Advice for the New Teacher

By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

With a new school year just around the corner, veteran teachers are mentally preparing for how to jump back into your teaching routine. But for new teachers, there is no familiar routine to jump into. They are novices at writing and implementing lesson plans, managing a classroom, and partnering with parents.


Source: Unsplash

However, this group should not be taken lightly. Research shows that teachers with 10 or fewer years’ experience now constitute more than half the teaching force. In other words, new teachers are the new majority!

So at Curriki, we feel an obligation to give you as much support as possible. Here are a few important tips to help new teachers start off their first year in the profession strong.

Manage Your Expectations

Understand that teachers have to wear many hats and juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously. Each day, they facilitate a customized experience for students while managing everything behind the scenes.

So it is impossible as a new teacher to be a master at everything right out of the gate. Writing effective lesson plans, delivering dynamic and engaging instruction, operating the interactive whiteboard with ease, making significant contributions to team meetings, and having a positive and productive partnership with parents are just a few examples of job duties that will all improve over time.

These things improve with practice and experience. What is more important than expecting perfection is to understand the character traits and mindset necessary to be a great teacher. The 11 Habits of a Highly Effective Teacher highlight these attributes that will support your success and longevity as a teacher including having positivity, being open-minded, and embracing change.

Build a Library of Practical Tips and Shortcuts

Adopt the mindset that there are multiple strategies and ways to do things as a teacher. Your job as a new teacher is to curate, implement, and reflect on strategies to see what works best for you and your students.

The U.S. Department of Education has a survival guide that covers the gamut on teacher essentials, including discipline and making parents allies. Need more ideas on classroom management?

Educator Mia MacMeekin has created an infographic with 27 classroom management ideas perfect to use as a reference card.

Connect with Seasoned Colleagues


Source: Unsplash

Anyone beyond their first year of teaching can offer potentially beneficial advice for the new teacher. Seek out teachers who inspire you, teach similar content areas, and/or appear to have a teaching style you admire. Some may have one idea that interests you, while another may have a hundred. If they are willing to share, don’t hesitate to pick their experienced brains on anything from instruction, discipline, juggling responsibilities, or even managing self-doubt.

Educator Dr. Justin Tarte offers 10 Things I Wish Every New Teacher Knew, which draws upon his years of experience as a teacher and administrator.

Make Reflection a Part of Your Day

When the day and/or week is over, don’t forget to take a step back to see what worked for you and what didn’t work. It’s never too late to improve and make change with what you are doing. Reflection is also a time for you to congratulate yourself on the gains of the day. Positive reinforcement is motivating! Here are Ten Tips To Help New Teachers Reflect On Their Practice.

Practice Self-Care

The life of a teacher can be exhausting in general. For new teachers, the toll can be even more impactful. Don’t forget to make considerations for work-life balance. Here are 10 Stress-Busting Tips for Teachers. Want to stay ahead of the curve of keeping a centered and positive foot forward? Learn how to practice mindfulness to keep things in perspective.

Remember Why You Became a Teacher

Finally, with all the highs and lows of the first day, first week, and throughout the first year of teaching, don’t forget the reasons why you chose the teaching profession. Your journey to get to this point was full of anticipation and hope for what you can do for students each day. Watch this TED Talk Every Kid Needs a Champion to remind you of how you have the amazing opportunity to change children’s lives for the better!

Will this fall be your first time the classroom? What is the best advice you’ve been given? What are you most excited about for this year? Share!

At Curriki, we wish you the best on this exciting new chapter!

Lani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.

Sign up for Curriki’s enewsletter!

Follow Curriki on YouTube — we have a number of fascinating, educational new videos!

Teacher Appreciation Week: Great Teachers Change Lives

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Teachers are everything. As educators, you have an enormous responsibility of shaping the future and influencing the leaders of tomorrow – the doctors and lawyers and politicians, the woodworkers and plumbers, the carpenters and builders, the mothers and fathers. It’s up to you whether this influence is positive or negative, whether you build up or tear down.

So as the National PTA promotes Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to take a moment to recognize the life-changing contributions of teachers. Thank you for all you do for the many children that pass through your classrooms year after year.

Teacher Appreciation Week


What Makes a Great Teacher?

Studies show that the biggest factor that determines the quality of a child’s education is his teacher. has a terrific list of characteristics that make a teacher great:

  • Great teachers set high expectations for all students.
  • Great teachers have clear, written-out objectives.
  • Great teachers are prepared and organized.
  • Great teachers engage students and get them to look at issues in a variety of ways.
  • Great teachers form strong relationships with their students and show that they care about them.
  • Great teachers are masters of their subject matter.
  • Great teachers communicate frequently with parents.

It’s a tall order! Do you have anything to add to the list? Can you think of a teacher you had who would qualify as great?

Your role in shaping the young minds that will guide our planet into the future is vital. And Curriki will support you every step of the way as you strive to be a great (or greater!) teacher.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Kim JonesKim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at

Sign up for Curriki’s enewsletter!