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‘Enjoy the Magic’: Classroom Veterans Share Tips for New Teachers

The first years of teaching can be a scary, lonely time. Fortunately, those with some experience are here to help.
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Published: October 11, 2023

NEA Today recently asked our Instagram followers for their best advice for new teachers, and here is a sample of what seasoned educators from around the country suggest. They're good strategies for those new to the profession, and great reminders for everyone else!

“Show yourself just as much grace as you show your students.” 

 @supbern Bernadette Supanick, Maryland 

“From a mentor at my first teaching position, “Don’t ever doubt yourself.” Then last year from a teacher that was retiring, “Don’t take it personal. Don’t take it home.” 

@msmariae Maria Evardone, California

“Identify a seasoned educator who can be a mentor. Then meet with them regularly and when you have questions. Don’t hesitate to ask. They are willing to help you.” 

@renokaiser Susan Kaiser, Nevada 

“Forgive yourself! You’re going to make mistakes, but that’s ok… you can model a growth mindset for your students when you do.” 

 @carlithomas21 Carlene Thomas, Texas 

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness but instead a sign of your commitment to become an effective teacher.” 

 @moemoe_951 Maureen Hickey, Massachusetts 

“Build meaningful relationships with your students AND coworkers!” 

 @missemmala Emmala Gunnare, South Dakota 

“Enjoy the magic. Forget about all the stress and remember why you became a teacher in the first place.” 

@devincentz Robyn DeVincentz, New Jersey 

“Join and get involved with your union, make friends with the secretary and custodian.” 

@chanabenamy Annice Benamy, New Jersey 

“Know you are appreciated for your fresh spirit and new ideas! Gravitate toward staff that nurtures you.” 

@kanthme Mary Ellen Kanthack, Wisconsin 

“Take time unwind and relax...especially on the weekends.” 

@wolkidsllc Valerie Johnson, Virginia 

“Save the sweet notes your students (and colleagues/parents) give you. Put them in a folder and bring them out after “one of those days.”...It helps me get through the days that aren’t going the right way.” 

@tmtco Tiffany Cooper-Ortega, California 

“Teach routines and expectations the first few weeks, role model role model and role model!! Follow through with what you say.” 

 @maryjo_wells Mary Jo Wells, Montana 

“Find your community – the people who will support you through the toughest moments of the year and celebrate every little accomplishment!” 

 @ambereenkb Ambereen Khan-Baker, Maryland 

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The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.