• Tips for First-Year Teachers

    Being a teacher is hard. Get the tips you need as a first year teacher in order to be successful.#firstyearteacher #newteacher #newteachertips

    Being a teacher is hard. Get the tips you need as a first year teacher in order to be successful.#firstyearteacher #newteacher #newteachertips

    There are tons of blog posts for first-year teachers, and I’m adding another one to the pile! There are so many things I wish I known when I first started teaching. The tips that are below would have saved me so much money and time. Check out these tips and USE them! Trust me; you need them!

    Set a budget

    When I first started teaching, I went shopping monthly for my classroom. I was buying everything from decoration, rewards, resources, to last-minute science lab supplies. At the end of the month, I was left wondering where my already small paycheck had gone.

    I used to spend around $60 a month. Honestly, it was probably more when I first started teaching. Now, I spend about $15 a month, and there are months I don’t spend a dime.

    As a new teacher, it is easy to get caught up on what you think you need. Stores like Target found out that teachers love cute stuff, and now they have a whole area just for us. Teachers Pay Teachers is another place that will take all your coins. Most of us go there for convenience. Most of the things I’ve bought, I could’ve made. Before buying, ask yourself, is it a need or a want. Buying for convenience can be worth it sometimes, but too much can quickly add up. Be smart.


    Set your schedule

    After a few weeks in the classroom, you’ll notice that your to-do list is growing, and due dates are mounting. So, you’ll begin to come in early and start staying late. Some of you will even go in on the weekends. Working too many extra hours will lead you directly to burnout land.

    As a new teacher, you’ll be tempted to get everything done; you’ll think giving up your personal time is the key. But it’s not. Seriously, your job will never be done, and the to-do lists will never go away. So, it is essential to create a schedule to protect your sanity.

    I’m a morning person, so you’ll find me at work an hour before our start time and running out the door at dismissal. Others like to stay late. Pick what works for you and stick to it. Don’t overdo it. Try not to work on weekends. The first few years of teaching will be the hardest, and some teachers make it worse by spending too much of their personal time doing work that will go away.

     

    Back to School Guide for Teachers

    Ask Questions

    If you don’t know something, ask for help. If you need help with something, ask for help. Asking questions not only makes you more knowledgeable, but it also helps prevent unnecessary mistakes. If you’re brand spanking new to the education world, there are so many tiny pieces that make the whole. Parts you didn’t learn in school or your alternative certification program. There’s a lot of on the job training that goes on in schools; be willing to ask for help when you don’t understand or need support.

    Stay Away from Grumpy Veterans

    We can be the worst teachers to be around. We no longer follow the rules. We are anti-authority. We complain like nobody’s business. Stay away from us. I am an extremely positive person, and even I sometimes am a Grumpy Veteran.

    Find a vet who is pleasurable to be around most days. Lol, That’s the teacher who will give you the best advice and support. You’ll want to stay away from those who hate their job, those who gossip like an extreme sport, and the ones that flat out don’t care.

    Their negativity will bleed into your mind. Your already rough year will be even tougher if you choose to hang around people who choose to be unhappy. Choose your company wisely.


    Protect your wallet, time, sanity, and energy. Teaching is tough. Don’t make it harder on yourself. Follow these tips, and your road as a new teacher will be less bumpy.

    If you still haven’t found your dream job, grab my How to Land Your Dream Job Workbook. I’ll show you how to find the perfect job that’s just for you!

     

     

    RESOURCES YOU WOULD LIKE

    How to Land Your  Dream Teaching Job Workbook

    The Free Mock Lesson Preparation Guide

    The Free Teacher Interview Cheat Sheet

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  • The Only 3 Things New Teachers Need to Know

    Being a new teacher can be hard. All veteran teachers have been there! You'll find tons of tips for new teachers and some are good and some are unnecessary! As a new teacher you'll get tons of advice but there are only a few things you need to know before accepting a position! Are you a new teacher? Find out what you need to know now!! #newteachers #newteachertips #newteacheradvice

    Being a new teacher can be hard. All veteran teachers have been there! You'll find tons of tips for new teachers and some are good and some are unnecessary! As a new teacher you'll get tons of advice but there are only a few things you need to know before accepting a position! Are you a new teacher? Find out what you need to know now!! #newteachers #newteachertips #newteacheradvice

    As a new teacher, you’re going to get tons of advice. It will be hard to figure out what you should listen to and what you shouldn’t. In this post, I’m keeping it super simple, and sharing three easy tips that will help you survive your first year or two. Let’s get straight to it. 

