Kansas State University


College of Education

Ten Tips for Thriving During Your First Month of Teaching

  1. Know that you, your lessons, and your students won’t be perfect; enjoy that we’re all works in progress.
  2. Keep in mind that your administrators and your colleagues want you to be successful—almost as much as YOU want to succeed.
  3. Students come in all shapes and sizes, mentally and physically; enjoy their unique characteristics. The diversity will make your classroom an interesting and lively community.
  4. Remind yourself that every child in your classroom is someone’s loved one…someone’s baby; respect that.
  5. At some point, you WILL figure out the bell system at the school.
  6. Despite its name, your plan period won’t involve too much planning; however, it’s a good opportunity to take care of other necessary tasks–such as lining up lab time or a visit to the library for your classes.
  7. At some point, a student—even a senior in high school—may slip and call you “mom” or “dad”; that’s a term of endearment and worth a smile.
  8. Keep a metal basket on your desk for materials to be graded; try to empty the basket by the end of the school day.
  9. Try to get a graded assignment in the grading book during the first week of classes; it signals to parents and the students that you’re doing important things in your classroom and that learning has already started.
  10. Take time to really listen to your students; many have no other place for their voices to be heard and honored.