Tips for New Teachers - How to Have a Successful First Year Teaching

June 29, 2023



Today, I'm sharing a round-up of common mistakes that new, new-ish, and let's face it, even veteran teachers make while teaching. They're considered common for a reason. I guarantee the colleagues you currently admire were making some of the very same mistakes when they started their career. The thing about mistakes is that they are really just learning opportunities. So, take a look at the mistakes, check out the tips to improve, and see how you can turn the mistake into a success. 

Weak or Lacking Classroom Management Skills:

Mistake: New teachers often struggle with establishing and maintaining effective classroom management, leading to disruptions and a loss of instructional time.

Tips to Improve: 
>>> Prioritize learning and implementing classroom management strategies early on. (Here are tons of ideas.)

>>> Attend professional development workshops or seek guidance from experienced educators. 

>>> Check out videos and classroom management guides from seasoned teachers.

Keys to Success: At the beginning of the school year, develop a well-structured classroom routine, set clear expectations, establish consistent consequences, and build positive relationships with students. By doing so, you create an environment conducive to learning and minimize disruptions. Find everything you need for effective classroom management right here.

Poor Time Management and Overwhelming Workload: 

Mistake: New teachers may underestimate the amount of time and effort required to effectively plan lessons, assess student work, and provide timely feedback. 

Tips to Improve: 
>>> Prioritize tasks - take care of the most pressing tasks first

>>> Break tasks down into manageable chunks

>>> Create a realistic schedule

>>> Learn to delegate or seek assistance when necessary 

Keys to Success: Develop efficient lesson planning strategies (grab free lesson templates here), utilize technology tools for grading and feedback, and establish routines for managing paperwork. By managing time effectively, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance and provide quality instruction. A HUGE help is to seek assistance to help you save time and energy lesson planning. Check out my favorite units that are ready to print and teach here.

Insufficient Differentiation of Instruction: 
Mistake: New teachers may struggle to meet the diverse needs of their students, resulting in a "one-size-fits-all" approach that leaves some students disengaged or struggling. 

Tips to Improve: 
>>> Familiarize yourself with various differentiation strategies, such as flexible grouping, tiered assignments, and scaffolding techniques. 

>>> Seek professional development opportunities to enhance your differentiation skills. 

Keys to Success: Use pre-assessments to identify students' prior knowledge and tailor instruction accordingly. Offer a variety of learning opportunities and resources to meet individual needs. Embrace a growth mindset, continually seeking ways to adapt and improve your instruction.

Inadequate Communication with Parents: 
Mistake: New teachers may overlook the importance of regular and effective communication with parents, leading to misunderstandings and missed opportunities for collaboration. 

Tips to Improve: 
>>> Establish open lines of communication from the beginning of the school year. (This video has some ideas.)

>>> Utilize various communication channels such as emails, newsletters, parent-teacher conferences, and online platforms. (Check out how to incorporate positive phone calls into your routine.)

>>> Plan an Open House presentation that notes how you will be communicating with parents. (Here's a completed presentation that you can customize.)

Keys to Success: Regularly update parents on their child's progress, behavior, and upcoming events. Seek parental input and involvement, as they can provide valuable insights into their child's learning style and needs. Building strong partnerships with parents creates a supportive network for student success. Find everything you need to positively connect with parents here.

Neglecting Self-Care and Professional Growth: 
Mistake: New teachers often put their own well-being and professional development on the back burner, leading to burnout and stagnation. 

Tips to Improve: 
>>> Prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, relaxation, and hobbies. 

>>> Seek opportunities for professional growth, such as attending conferences, and joining professional organizations.

>>> Engage in reflective and mindful practices. (Here's a set of FREE positive affirmations for teachers.)

Success: Taking care of yourself allows you to bring your best self into the classroom. Continuously seek opportunities to improve your teaching practices through self-reflection, peer observations, and seeking feedback. Embrace a growth mindset and remain open to learning from your experiences. (Teach your students about growth mindset with this Doodle and Do lesson.)


Turning these mistakes into successes requires self-reflection, continuous learning, and a willingness to adapt and grow as an educator. Remember that mistakes are learning opportunities, and by addressing them proactively, you can develop into a successful and impactful teacher.

If you're a new or new-ish teacher reading this blog, let me end by thanking and congratulating you. Thank you for taking on this noble profession. Being an educator is so important.  And...congrats on entering a career that provides challenges like no other. You'll be faced with some difficult days as an educator, but don't worry...there are just as many wonderful moments ahead. 

If I can support you in any way, feel free to reach out to me at

*************GREAT NEWS**************

If you're looking for more ways to have a successful school year, be sure to grab the FREE EVERYTHING GUIDE for TEACHERS! It includes over 100 pages of freebies!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Mary Beth

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