    Don’t Take Work Home…Regularly

    It is tempting. I think most of us more experienced teachers have done it. Taking work home is something I would have done less of when I first started teaching. I was that teacher that took a bag full of work home. Papers to grade, lesson plans to create, and paperwork to complete. I’ve done it all!

    I felt so accomplished, and I felt like I was on top of it!. But, by November, I was exhausted. By March, I was utterly drained and didn’t know if teaching was for me. It was because I was always working. Even on the weekends, you could find me in my room getting stuff done. I’m not saying don’t do it, do it in moderation. Teaching can be crazy, so there will be times when you have to take work home, just don’t make it a habit. 

    Go Into Work Early Or Stay Late, Don’t Do Both

    Going into work early or staying after school, will help prevent you from taking work home. I am a morning person so; you can find me in my classroom bright and early. By the end of the day, I’m exhausted and ready to go home.

    If you’re not sure what works best for you, try them both out! Then, decide during which time do you get the most work done. Some of you may know that you’re not a morning person, so staying late might be your thing. 

    Remember, don’t do both!

    Back to School Guide for Teachers

    Be Patient

    You’re not going to be great at a lot of things your first year. Don’t compare yourself to the other new teacher down the hall or the veteran teacher next door. If you walk in the door having it all together, how can you possibly grow?

    The first couple of years will be hard. There’s no getting around it. You won’t know what you’re doing until year 4 or 5. Teaching is hard work. Some people enter it thinking that got it and soon realize that they don’t. It’s okay because, to become an excellent teacher, you have to make mistakes.

    Set goals and work on one thing at a time. By taking your time and learning things one by one you’ll retain information better and be more successful.

    I recommend you pick something that you’re interested in and learn everything you can about it so that you can become the campus expert. For example, at one point, I was really into technology integration. I attended a Google Education event, attended multiple technology training’s, became a Google Educator, and found different ways to implement technology in my classroom. Over time I became the go-to tech person on my campus. Once I found what I was really good at, it helped build my confidence, and made it easier to learn new things.

    Being a new teacher is going to be challenging. Just remember that your work is never done and you need to make sure you are making time for yourself. You will make plenty of mistakes, and you won’t be a rock-star teacher after your first year. You will be much better than you started if you’re patient and willing to learn from your mistakes. Don’t worry about being an expert. Each year you’ll grow and become a stronger educator. Be even more prepared for the new school year and grab my Free Back to School Guide. Remember, you’ve got this!

     

  • Tips on How Teachers Can Start Over At a New School

    Are you a veteran or experienced teacher starting a new school? Are you wondering how to prepare for the new school year as an experienced teacher? Grab these tips on how to start over at a new school! You are changing schools for a reason, make sure you're off to a great start. #teachertips #veteranteachers #backtoschoolforteachers

    Are you a veteran or experienced teacher starting a new school? Are you wondering how to prepare for the new school year as an experienced teacher? Grab these tips on how to start over at a new school! You are changing schools for a reason, make sure you're off to a great start. #teachertips #veteranteachers #backtoschoolforteachers

    If anybody knows about starting over at a new school, it’s me. When we leave one school to start another, it can be extremely stressful and exciting. What I like about starting over is that everyone is adjusting to a new school year. No school year is exactly the same, so in some way, everyone is starting over. When I think about it that way, I’m less nervous. If you are starting over at a new school this school year, this is your opportunity to make it your best school ever. Starting over is never easy, so I wanted to share some general tips that will help make the transition to a new school much easier!

    Learn Their Way

    I get you’re an experienced teacher, but when you go to someone’s house, you have to play by their rules. Yes, you would maybe do things differently, but you should not just yet. Respect, appreciate, and be okay that things are going to be different. You can’t walk in the door and try to change how your new school does things. In the beginning, you need to learn how to do it their way. I always like to see how one school/district does things differently than my last school. If you are moving to a better school/district, then you should learn a better way to get things done. Remember, you left your old school for a reason, be ready to learn!

    Be Friendly, But Not Too Friendly

    When we start a new school people want to get to know us, and we want to learn about them. This is perfectly fine, just remember to keep it professional. In general, my coworkers don’t know much about my personal life, and I don’t want them to. I have nothing to hide, I just like to keep my work life and personal life separate.

