Congratulations on Your First Year of Teaching

Congratulations on beginning your career as an educator! Bookmark this page and return frequently for new and timely resources to help you thrive in the classroom—personally and professionally.

Quick Video Message of Advice and Encouragement
Before you dive in, enjoy this quick message of advice and encouragement from KDP member Karalin Furman. “Any chance you get to observe other teachers, DO IT! You do not need to reinvent the wheel, especially your first year teaching. You will work with some amazing educators, and they have amazing ideas. Use that to your advantage!” Listen now

7 Tips for Transitioning From Student Teacher to Classroom Teacher
With the global issue of teacher retention hovering over the education profession, student teachers must adopt specific habits to reduce the risk of burning out within the first year. I encourage new teachers to adopt these seven practices for navigating a smooth transition into and through their first year of teaching to establish a strong foundation of professional habits to carry them throughout their career. Read more

New-Teacher Polish: 4 Changes You Can Make
As you prioritize your to-do list, consider what areas are framing your principal’s and parents’ judgment of your practices. Often a small change in a high-impact area can be as transformative as hours spent reorganizing. From our experience observing in classrooms, these practices can make a novice teacher look like a polished practitioner. Read more

First-Year Teacher Survival Kit: 7 Things to Help You Succeed
The first year as a classroom teacher can be overwhelming. I was fortunate to have a supportive mentor as my principal, and I remember clearly the advice he gave me—not just the words but the carefully selected items that he handed me. Read more

6 Keys to Creating an Assertive and Constructive Teacher Voice
Teaching is complex and holistic; it literally involves your whole being. Understanding and implementing these six nonverbal and verbal teacher communication skills results in the most improvement and an effective teacher voice. Read more

Create an Out-of-This-World Classroom With Universal Design!
Teachers spend hours cultivating a classroom environment where they hope to engage and teach students. Your classroom arrangement should reflect how you expect your students to learn. Flexible classroom spacing provides your students the opportunity to learn in an environment that matches their needs and motivates them to be actively engaged. Read more

4 Tips for Classroom Discussions
As a new teacher, one of the most intimidating activities to facilitate in your classroom can be discussion. Discussions can empower your students by giving them the opportunity to learn from one another, to validate the arguments made by classmates, and to gain confidence in their own ability to speak. The power of discussion to increase student learning and agency always makes it worthwhile, and these tips can alleviate many of your trepidations. Read more

5 Things Teachers Need to Know About Assessment
Assessment is so much more than high-stakes testing. Teachers have traditionally assessed students’ work to diagnose strengths and weaknesses, to monitor their progress, and to assign grades. Now, schoolwide assessments may provide data for parental and public perceptions of teacher and school effectiveness. Let’s look at different types of assessments, how they work, and what teachers need to know about each. Read more

How to Involve Parents at Home
Teachers from around the world agree that involved parents benefit students, teachers, and schools. However, would parents around the world agree on the best way to be involved in their children’s education? Home-based involvement includes activities such as parents talking with children about school, setting high expectations for learning, and reading together. Getting parents on board with home-based learning can begin in small ways but can produce big outcomes. Read more

Remember Your “Why” to Teaching!
4 Strategies to Motivate and Encourage Beginning Teachers

Although statistics show the number of teachers leaving is decreasing, losing even one highly qualified teacher is too many. Remember that things can get tough, but you can do it! If the first few years of teaching are proving to be difficult or discouraging, Here are four strategies to help you remember and recall your passion, drive, and motivation for teaching. Read more