08/15/2016 04:02 EDT | Updated 08/15/2016 04:59 EDT

22 Things New Teachers Need To Hear On Their First Day In Class

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Woman hand writing ' Hello! My name is... ' on green blackboard

American kids are back in school; Canadian kids return September 6. While the first day of a new school year is usually daunting to say the least -- Will my teachers like me? Will I like my teachers? Who's in my classes? Will people be nice to me? -- nothing compares to walking into the classroom for the very first time.

This is especially true for the new teacher, with so much (real and imagined) at stake. How will I deal with (I prefer work with) parents? Colleagues? Will there be friction with administrators? Will I be able to manage the classroom effectively? How much autonomy will I have? How much support?

This spring, I asked a handful of highly reflective teachers what advice they might give a new teacher, someone getting their very own class(es) for the first time.

Think about the most important things you've learned in your life, then share them.

Here's what they wrote:

Slow down and remember to listen.

Your students are like seeds. Give them water and air.

Be you.

Get to know your students.

Take time to learn about your inner self. Let your heart be your guide.

Read about Timeless Learning.

Breathe and listen with your whole body.

Don't forget to smile :)


Take a psychology course.

Make sure you and your students have room to breathe.

Think about the most important things you've learned in your life, then share them.

Stay in the moment. Be present, even on a bad day. Tomorrow, your students will show up and look to you.

Take time to listen to, watch and appreciate ALL your students -- they are your best teachers.

Just teach with authenticity, in the moment, not in preparation for anything else.

The formal curriculum can/will wait. Take time to build and maintain a loving and safe(r) classroom community.

Be kind to yourself!

Don't be afraid to be afraid.

Don't overextend yourself.

You WILL make mistakes. It's OK. Be humble and say sorry!

Have fun! Play!

When all else fails, BREATHE.

Have a question about teaching or curriculum? Drop a line! @MishaAbarbanel

Thanks to the 2016 Spirituality in Education class at OISE/UT for the tips, and also to new teacher Amanda Hedmann for sharing some #NewTeacherWorries.

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