10 Top Tips for New Teachers

I am linking up with Lauren from Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep for a 10 Top Teacher Tips linky.  Lauren started this linky for teachers who are just starting out.  I remember when that was me. I spent my whole first day looking out the door waiting for my internship teacher to come in and observe me.  It wasn't til the end of the day when it kicked that I was no longer a prac student but now a fully registered teacher!

Here are my top 10 tips.
1.  Top Tip for Classroom Organisation
From day one have the classroom set up and structured so the students quickly learn the do's and the don'ts.  Have everything labelled from the reading areas to the students' books.  Trust me, this comes in very handy when you have 10 identical scrap books with no names and no one can remember what their writing looks like.  I use to write my name of anything that I made or bought.  But then I thought if I left this somewhere other than my school, no one would be able to return it to me.  I ordered return address stickers from Vista Print and now put these on all of my things.  There are so many cute designs or you can make your own.  Here is the one that I have and how I have ordered it.  I think it was about $5 for 90, they are always having promotional sales.
2. Top Tip for Behaviour Management

Have no more than 5 rules!! Too many class rules can be a nightmare.  Some new teachers think that they need to have a rule for anything that could go wrong.  Keep your rules simple and able to be used in any context.  My favourite rule is 'Do the Right Thing'.  It covers classroom, playground, specialist lessons etc.  I always teach the class rules explicitly on the first day and we make an anchor chart together and hang it in our room.

3. Top Tip for Being a Team Player
Share the workload! At our school we all share our curriculum planning.  Each teacher on my current Year has a Key Learning Area that they are planning a unit around and we are getting together next week to share our masterpieces. This makes life so much easier.  If you can't do this with people at your school, try joining with a colleague from another school and bounce ideas of them.

4. Top Tip for Time Management

I'm really not the ideal person to give out info here.  I leave my house everyday extra early so I have an hour and a half to get prepared before school.  I wake up in the morning and I write my mental to do list. Then I get to school and somehow I am having a chai and a chat with my best friend who I only saw yesterday and before I know it there is 20 mins before the bell.  At that time I see that whole list crumple in my head and go into my mental trash can. Ideally make sure that you have a work-life balance that is in check.  This is something that I am still working on.

5. Top Tip for Engaging Students

I confess.  I rarely read books unless they are glossy and have photos of celebrities.  But when it is time to read a new class story, the tone in my voice would make you think that this book is the best thing in the whole wide world and for the next 20 mins you will only be thinking about this book. The way you use your voice can either engage or disengage students very easily. Use lots of positive language and gestures to engage your students.

6. Top Tip for Getting Along with Parents
Try to learn parents' names as soon as you can.  Keep your relationship professional and never pass on too much information about yourself.  If you have parents that come into your room every morning put a sign out to say open for a chat from ---.  This way parents have a certain time period to see you rather just coming in when they would like.  I always jot down a quick note when I have approached a parent about something or they have approached me.  Keeping documentation like this is very important.     

7. Top Tip for Teacher Fashion
I love dressing for work.  I will actually be doing blogs about this when we return.  Our school motto is 'If you can see up it, down it or through it - Don't wear it'. Simple and to the point. Some other rules I go by
  • Never wear spaghetti straps or have your bra straps on show
  • Make sure that what your wearing to roughly to the knee
  • Don't wear high heels - you never know when you have to drop everything and run
  • Keep your make up simple - you don't want your parents to think that you are Gene Simmons
8. Top Tip for Bargain Hunting
Go shopping right now.  Now is the time to get some great back to school bargains.  Target, Kmart and Officeworks have some great packs on sale now that they don't have in the middle of the year.  I try and do as much of my shopping for school supplies now.

9. Top Tip for Eating Well at School

Try and have a stash of health foods in your room or pigeon hole etc.  I always have a bag of nuts in my pigeon hole which come in very handy during staff meetings.  Remember that you are trying to set an example.  It's a bit hard to teach a healthy food unit when your students see you drinking a soda!

10. Top Tip for Staying Sane

Treat yourself! You have earned it.  Whether it be a delicious muffin or a new top.  You have worked hard and you need to reward yourself.  I tell this to my partner all the time, lucky he knows how hard I work!
I hope this has helped in someway.  Head over to Lauren's Blog to read some other great tips.


  1. Thank you for your great advice! Im teaching Yr 2 on the Gold Coast this year and this is my first year with my own class so I'm loving all this great advice! I just discovered your TpT shop and everything is perfect for this year! Thanks


    1. Hi Jaide, how excititng your first class! Grade 2 is my favourite, I have taught it for the last 3 years. Lucky you to get a job on the GC, I was down at Broadbeach last week. Yes a lot of my stuff I based around my 2s. I'm going to Year 1 this year, so not a big jump but still looking forward to it.

      If you ever need anything please feel free to email me alexxpaterson@gmail.com

      Thanks for finding me :)

  2. Hi Alex
    I just wanted to let you know about some new FB groups for Australian teachers :)
    It will be a great way to network and share ideas about he Australian Curriculum :)
    year 1
    year 2
    year 3
    year 4
    year 5
    year 6
    year 7
    Special education

    Please feel free to invite others.

    1. Thanks for this Jenny - I have joined the Year 1 group!


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