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The Single Most Important Advice Anyone Can Give To A First Year Teacher

645099_the_secretWhen I first started out teaching, I desperately wanted the kids to like me. To this end, I ended up letting my classes get out of control. A handful of things contributed to this:

  • Concerning myself with every matter that was brought to my attention
  • Allowing kids to mesbehave
  • Trying to get the kids to like me
  • Yelling at kids
  • Arguing with them
So I learned how to get control. If this sounds like something you might have trouble with, I encourage you to check out these articles in this order:
Joel Wagner
Joel Wagner (<strong><a href="">@sywtt</a></strong>) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. <strong><a href="">So You Want To Teach?</a></strong> is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

9 thoughts on “The Single Most Important Advice Anyone Can Give To A First Year Teacher

  1. You’re bringing back terrible memories of my first year teaching. The worst mistake I made was to argue with students. It took me most of that year to realize that I could never win the argument!

    It’s a little harsh, but the best advice I ever got that year was, “Never argue with a pig. You just get dirty and the pig enjoys it.”

  2. I am on the verge of quitting my job, but my district holds me for 60 days. I teaching in the inner-city, quite challenging. I am very frustrated, very alone, and disconnected from myself. Please help… Plus, I am a first year teacher…HELP!

  3. It sure does, Michelle. A lot of that has to do with comfort and personal growth. But A lot of it also has to do with learning what works and what doesn’t work. Either through trial and error (the slow way), or through asking more experienced teachers.

  4. Thanks Joel,
    Great advice, plus great links to even more advice for new teachers. I expect I'll be linking a lot more to your site from mine. Good stuff.
    Thanks again,

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