Smart Tips for New Teachers

Wise choices create the outcomes we desire.

Today’s new teachers have so much more assistance than I had when I entered the profession, but I still don’t think they have enough. American teachers are still thrown immediately and alone into classrooms filled with children. Yes, we have internships, but those are short — usually about 16 weeks long. That’s not enough to learn all that they need to learn before taking on their own classrooms. I believe they need a coach to support them throughout their first year.

Personally, I think all education schools should require a few acting classes along with the education courses. A new teacher must have stage presence and take command of the classroom immediately. If not, then the students will run the class, and that could lead to problems.

Over the years, I have been privileged enough to guide several interns. Below are 4 tips that I have given to each of them.

  • Different Generation

Today’s students are different from students of your generation, even if you graduated just 4 short years ago.

Sadly, no class is ever the same. Even if you return to your alma mater to teach, it won’t be the same. I did that once. Well, twice, really. Due to constant curricular and societal changes, students did not study the same things that I had studied and learned. They had different struggles, different problems, different experiences, different concerns, and different goals than my friends and I had at that age. Unfortunately, I had conveniently forgotten all the not-so-good memories of high school. I walked around for a week saying, “This is not my high school. This is not my high school.” Then, suddenly it hit me. I was right. It wasn’t. Everything was completely different from when I had been a student there a few short years earlier. I had to accept that it truly was not my high school any more. It was theirs. That realization made a world of difference.

Every year is different. Every class is different. Every student is different. Be flexible. One of today’s buzz phrases is differentiation among students. Good teachers differentiate automatically because no two classes and two students are ever the same. These differences may be small or large, but there will be enough differences to require your flexibility, such as presenting lessons for both audio or visual learners, allowing the use of electronic devices, the size of your collaborative groups, various levels of instruction, and time flexibility for lesson completion, just to name a few.

  • Safe Schools

Schools should be a safe haven for all of your students, so make sure they feel welcome and safe in your classroom. Some students do not come to school to learn. It’s a sad truth as to why some students come to school. Some students come for a decent meal. Others come for a comfortable place that is warm in the winter months and cool in the summer months. And, there are those who come to school to find a place away from their abusers. Therefore, greet all of your students pleasantly and make them feel welcome in your classroom. After all, your classroom or the school may be the safest and most welcome place they know.

  • Something Positive

Look for something positive in every student. Search, if necessary, for something you sincerely like about each student, because all students like to hear nice comments about themselves. With some students it is more difficult to find that something positive than with others, but keep looking until you genuinely and honestly find that positive trait you like. Remember that your students are children, and everyone has something to contribute. Allow them to contribute and share. Compliment them and be sure to share what you like with colleagues and with the parents or guardians of the student. In turn, the student will work more for you and the parent or guardian will support you more.


If you’re interested in more or know a new teacher, please consider picking up a copy of my book, 100+ Tips for New Teachers. It’s available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Please also share this post with any new or soon-to-be new teachers. Or, check out my YouTube channel for several more tips.

What tip would you give to teaching interns or new teachers? Please let me know in the comments below.

And, don’t forget to sign-up for a free coaching session. As I said, I believe new teachers need a coach throughout the first year, which is why I offer a special rate for new teachers. Let me know, and I’ll tell you all about it.

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  1. Andy Lockhart
    4 years ago

    Interesting article, teachers have it very different now from when I grow up.

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