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Updated by Amy Gil on Sep 07, 2015
Headline for A "Survival Kit" for New Teachers
Amy Gil Amy Gil
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A "Survival Kit" for New Teachers

Anything from classroom management to working with parents, lesson planning to learning environments, this compilation of articles, videos, and other resources provides an array of tips and advice for teachers just starting out.

You Only Get One "First Day of School"

You probably know that saying, "You only have one chance to make a first impression." Well, you only get one "first day of school." Of course, if you don't do well on the first day, that does not mean you should quit teaching. With that said, here are seven tips to help make a good first impression on that first day.

Cheat Sheet for the First Days of School

As the bulletin boards go up and the chalkboards, whiteboards and Smartboards get dusted and polished for another intense school year, some of the newer teachers (at one point, this was me, too) scramble to remind themselves of the tone they need to set in the classroom, and how their own routines will often mirror students' routines.

Make a Weekly Plan for YOU!

Here are seven prep steps to help you maximize your non-student time. Your goal is to produce a weekly worksheet, an hour-by-hour view of your time, and to-do's for the week ahead.

Make the Most of Your Non-Teaching Time

Time. It's the thing every teacher needs more of, and no teacher has enough of. Whether you wish to get deeper into student data analysis or want to spend more time with your own children, no teacher has enough hours in the day to do it all. But with very careful planning of their non-teaching time, I've seen thousands of teachers get more time back in their lives. Here are the top five ways you can make the most of your limited "free" time each week:

The Importance of Collaboration

Late August or early September is a make-it-or-break-it time for educators. The non-stop, brutal schedule that is a school year starts with all the finesse of trampling elephants, and doesn’t relent for the next nine months (not coincidentally, the same amount of time it takes to gestate a baby). That makes starting the year right important -- and there are few more critical pieces to an educator's success than collaboration.

Making the Most Out of Teacher Collaboration

How different would things be if I had taken the initiative and sought advice, wisdom, and assistance from the other experienced teachers? But, nope, I was intent on saving the world by myself. What did I need from my fellow teachers?
A lot of help! What did they need from me? Being a newbie, I couldn't really share pedagogy, but what they could have used to their benefit was my eagerness, energy, and enthusiasm.

Teacher Burnout: What Are the Warning Signs?

In his landmark book, Beyond Burnout (Routledge), Cary Cherniss used intensive case study research to identify factors most likely to lead to teacher burnout:

10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout

Rather than provide a list of things to avoid, I would like to take a more proactive stance by sharing things that will help diminish burnout feelings and help you answer, yep, it is worth it.

A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms

Why does the physical design of classrooms matter? Mark Phillips discusses this question in "A Place for Learning: The Physical Environment of Classrooms" and offers examples of and resources for turning impersonal spaces into student-friendly havens of learning.

Tips for Creating Wow-Worthy Learning Spaces

For advice about seating arrangements, bulletin boards, and other considerations, Todd Finley has written a helpful overview of some factors to consider related to your classroom design, including information about the research, and links to video tours of exemplary elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.

7 Learning Zones Every Classroom Must Have

There are many elements to consider as you plan for the next school year. You always review critical pieces like standards, curriculum, instructional activities, and testing, but you also think about the classroom space and how to arrange desks, set up bulletin boards, and organize materials. You can bring these seemingly disconnected components together in a system of seven learning zones.

FREE DOWNLOAD: 7 Learning Zone Posters

This printable graphic includes information about creating seven different learning zones in your classroom.

The Dos and Don'ts of Classroom Management: Your 25 Best Tips

Classroom management is a delicate balancing act often learned through experience and trial-and-error experimentation. Whether you're a new or experienced teacher, having strategies for effective classroom management is essential for creating positive, successful learning spaces (and staying sane!).

Ten Tips for Classroom Management (available in Spanish)

Learn how to improve student engagement and build a positive climate for learning and discipline for grades K-12.

Watch a Classroom Management Expert

See how this 9th-grade English teacher connects with his students, earns their trust, and then invites them to contemplate their future with -- or without -- reading skills.

Making Planning Manageable

Need help figuring out where to start with planning the content for your first year of teaching? In this post from Teaching Channel, Lily Jones cuts to the chase with general questions to consider and a few go-to resources for first-year curriculum planning.

Curriculum-Planning Guide

This curriculum-planning guide from KIPP King Collegiate High School includes helpful guidance on creating long-term curriculum and assessment plans. Learn more about how teachers at Kipp King challenge and empower students with critical-thinking skills in " Critical Thinking: A Path to College and Career."

Common Core and Planning: Organizing a Unit of Instruction

Planning a unit of instruction demands skill and mental exertion -- a fact that is not apparent to parents and legislators who believe that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) tell instructors how and what to teach. Despite advocacy groups' arguments to the contrary, the CCSS is, for the most part, a destination, not a roadmap.

Assessment, Choice, and the Learning Brain

What we do know is that a plethora of assessment-related research has shed light not just on the importance of students' mindsets, but also on the importance of continual feedback and how active retrieval of information, in carefully spaced intervals, can produce long-lasting learning. Research also shows that providing students with choice enhances attention and engagement -- and confirms that the arts can help deepen long-term memory consolidation (Hardiman).

5 Assessment Forms That Promote Content Retention

If we hope to construct enduring understanding in our students, it's critical that, now more than ever, we know their strengths and interests. By incorporating students' strengths and weakness into authentic learning experiences from the beginning of each unit, while at the same time including opportunities for feedback, metacognition and revision, we promote a variety of cognitive and emotional benefits that can lead to academic success.

Technology and Teaching: Finding a Balance

There is no doubt that finding the time to integrate technology is an overwhelming task for anyone. Throughout the course of a day, teachers find themselves pulled in many directions. However, technology is already integrated in nearly everything we do and nearly every job our students will encounter. So how do educators find an ideal balance for learning about and eventually integrating technology? It begins with a focus followed by good instructional design -- but ultimately, a healthy balance.

Getting Started With Technology Integration in Your Classroom

This post focuses on planning curriculum, projects and lessons that are aligned with technology standards.

Let Tech Organize Your Teaching

There are ways to organize and simplify your classroom. Following are three applications that can organize your teaching schedule and turn your classroom into an efficient machine.

A Checklist for Back-to-School Night

Back-to-School Night gives you a chance to meet those clients face-to-face. I appreciated that this year my site had chosen to move ours earlier on the calendar so that we could share our policies and expectations earlier. The crummy part is that no matter how early we schedule it (in our case, it was only four days after the start of school) parents still want to know, "how's my kid doing?" And your child is . . . ?

Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferencing

Elena Aguilar Transformational Leadership Coach from Oakland, California Each fall, I attend a parent-teacher conference for my son. I also spend time coaching teachers on preparing for parent conferences. Given these two different perspectives on this tradition, I figured I could share some thoughts for making these conferences meaningful and rewarding for all.