lucky to have you! Be sure to check your email 🙂

  24. Maureen says

    Hi Diana!

    I’ll be starting my 27th year of teaching on Monday, August 18th and it was encouraging to read your advice. Every year gives us a fresh start but we are always adjusting our teaching style to the present demands made on us. However, your advice were reminders that we’re teachers because we care! Thanks!!!!


  25. Danielle Quinney says

    My first year of teaching this year! Excited and nervous all rolled into one. I’ll be teaching primary music, art and drama and grade 3 French immersion. 2 more weeks and I don’t feel ready at all! This week I’ll be focusing on lesson plans and figuring out how to actually teach music…not my strong suit at all! Good luck to all the new and experienced teachers out there and thanks for a great post. I have a feeling I’ll be referring back to this often 🙂

  26. Lindsay says

    I found this post through Pinterest and am SO glad I did! I am entering my first year teaching 7-12 English (SIX preps!) this fall and have been incredibly hard on myself already, and in effect, have given myself some sleepless nights. Before I came across this, I had already made myself a chore chart for home and received some negative and teasing comments about the chart. I’m so glad it’s not abnormal to be concerned how I will feel when I get home if my laundry is piled up or my fridge is empty. I want to stay healthy in every way possible, so ordering pizza every time my fridge is empty is NOT an option!

    Thank you for posting this wonderful list!

  27. Emily says

    Thank you so much for this! I’m starting my first teaching job tomorrow and am so nervous/excited! I’ve reread this so many times and have already set up up my little emergency drawer!! Thank you 🙂

  28. Angela Alexander says

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I definitely needed ALL of that. I’m a first year teacher in the computer lab. When I entered, the previous teacher had all of her things in there from the past several years. It was SO dusty and old. I tried to salvage some things, but ended up having to throw a lot out. As a result, the walls were basically bare. I panicked! I decided on an apples theme, which wasn’t a good idea at all. I have decided to do away with the theme mentality and just use what I have and what’s in the school’s supply closet. Instead of buying fancy borders, I use the basic borders from the supply closet. I bought letters from the Dollar Tree and use our Ellison Machine for other letters and die cuts. I also use the school’s butcher paper and the pieces of cloth the teacher left on certain bulletin boards. I plan on doing a bulletin board and adding simple decorations that go along with the season. Many of the teachers asked me why the cute little monkey stuff is gone. I gave away the pinata and some of the border that I could salvage to another first year teacher from kindergarten that goes with her jungle theme. I know that my room is somewhat bare, but hey, its all good, lol! I’m teaching on a para’s pay by the way, so…ummm yeah. Again, thanks for all of that valuable advice!

  29. Liz says

    This is so great! I’m just getting into my program so I’m still the greenest of greenies but I love your posts

  30. says

    Thank you so much! I still have two years before I graduate, and I am super nervous that I won’t know what to do. I am definitely bookmarking this site! Thanks so much for the advice.

  31. Shawnalisa says

    I love the advise that you have provided for beginning teachers. I am currently in my last semester of classes and will be student teaching next semester. I am very excited to student teach and be one step closer to having my own classroom. I have not thought about some of the ideas that you mentioned above, so I appreciate you providing this advise for new teachers. What would your advise be for a student teacher?

    Thank you for posting this information! 🙂

  32. Erin says

    I’m in my first year of teaching and was in search of a boost! I stumbled upon your lovely blog and found some inspiration here. I’ve been so overwhelmed and stressed that I’ve forgotten why I came to teaching in the first place. I teach some pretty awesome second graders and I’m realizing I have been way too serious about everything. Your tip about planning one fun thing a week is a great one.

    Any advice on how to stay on top of all the paper work? Interventions, conferences, documentation of small groups, lesson plans, all those extra activities at school, field trips… the list goes on! This is the most overwhelming for me…

    Thanks for having such a happy blog 🙂

  33. Ashley Friedman says

    First year teacher here – thank you for this sweet post! I really especially needed that last one about comparing myself to someone else. I find myself feeling inadequate when I look at all the other teachers around me – most of whom have been teaching for 10+ years! When I go back after this (GLORIOUS) winter break, I will try to remember this!

    This first year stuff is so exhausting. I’m sure that each year will get easier, but I need soothing things like this post to keep me chugging along! Thank you!

  34. Lisa Randall says

    THANK YOU FOR THIS! As a 53 year old first year Special Education Teacher this will help me tremendously. I want to be the seasoned teacher RIGHT NOW, but I do know it is very unrealistic. I am having a great year, but I have never worked so hard my entire life.