    With that being said, my coworkers still know me. They know I love 90’s music, yoga, traveling, and I like laughing a lot. There is a way where you can be friendly without letting them know your every move outside of the building. Be careful because we know there are those coworkers who will spread your business around to everyone. A red flag is if they tell you extremely personal things about themselves within the first month or so of meeting you. If they do this, trust me, they will tell everybody your business. Until you get the lay of the land, be friendly, but limit conversations about your personal life. Most importantly, if you don’t want it repeated, don’t say it.

    Back to School Guide for Teachers

    Be Confident, Not Cocky

    You got the job because your principal felt that you were the right person for the job. Just remember, you are new and have things that you need to learn. Be confident in your abilities, but don’t be cocky. Nobody likes a know it all. Don’t think that you know more than the teachers who have been at the school for years.

    When I start a new school, I like to show, not tell. I’m really good at differentiating work for my kiddos. Instead of telling everybody how good I am, I make sure that if someone comes into my room, they can quickly tell that my kiddos’ work is differentiated. You know you’re a great teacher, let your work be the messenger.

    Don’t Take on Too Many Roles

    I made this mistake this past school year. I was at a brand new school-district and teaching a new grade. I decided to start an afterschool club shortly after the school year started. In my head, it sounded like a great idea. But, it turned out to be a disaster. I was exhausted, and it wasn’t fun. I was soon dreading the days that I had the club because I just wanted to go home. Instead of spending some time preparing for the next day in the afternoon, I was coming in early to get stuff done. Eventually, I ended the club because it was too much. I should have gotten used to everything before adding more to my plate. I put way more stress on myself than I had to. Don’t be like me. Take it easy until you have everything figured out!

    Keep it Positive

    For most of us, we are making a choice to start over at a new school, so go into it with a positive mindset. Know that no school is perfect. Handle its imperfections with grace. If you see a problem, think of a solution, but don’t complain. You don’t want to be known as the new teacher with a bad attitude.

    The hardest part about coming into a new school is that you will be surrounded by people who don’t know how good they have it. They will complain, let them. Don’t get sucked in that pool of negativity. I have this issue every time I change schools. There are always those teachers that complain about everything. It is annoying. They don’t get how much energy it takes to fight off the negative vibe that they bring in the building daily. I had a teacher ask me one day, why was I so happy? It was 7 am ya’ll, I was so confused. Some of us will never understand those people who make a choice to be in a bad mood. Stay strong and keep it positive.

    Changing schools can be stressful at first. Be willing to learn the ropes, show your administration why they hired you, don’t take on too many roles, and stay positive. You will shine this school year if you work hard and have an open mind. Check out my FREE Back to School Guide to get prepared for this brand new year! Let me know how you adjust to a new school in the comments below!

  • Back to School Tips for Veteran Teachers

    Veteran teachers have different needs at the beginning of the school year. Check out how you can be prepared for the upcoming school year! #backtoschool #veteranteachers

    Veteran teachers have different needs at the beginning of the school year. Check out how you can be prepared for the upcoming school year! #backtoschool #veteranteachers

    Being a veteran teacher is an accomplishment. We’ve put in many years of helping children learn. We have changed the lives of so many kiddos. But, we need to remember that we can still learn and grow as an educator. We can’t become that teacher who thinks they know it all and are closed off to learning new ways to help our kiddos. We should treat each school year differently. In some way, each year should be better than the last. Here are some ways we can get ready for the school year.

    Be Open to New Ideas

    Guys, we don’t know everything. Being a veteran teacher means we’ve learned a lot of techniques, methods, and strategies. A lot of times we hold on to what we like or is the easiest to do. We shouldn’t do something that worked well a few years ago, but now you’re no longer getting results. We can’t hold on to old ways that don’t benefit our kiddos. So, if your school or other teachers have a new way of doing something, try it! If your school is investing in a program, there is usually research or data that shows that it works. We know that sometimes new ideas don’t work, but we have to be open to try them first.

