Confidence Boosters for New Teachers
If you’re like most newcomers to the teaching profession, you’re probably feeling a bit nervous about your first year on the job–and rightfully so. What types of students will you have in your classroom? Will they like you? How will your first lesson and first week of school go?
While these questions and many more are running through your mind, try not to get overly discouraged! Below you’ll discover six simple ways to boost your confidence about your upcoming first year of teaching.
1. Find a Mentor
One easy way to boost your confidence as a first-year teacher is to find a veteran educator that can serve as your mentor. Teacher mentoring can be an effective way for beginning teachers to learn the ”ropes” of their new profession and build up a support system. A mentor can provide meaningful advice that can help you fine-tune your teaching methods and improve student learning. Additionally, having a mentor can make the first year of teaching much less stressful for newbies, which can help to strengthen teacher retention rates.
2. Get Organized Early
As with many tasks in life, organizational abilities are crucial to your upcoming role as a teacher, so it’s best to get organized early on to avoid scrambling during the weeks leading up to your first year of teaching. To help you get organized, you’ll first want to familiarize yourself with the school you’ll be teaching in as well as the staff members with whom you’ll be working. Afterwards, you can set up and decorate your classroom, prepare lesson plans, establish classroom rules and so on, which can help you feel much more confident when school begins.
3. Plan Your Introduction
As we mentioned earlier, you may be worried about how your students will receive you during your first year. You’ll want them to like you, of course, but you’ll also want them to take you seriously. To achieve this balance, plan your introduction beforehand so that you know exactly what to say on the first day of school.
Consider telling your students where you’re from, a little bit about your family and some interesting factoids about yourself, such as your hobbies or cool places you’ve visited (grab their attention!). In your introduction, you’ll also want to make your classroom expectations very clear so that everyone is on the same page, making you more likely to have a successful school year.
4. Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
Leading a healthy lifestyle can have a positive effect on your well-being and confidence as a new teacher. By making it a point to eat right, be active and get proper rest, you’ll feel good, look healthy and exude confidence. You can easily radiate your sense of well-being to others and encourage them to make smart choices, too. If your students can see that you appreciate your health, they may be more likely to appreciate their own.
5. Update Your Wardrobe
New clothes are always a treat, but updating your wardrobe before school begins can help you feel more confident (the old look good, feel better mantra). Consider purchasing multiple trendy yet professional garments that can be mixed and matched to create several different outfits so that you’ll have many go-to options. You might want to check with your school to get the lowdown on the dress code before you go shopping, though, just to be safe. And always remember that comfort is important!
6. Be Ready for Anything
Last but certainly not least, you’ll want to mentally prepare yourself for anything that may get thrown your way during your first year of teaching. Although you can’t possibly plan for everything that might happen, being ready to tackle a situation that has already been considered is much easier than dealing with unexpected bumps in the road.
Before school begins, try to think about any issues you might encounter during your first year, such as those related to students’ home lives, classroom misunderstandings, behavior problems, poor grades and more, then think about how you’ll react and respond to these issues. If you prepare yourself for these scenarios before they occur, you should feel much more confident if and when they actually happen (they will!).
Now that you’ve learned some ways to boost your confidence for your first year of teaching, you should be able to begin the upcoming school year with your head held high. Always remember that your students won’t be the only ones learning, and that’s okay!
Are you a new teacher looking to boost engagement in your classroom? Be sure to interact with other teachers in our online community