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Take Five for...

Offering Advice to
Help First-Year
Teachers Succeed

You can help new teachers succeed by offering advice such as this from principal Terri Kirkman: "Realize that you will probably learn more in your first year of teaching than you did in all four years of your college education. And don't be afraid to ask for help from 'seasoned' teachers. Most teachers are very willing to share their secrets. If you have the opportunity to visit other classrooms or if you can find a mentor teacher, do so. The more you witness teaching taking place, the greater chance you will have of knowing what will work for you."

"Find out which teacher or teachers the other teachers in your building would want their child to have, and spend lots of time finding out how to do what it is that that teacher does." (Barbara Woods)

"Keep in close contact with your building administrator. Often, first-year teachers keep their distance from their administrators because they feel inadequate or because they don't want to appear to need help. ... [But] these are the people who hired you, and they have confidence in your ability to do a wonderful job." (Ernest Elliott)

"Find a good way to reduce stress. Find a buddy and walk in the evenings, or join a gym and work out. I have seen many first-year teachers burn out in the first semester simply because they couldn't let [the stress] go." (Terri Kirkman)

"Be very nice to the secretary and custodians." (Terri Kirkman)


Take Five more to read this entire article from Education World's "Principal Files" series:
"Advice for First-Year Teachers -- From the Principals Who Hired Them"