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What to Expect

Congratulations! You’ve got an education degree, passed your exams, received certification and been offered a job. Now what?

What to Expect

Expect to report to your school at least a week before classes begin to set up your materials, get your schedule and make your classroom your own. Take this preparatory time to see what you need to accomplish your goals and ask for supplies. New teachers are usually allotted a small sum for supplies to get started.

Some schools have mentor programs. If yours does not, find one! Seek out a teacher that you can ask about school procedures and can help you figure out how things work. Don’t be ashamed to not know it all right away. Ask for help!

Once you get a feel for the school, put in place the practical order of your room. Think about what you will need when students and parents visit your room for the first time. What do you want them to see in your class? Don’t be afraid to let your personality exist in your class.

Work smart and work hard. The first year of teaching is mentally and physically exhausting. Your mind will be consumed with schools. Don’t worry; it will balance out over time.

What to Avoid

Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you haven’t planned every lesson down to the detail before the school bell rings, don’t fret. Map out the first day. After you’ve completed the first day, reflect and continue to plan. Every lesson for the year doesn’t have to be completed before the school year starts. Expect change.

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Don’t make quick judgments about students, parents, or colleagues. Give people a chance. Be helpful and patient with people you interact with.

Don’t try to do it all.

Don’t expect to be the perfect teacher your first year. Every experience is a learning experience. Good teachers reflect and adjust. Focus on a few small goals each day, week and year.

Return to Ten Steps to Becoming a Teacher


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