Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

I have my first teaching job, now what?! A First Year Teacher’s Survival Guide

  • Photograph: Emily Taylor
    Photograph: Emily Taylor

Valerie Borhauer, Adrienne Garcia, Sarah Lorimer
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Alicia Moore

Currently, we are compiling data for the First Year Teacher guidebook. We are including information from surveys we sent out to current teachers, whether first year or experienced, asking them questions such as, How crucial do you believe the first day of school is to the outcome of the rest of your school year? What is the single most important piece of advice you would offer a new teacher? We will use these replies to document certain trends based on total years taught. The guidebook will also include advice from researchers which specifically addresses struggles and triumphs of teachers, keeping new teachers afloat, and why the first years of teaching are so important.

Another section of the guidebook will be about culturally responsive pedagogy, its definition and how teachers can be sure to include this curriculum during their first year. Most first year teachers begin the profession with a wide knowledge base of curriculum which addresses all types of children, but the challenge teachers face is how to implement this curriculum and other inclusive strategies while trying to maintain a successful first year classroom.

After attending the Kappa Delta Pi teachers’ convention, we received useful information about classroom management, effective teachers, and survival tips for various situations with students, parents, and co-workers. This will be included as observational data. We will also have pictures from example elementary and secondary classrooms. This will give teachers an idea of effective classroom set-ups.

Fact: “The attrition rate for beginning teachers who have not had strong teacher preparation programs are much higher than for better prepared colleagues” (Edutopia Magazine February 2005). Due to this fact and our passion for teaching, we hope to better prepare first year teachers for the year to come.