Aug 03

Top 5 Things New Teachers Should Know


“A practical To Do list for new teachers.”
The Top Five Things New Teachers Should Do Now
By Jami D. Jones | New Teacher Support Center Virtual Coach

Originally Posted on August 15, 2016
Dear First-year teacher,

Congratulations on landing a job! Kudos to YOU! Remember and relish that just getting to this point is an accomplishment. You’re here for a reason!
While you are probably knee deep in Pinterest boards, chevron border, and 45 pounds of teachers guides, we are sure you are wondering, “Where do I start?!”Folks, pacing is key! You have time to prepare, do research, and maybe even sneak in a few sips of Rose’ here and there if you wish!

This is not a sprint, but instead a marathon.


  1. If you haven’t done so already, contact your mentor. Your building administrator has likely already assigned you one. Find out who that person is, and call him/her (yes, call…it’s more personal that way!). Introduce yourself, establish a rapport, endear yourself to him/her, and maybe suggest coffee somewhere. Then let the barrage of questions begin!!! (If you don’t have a mentor yet; that’s what we’re here for! Stay close to NTSC and you’ll be fine.)

  1. The chevron border and coordinating job chart can wait. What you really need to do is start familiarizing yourself with your grade level standards! Check out the Common Core website ( and start getting comfortable with how to read them, the language that is used, and the expectations for your grade level and content area. Get ahead of this if you can. Doing this as you try to lesson plan a few months from now may get hairy!

  1. Start looking at those heavy, spiral bound teacher’s manuals. They’re big, bulky, and wordy yes, but often they are a treasure trove of information. Read the introductions, learn how they’re laid out, and start looking at some lessons.

  1. “But NTSC, I love arts and crafts! When can I start my DIY projects?” Okay, you can do a few now. But keep them intentional. Well thought out routines and procedures are the keys to any organized and well run classroom.We’ve seen some of the prettiest classrooms be the most chaotic once students enter the room. Think about creating charts that will be purposeful to your classroom community. For example, brainstorm a list of jobs that will help keep the classroom running, and begin to create those charts. (We have some great suggestions coming soon!)

  1. Start thinking now about what you want your classroom to look and SOUND like during instruction, centers, transitions, free time, bathroom breaks, fire drills, etc., and start making a plan for how you will achieve that. What kind of classroom rules will you have? What will your procedures be for lining up, switching classes, sharpening a pencil, getting a tissue, asking a question? Do now? Start asking and answering these questions now and you’ll be 100 steps ahead of the game, just on your first day!

Feeling better already? We knew you would! Keep checking back at for more great tips and tidbits.

If there is something you’d like to know more about, please let us know! We’d love to hear from you. Just click on this “Contact Us” and send us your comment or suggestion.


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Jami D. Jones | Virtual Coach
New Teacher Support Center
Jami’s expertise spans ten years of teaching and instructional coaching experience in K-8 settings. Her coaching relationships have been established on trust and the common goal of student achievement, both of which cultivates transformative practices for new teachers.