There will be numerous newly qualified teachers starting to get a little nervous as we reach the end of August, and the realisation that the first day of being fully responsible for their own class sets in.
Here at Footstep Training we have put together a few “New Teacher” survival tips to help ease the worry and be relaxed on your first day.
Tip 1 – Prepare you classroom.
The classroom environment should be high on your priority list to get sorted fairly early on. Don’t just focus on the glitter and pretty pictures, think about the physical layout and how your students will navigate through the classroom. Try to let traffic flow through the classroom and avoid barriers if you can. Think about what types of lessons you will be delivering; will you require group work and need desks in groups, will you require a lecture style and need desks in rows. Think about the aims of your lesson and set the desks up to suit it.
Tip 2 – Student view.
This tip isn’t related to their opinions, it relates to their view of the visual aids. If you are using a board, screen or projector, every student needs to be able to see it without discomfort and causing a neck injury after the first lesson. Try sitting in a variety of seats to check your students can easily see your visual aids to ensure they fully focus on the lesson. If they cant see it, they wont focus.
Tip 3 – Basic resources
Make sure you have a bin! It may not seem that important but will become a huge distraction if you don’t have one when it is needed. Put the bin in an accessible place but away from student desks to avoid constant disruptions. If you need books and learning materials, make sure you have the supply you need, but place them in accessible areas. Try to put items you will require frequently in an easy to obtain area, and those you don’t need often, in cabinets or drawers.
Tip 4 – Make a bulletin board
If you don’t have a specific board, make an area on the wall which is distinctly different to other displays. Use this board to communicate things such as classroom rules, fire drill map, activities calendar, and most importantly displays in relation to the curriculum. These should change throughout the year and can include things such as pictures, quotes, newspaper articles, and work your students have contributed to. The main thing is to try to make it visually appealing.
Tip 5 – Daily agenda
Decide on a small area to display the daily agenda, or your aims of the lesson. If you do not set an agenda and communicate it to your students, you will find they constantly ask “what are we doing today?”, and get ready to hear this a lot if you don’t display it.
Tip 6 – Ask for help and breathe!
Remind yourself of the timings on your first lessons with the aim not to rush. If it is helpful, write the number of minutes for each section of your lesson to give you a guide, but do not worry if it doesn’t go exactly to plan. You will have to adapt to the student needs and unplanned events such as “Johnny getting a nose bleed” or “Lucy seeing a wasp”. Try to not rush your first lesson and remember to breathe! Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Every teacher was in your position once, they all had to experience a first day of teaching. So if you forget the photocopier code, or need to check how to add 2+2 as you have suddenly forgotten everything, just ask. People will help you, so ask.
We wish everyone good luck with their preparation and first day as a qualified teacher!
Follow our blog for more helpful tips and articles here