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Doing a teaching degree and set to graduate soon? We bet we can guess that you are feeling a little nervous. Not to worry though, that’s completely normal - we’ve all had first-day jitters!
To help ease your nerves and feel a little more confident when entering the classroom, we’ve put together some tips.
As a new teacher, one of the best things you can do is seek help and advice from older and more experienced teachers. If they have been at the school while, it’s likely that they have an understanding of the pupils and how they behave. They may have even taught the students previously which means they will be able to give you a real insight!
Make sure to ask lots of questions to help you to gain as much information as possible. Trust us, they’ve been doing this for a long time (or at least longer than you!) so they’ll definitely have some tips and tricks that they can share with you.
As the saying goes those who fail to prepare, should prepare to fail. Preparation is super important, especially in your first year of teaching. So, make sure you are organised! Our advice would be to set some time aside specifically for marking and planning. It might not seem like much fun at the time but you will feel better for it in the long run.
Setting rules for the classroom are important as it teaches children about boundaries. Some rules you could include are: listen to the teacher, respect each other and take care of equipment.
But, and this is a big but, make sure that once you’ve set them you stick to them! You’ll also need to consider what the consequences of breaking the rules will be. Without doing so, there will be no point in setting the rules in the first place and you risk worsening behaviour patterns as a result.
This might sound obvious but it’s much easier said than done! To help keep the students engaged we suggest mixing things up by using a variety of activities to engage both visual and practical learners. Remember each child learns differently so what works for one won’t work for all.
Another way of approaching is this is to offer the students different ways to learn. For example, if students are learning their timetables some students might choose to draw a poster and others might come up with a song to help them remember.
Mistakes happen. They are unavoidable. Things will happen that you never expected to happen but that’s okay. As a new teacher, you are still learning so it’s important not to worry too much. What matters most is that you learn from any mistakes moving forward. Not eveything that you try will work. So, try new ideas and test the waters to see what your students respond to best.
Children won’t always behave you want them to but don’t take it too personally. It doesn’t mean that you are a bad teacher. When dealing with a tough student the best thing to do is to remain as calm as possible and not show that you are flustered. Once they realise they won’t achieve anything by behaving that way, they are likely to refrain from it.
7. Remember you are the adult in the room
Following on from the point above, remember that you are the adult in the classroom. While there might be students that push your buttons and even intimidate you, you have to be strong and rise above it. You are the source of authority in the classroom and you do not need to bow down to difficult students.
With that said, it’s really important to find a balance. You don’t want to be so strict and controlling as students that they feel like they can’t approach you. It may also mean that they are more likely to rebel or misbehave. You should aim to be firm but fair. Remember a little friendliness often goes a long way.