  35. Brittany says

    This is wonderful advice! I start my first teaching position at the start of this year. Very excited for the opportunity

  36. Berniek says

    Great post. I have been a substitute teacher (special ed high school) for 2,5 years now. Each year I have been working for a few months at a different school(s). This year, I finally feel like I know what I’m doing. So I still consider myself a beginner and I sure can use this info. My biggest problem is #12: comparing myself with others.
    I really like #10: keeping a journal. I am totally going to do this from now on.
    As a sub, I ask you to please do #7 as quite a few teachers I subbed for, didn’t prepare substitute plans ahead or at the time of need. I have to freestyle fairly often which is very hard for the substitute (because where – what – when > aaarg), for the students (no logic in their day > behavioral problems – etc) and for the teacher when he/she returns.
    I have been subbing for a teacher for a few months right now and I basically had nothing to work with. A piece op paper with the ‘lesson plan’ for 4 lessons with just the theme, and name of the book to use (which dates from 1989) is NOT ENOUGH to work from for a substitute teacher. I had to completely changed up everything in order to properly teach my students the things they need to know. So please do this. Please.

  37. Lisa Huff says

    This is the best thing I have read in forever! I will be a new teacher this fall and can not wait. I am doing my internship right now and honestly the thought of having my own classroom is terrifying at times. Your post was incredible and very much appreciated.

  38. Lisa Huff says

    I really enjoyed this. I will be a new special education teacher this fall and I am very excited but the thought of having my own classroom is terrifying. I am finishing up my internship and this is the best thing I have read in forever. It was so honest and real. Thank you.

  39. Samantha says

    Thank you very much! Such good tips to keep in mind and are very simple for a students teacher graduating! Will be sure to bookmark this and continue to read over this until I have it memorised!

  40. Kaitlyn says

    Hello! Thank you so much for your post! I just finished my first year of teaching in a city school district. It was very eye opening. I just ended school last week and am already looking at what I want to revise, retry and completely redo for next year. I always felt so guilty leaving at the end of the day but it seems that there is always something more to do, I am happy to know that that is a problem that not only first year teachers have, or maybe sad to hear it 😉 I really appreciated the comments about listening a lot and speaking a little especially when it comes to parents, that can be the hardest part of the job. Looking forward to using your advice this year.

  41. Sammie L says

    Thank you for this post! I am starting my first year as a 4th grade teacher after 2 years of job searching. I’ve been out of the field working in a non profit, so I am incredibly nervous!

  42. Mary Beth says

    I very much appreciate this advice. I have been teaching 3rd and 4th grades for 17 years, and this year I am going to teach FIRST GRADE! I am beyond ecstatic, but I have been making myself crazy with the what ifs, decorating, and comparing! Your advice was spot on, but numbers 11 and 12 are what I need to focus on! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  43. Michelle says

    I stumbled on this post while browsing Pinterest. I am busily preparing for my first year teaching after managing a chiropractic clinic for the past 21 years. I am actually working at the clinic until a week before school starts, so my preparation is being done in the evenings and on weekends. I have been blessed to take over the 2nd grade class of a retiring teacher, so she left lots of stuff for me (some of it really old). I have been sorting and planning (while still in school myself) and have been a lot overwhelmed as it gets closer to reality. I am super excited and super nervous all at the same time. I know this is what I am called to do, so I know it will be great, but getting there is crazy! Thanks for sharing these great tips for new teachers! I have definitely saved this for future reference.

  44. says


    I am a first year teacher trying to ease my way into my first job right out of college, so I am definitely nervous. I found these tips on Pinterest and you know what, they are some of the most useful ones I have seen! Thank you so much, I will keep these in mind and look out for more knowledge on your page. I truly appreciate it.

    Kathryn R.

  45. Amanda says

    Wow! Thanks for writing this! So nice to find a comprehensive list of things to look out for 🙂

  46. Ashley says

    As my first year of teaching is coming to a close I really enjoyed reading this… Last year I read A LOT of blogs about being a new teacher and my most favorite tip is #9. Even as a first year teacher there are days you question why you are in this profession. As much as I love my kids and my job you still have though thoughts on a rough day… Do an activity each week to remind you why you became a teacher is a wonderful tip!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  47. says

    I have seen plenty of useful issues on your web page about pcs. However, I’ve got the impression that notebooks are still less than powerful more than enough to be a good choice if you typically do projects that require plenty of power, such as video enhancing. But for net surfing, statement processing, and most other common computer functions they are just great, provided you cannot mind the small screen size. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  48. Sarah says

    Thanks for all of these great tips. I’ll be starting my first year teaching this fall, in a bilingual school, so on top of teaching my first year it will also be my first year teaching in my second language! I’ve taught Spanish as a second language, but haven’t taught math, reading, writing, etc IN Spanish. I too get caught up on Pinterest and all the shiny sparkly classrooms. This is a good reminder that I don’t need to do it all at once. I especially like the quote you have on the last one!


  1. […] Advice for new teachers! So, I’m not totally new to teaching, but I will be in a new school building with new students and teachers, and I’m going to have a lot of learning to do.  I thought this blog post had a ton of great advice! […]