First-Year Teachers Can Use These Strategies to Prepare by Emily Graham

First-Year Teachers Can Use These Strategies to Prepare

Starting your first year of teaching can be challenging, even with student teaching experience under your belt. You may be anxious about meeting fellow staff members or about how to exercise control over the classroom so that everyone has a fair chance at learning. You might also feel stress over the preparation that goes into a new school year, which is common even for educators who have been in the business a long time.

There are many ways you can ready yourself and your classroom without stress, but the key is to get organized as early as possible. You can also look for resources online that will help you stay focused. Dr. Doug Green has great tips for educators who need a little boost when it comes to professional development.

Here are a few strategies that will help you prepare for your first year as a teacher:

Get your files together

Whether it’s a lesson plan template or a seating chart, keeping your files neat and organized is an essential part of preventing stress or anxiety as a first-year teacher. Separating your documents can lead to important info getting lost, which will affect both you and your students. Keep everything together by using an online tool that will allow you to add pages to PDF so you never have to worry about keeping up with multiple documents. This is a great way to start off the school year since it will help you manage anything classroom-related–including parent consent forms and emergency information–all in one place.

Get to know your new coworkers

You might also learn some great organization tips from your new coworkers, who can help you set up your room or give you pointers on how to manage everything during your first week. Depending on how your school is set up, you may come to depend on the teachers whose classrooms are closest to yours when you need help, so it’s a good idea to get to know them before the school year starts. Ask administrators about upcoming faculty events, and reach out to individual teachers in order to introduce yourself. You can also offer your help to them in the weeks leading up to the first day of school.

Focus on the priorities

As the big day inches closer, it’s important to keep your priorities in check so you can ensure a smooth transition for yourself, your students, and their families. Once you’ve gotten to know some of the other teachers, focus on setting up your classroom, but realize that you don’t have to make it look like a picture-perfect wonderland all at once. Getting organized and creating simple, useful areas in the room is much more important than going all out with a decorative theme and besides, you can add to the classroom aesthetic as the year goes on, especially when different holidays roll around.

Set some guidelines

Once your room is set up, it’s time to think about a careful set of guidelines that will help your students and their families navigate the first weeks of school as smoothly as possible. This will also be helpful to you, of course, and will allow you to save time and energy. Consider the details; depending on the age of your students, you might set rules about how everyone will move to different stations around the room, take restroom breaks, or manage their behavior. Be sure to create a guide for family events, orientation, and conferences as well, so that parents will know what to expect.

Breaking into your first year of teaching can be a trying experience, but it can also be a joyous one. With the right preparations, you can ensure that your classroom is well-organized and that your students have the best possible environment for learning.

Emily Graham
Emily is the creator of MightyMoms.Net. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family. You can email her at She lives in Arizona.

Have an education question for Dr. Doug Green? Get in touch today via the contact form.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter Share this page via Google Plus     If you like the summary, buy the book