First-year teachers often come in excited and with no real idea of what it takes to teach. They have ideas that they think will work only to realise quickly that the application of those ideas is much more difficult than the theory of them. No matter where a teacher is in their career, here are some tips that will help them transition back to school quickly and effectively.

1. Reflect On The Past

Experience is the ultimate learning tool. First-year teachers will only have their limited experience as a student teacher on which they can rely. Unfortunately, this small sample does not provide them with much information. Veteran teachers will tell you that you learn more in the first few weeks as a teacher than you did during your entire time in a teacher education program. For teachers with at least one year of experience, reflecting on the past can be a valuable tool.

2. Set Goals

Every teacher should have a set of expectations or goals that they want their students to reach. Teachers should also have a list of personal goals to improve in specific areas of weakness that they have. Having goals of any kind will give you something to work towards. It is also okay to set goals together with your students. Having a shared set of goals will push both teacher and students to work harder to obtain those goals.

3. Be Prepared

Being prepared is the most important aspect of teaching. Teaching is not an 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. job as many people outside the realm of teaching may think. It takes a lot of extra time and preparation to do your job effectively. The first day of school for students should never be a teacher’s first day. It takes a lot of time to get ready for school to start.

4. Plan Ahead

All teachers should plan ahead. It is not easy, but planning does become easier as experience is gained. For example, a teacher can save lots of time by keeping lesson plans from the previous year so that they can use them for the upcoming year. Instead of redeveloping their lesson plans, they make adjustments to them as needed.
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