Hi everyone! I'm excited to be joining a group of fabulous 5th grade teachers for a Back to School Blog Hop! We are here to share Back to School tips and advice!
We can all remember being a first year teacher and how exciting and nerve-wracking it can be! You may be a first year teacher yourself or you may be teaching at a new school or in a new district this year. I think we've ALL been in those situations. This is my 6th year teaching and I am in a new school in a new district (and a new state) so there are times that I feel like a new teacher all over again.
Here are my best tips/advice for any teacher, regardless of what season of teaching you are in!
- ORGANIZE - I can't stress enough how important organization is. Having an organized classroom is so important and will help you so much. It may take some time up front, but will be so worthwhile.
The teacher toolbox is one way I organize all of my office supplies like paper clips, post it's, etc. It's a cute way to organize materials without them being shoved in a drawer.
I have lots of organizers and baskets that I use for a variety of materials. I keep books that I use for specific units in baskets rather than in my classroom library.
I purchased this organizer from Lakeshore Learning before I became a teacher and I love it. It's a great way to hold all of the materials/copies that you need for the week.
Decide how you want to organize curriculum resources, too. I use binders and love that method, but also use files for some items. I love to decorate my binders with labels on the front to help me stay organized! Click HERE for a Student Data Binder Label as your FREEBIE!
- Find a mentor. Most schools assign new teachers (whether it's a first time teacher or someone new to the school) a mentor. Having a great mentor helped me so much, especially as a first year teacher. If you aren't assigned one, you could talk to veteran teachers in your school. My mentor was a perfect example of what a mentor is and what one should do! When I first moved to South Carolina and knew no one, she organized a night where the teachers in grades 3-5 came to her house. They grilled out and it was a great time to get to know everyone. She also answered my million questions and never made me feel like a question was silly. She helped me SO much and she ended up becoming one of my very best friends, even to this day! This was a gift she gave me on my very first day of school!
- Communicate - Communication is key as a teacher! I like to send home a Welcome letter at the beginning of the year (typically Open House) to welcome students to my classroom. I like to leave my contact information (school address, school phone number, email) and my planning period so that parents feel like they can contact me with any questions or concerns. I also think it's important to share positives with parents, rather than only call or email with negative things. Parents always love hearing something positive about their child! I always record every conversation, every phone call, every email, etc. on a record sheet for documentation.
- Know that it's OKAY to be overwhelmed. Don't forget to take time for YOU. Okay - this is a two for one piece of advice! The beginning of the year is exciting and overwhelming, all at the same time. Trust me - I can relate. I am feeling it more this year than ever! I just have to remind myself that it is OKAY to be overwhelemed. There's so much to do, but not enough time to do it all. Don't stay at school late every day and don't work on school stuff all weekend. Take time for yourself and your family! :)
Our group of bloggers has a great pack of goodies to send to one lucky winner to help get your year started off with a bang! Enter below!!