/> 5 Tips for First Year Teachers - First Grade Findings

5 Tips for First Year Teachers

Recently on Instagram, @Megscrayons posted about her first year classroom and tips for first year teachers- what we wish we had known. Looking back at my first year I wish I knew then what I know now! I like to think we all "Started from the bottom, now we here" Thank you for the reminder, Drake! 

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Flashback to 2013 when I was teaching third grade in the learning cottage aka trailer! Yes, some of my neighbors had flamingos, but it was fun in its own way! I was lucky to get a lot of teacher stuff from doing a long term sub the prior year and people gifting me goodies! People clean out so much at the end and at the beginning of the school year. Books, shelves, storage, so much stuff that I didn't have to pay for due to kind teachers at my school! I utilized the free table- be on the lookout for this free stuff table, and remember one person's trash is another's treasure. This is a funny video about the free table! Value what you come across, and don't forget to pay it forward when you are able! 

Check out the pictures below for a snapshot into my teacher world of 2013: 

Now, here's where it gets good!!

 I would encourage #firstyearteachers to not spend all the money- unless you can and want to! You can do a lot without spending all your money, before you even make it! Utilize freebies on TPT! THERE ARE SO MANY! You don't have to spend so much at first, especially before you know what you need. Classroom decor is easy to find, but think about what fits your style! BE YOU! Be careful about purchasing unless you really know you will use it! It stinks to purchase something and realize a year later you never used it! 

Also be flexible! I wasn't real excited about the learning cottage, aka trailer life, at first, but I grew to like my space. It was nice in some ways. For example, I didn't have many visitors so I could easily focus. I also made it homey and comfortable! If you are a new teacher, you are the low man on the totem pole! Realize that and represent! Work hard and prove to your school that you are the amazing teacher they hired! 

Be real. Don't put on a show and pretend like you are fine! Ask for help and own your mistakes. WE HAVE ALL MADE THEM! Figure out who you can go to for real advice where you won't be judged. Find one school friend who is real and helpful. Don't trust everyone with your feelings. Talk to your people outside of school first! Many of times they have helped me through a situation before I even felt like I needed to talk to someone at school. 

Be careful who you trust AND DON'T TALK NEGATIVELY ABOUT PEOPLE! That is really a golden rule. Don't say something about someone unless you would say it to their face. 

Volunteer for everything! My mentor teacher taught me this. When you are new, you have to prove yourself! Volunteer for special events, go to PTO nights, sign up to help with registration, be the grade level rep when no one else wants to be, and be everywhere you can to prove you're a hard worker! Hard workers stand out and people look to them as leaders. Don't be a slacker! 

One last thing: 
Remember things can only go up after your first year! Each year you will get better and better! 
Thanks @megscrayons for encouraging me to relive the good old days! 
Share this link with a new teacher you know and love <3! Leave a comment with your tips for first year or new teachers!


  1. I love how you totally transformed that trailer! What a unique first year teaching story, and I'm sure it's made you more thankful for your more recent rooms.
    As a future teacher I am starting a collection of things to use inside my future classroom and it is so encouraging to hear that you don't have to go out and buy a bunch of stuff! :)

    1. Thanks so much! It was an experience which made me soooo thankful when I had my own classroom in the building! I really felt like I had made it!! Yes, please don't spend tons of money! You will accumulate things as you go! Of course if you see something you love and it makes you happy, then don't hold back. :)


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