    Try Something New

    Do something this school year you’ve never done before. Maybe you can try using a communication app or create a Google Classroom account. We frequently ask our kiddos to try new things and we have to do the same. This upcoming school year, I am going to read a picture book to my students daily. While for many of you this is something you do regularly, I have never read a book to my kiddos every day. Testing has always been a priority in the upper elementary grades, and we tend not to do traditional things that work. I hope that by reading a book to them daily, they will learn the skills they need to be successful on the state exam. What will you try this school year?

    Back to School Guide for Teachers

    Have a Positive Attitude

    After teaching for a while, some of us have a negative attitude. Sometimes we complain too much, or we crack one too many snarky jokes. It is okay to have a bad day or two, but we need to be mindful that we aren’t always complaining about how things use to or should be. In case you didn’t know, nobody likes being around people who are negative all the time. If you can’t change what you don’t like about your job or your school, maybe it is time to move on, and that is okay!

    Set Goals

    Setting new goals each school year should be something every teacher does. Especially us vets! Since we don’t have to spend time learning the basics, we have more time to think about the school year and what we want to accomplish. This means we can be more intentional with what we want for the school year. Take a look at your kiddo’s data and make goals based on the information you see. Create a plan on how you want to attack the school year so you can get the best results.

    Although we are all going to miss summer, there is nothing like getting ready for the new school year. No matter if this is your 5th or 10th year teaching, you can still become a stronger educator. Be open to change this year!

     

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  • 3 Ways Teachers Can Prepare For the New School Year

    We love decorating our classrooms and searching on Pinterest for new ideas. But in order to have a successful school year, it's important that we do more! Here are 3 ways teachers should prepare for the new school year.#backtoschool #teachertips

    We love decorating our classrooms and searching on Pinterest for new ideas.  But in order to have a successful school year, it's important that we do more!  Here are 3 ways teachers should prepare for the new school year.#backtoschool #teachertips

     

    I think teachers favorite time of the year is the beginning of the school year. We’re all well rested, motivated, and ready to go! We spend our last summer days hitting Target’s Dollar Spot or rolling down the aisles of Dollar Tree. We spend hours on Pinterest looking for ways to decorate our classrooms. But how many of us stop and reflect on the previous school year? I use to get so caught up in the newness of the school year I didn’t analyze what went well and what needed improvement. Honestly, I would forget what I did and started from scratch each year. If slow down to stop and think about how we can make this school year better, we will have a much more successful school year. Here are three simple ways you can get ready for this school year.

    Think About What Went Well Last School Year And What Did Not

    At the beginning of the school year, I like to stop and think about my strengths and weaknesses. If I did something that worked really well last school year, I make sure I do it again this year. If something didn’t work as well as I thought it should have, I’d see how I can tweak it to make it better or not do it at all. What did you do that helped your kiddos grow? What did you do that didn’t improve their growth. How can you fix a routine to make it more effective? Answer these questions to help you work smarter this school year!

    Pick One Thing to Focus on This School Year

    This school year, I want to increase my parent communication. Last year I started a new district, school, and grade level, so, my focus was just surviving. Now that I have it mostly figured out (lol), I want to make sure my parent communication is top notch. Now it’s your turn, think about something you can improve this school year. If you’re having trouble thinking of something off the top of your head, take a look at your summative evaluation and see where you scored the lowest. Working on your weaknesses will not only make you a stronger teacher, but it will also make you look good to your administration. You’re using their feedback to make improvements, and they will love that!

    After Analyzing the Previous School Year, Let it Go

    After you analyze what went well and what did not go well last year, let it go. Even if it was the best school year you ever had, let it go. It is a brand new year, and you shouldn’t expect to have the same year as you did before. Holding on to the previous year can lead to frustration, especially if your new class isn’t as high as your last class. Or you can begin the school year defeated because you had the lowest test scores in your grade level last year. By not letting go of the previous school year, you could be starting the school year off with negative vibes. Let it all go. This is the one thing I love about teaching. No school year is the same, and you always have an opportunity to start over.

    We spend most of our first weeks back at school decorating, in meetings, anxiously waiting for a class list, but rarely do we spend time getting mentally prepared for the school year. Being reflective about the last school year will help you have an even better school year than the one before. Focusing on one area improvement will help you become an expert! Letting go of the previous school year will help you leave behind useless expectations and bad memories, making space for your new kiddos. This school year will be your best yet. To ensure you have the best school year grab my Free Back to School Guide! This guide has everything you need to make sure you’re ready to start the school year strong. 

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    BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS FOR VETERAN TEACHERS