- Surround yourself with *POSITIVE* people! Beware of gossipers… especially in faculty lounges!! I always ate lunch in the staff lunchroom. Then I began to notice that the conversations always turned to complaints about students, gripes about parents, and grumbles about administration. A few of my colleagues and I started eating in our room instead. We still eat with fellow teachers… but without all the drama! (And look, no more indigestion!)
- Be *POSITIVE* with your students too! Praise, encourage, and praise some more!! Treat your students with kindness and respect, and they will show you the same in return. Share great news with their parents too! If you need to have more serious conversation later, it will come much easier after sharing happy news.
- Prep for new students–before you get one! There are always those days when… *SURPRISE* you have a new student!! I remember my first class ever… I called it the revolving door. Over half of the class left during the year, and were replaced with new students! I even had a few who left–and then came back!! :o) There are so many little things to get ready when you have a new student… and don’t have the time to do it. So, when you’re getting things prepared at the beginning of the year, make 5-10 extra of everything to store away for that *rainy* day! I make extra EAGLE notebooks, laminated name tags, cubby tags, lunch plates, birthday surprises, etc. It really does save you time (and sanity) later!!
- Teach (and empower) your students to be independent! By taking the extra time to teach your students how to complete tasks independently, they gain confidence and essential skills– as well as a positive attitude! This gives them pride and that *I can* mentality. Kindergartners CAN do so much… if given the chance. My kiddos get their own mail, stuff their EAGLE Notebooks, and record their daily behavior. They know how to exchange their nightly reading books using library cards and pockets. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE is key… do it right from the start!
- Organize! The more organized you are, the easier your school day will be. Repeat after me… “labels are your friend”! :o) Seriously, labels make items easier to find (for your students, parent volunteers, teacher’s assistant, and yourself). Why spend precious time searching for an item? Last year, I labeled each of the books in my room to match the book tub labels. This was a *big* project, but saved so much time in the long run, because the kids could return books themselves. I love using labels with a picture and text. I also print label sheets with students’ names and use them to label supplies, song and poem journals, etc. I went completely file cabinet free too–and switched to binders! LOVE it!! It is so much easier to find things now.
- LAUGH and Have FUN! Start each day with a smile… my kiddos “pick an H” when they walk in the door (handshake, high 5, or a hug). It helps you have that quick interaction with each and every student. Throughout the school day–have fun! Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself, and laugh with your students. Dance, sing, jump, and learn together… this truly builds your classroom community, and makes your classroom a a place where everyone wants to be!
I’m linking up with Blog Hoppin’ for some new teacher advice… but I think these are good for all of us to remember! :o)
Hope you’ll link up to share your tips for both new and experienced teachers!