The 20 Best Pieces of Advice Teachers Received As They Started Their Careers

Teacher2Teacher Team

by | 07.5.16

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As another set of new teachers prepares to enter the profession this fall, think back to the summer before your own first year as a teacher. What words of wisdom helped you most during those exhilarating, anxious and exciting days? We asked the Teacher2Teacher community to share the best piece of advice they received as they were starting their teaching careers. Read on for 20 teachers’ responses and share your own in the comments!

  1. “You can’t control the students’ behavior but you can control how you respond.”—@themathdancer

  2. “Fake it ‘til you make it. The students don’t know your lesson so roll with the punches. Tomorrow is another day.”—@kristinaguy

  3. “Find what makes the students shine and capitalize on it. Also, find any way possible to connect with families.”—@MrsMsClassroom

  4. “If you always put kids first, everything else will fall into place.”—@aleaness

  5. “They’re all someone’s. You can be strict, but at the end of the day, they’re someone’s child. Treat them like your own.”—@gcorrena

  6. “They’re not all going to get it the first time—or maybe even the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th—but keep trying.”—@llhughes1

  7. “They don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Love them first!”—@MlleSulewski

  8. “1. Every kid needs a champion. 2. Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear. 3. It’s OK to smile before Christmas. :)”—@SteveFigurelli

  9. “Beg, borrow and steal from good teachers. In other words, don’t reinvent the wheel; use things that are working for others!”—@momof3andIteach

  10. “To get student respect, you need to respect them. Be real, be honest, be open.”—@mbswoods

  11. “Teach from the heart—not the textbook. Unleash your creativity!”—@TeacherOnTheRun

  12. “‘Build your village.’ We don’t do this job alone.”—@saritabaum

  13. “As you start your teacher career, make a point to seek out and surround yourself with positive people.”—@MrsPendergest

  14. “Be a lifelong learner; never stop learning yourself.”—@DBK1957

  15. “Be yourself and make the effort to connect with each student, whether it’s through conversation or a personalized note.”—@desistamant

  16. “Be consistent with your rules and procedures. Also get to know your students and be honest with them.”—@PhillyEagles10

  17. “You always have time for student creativity. Make time.”—@katiescholz75

  18. “‘Having a bad day? Next year will be better.’ I put this on a notecard and stuck it in my desk. Got me through my 1st year.”—@soupergrrl

  19. “Try new things. If they flop it’s not a failure but a lesson learned. Tomorrow is a new day and a chance to start over.”—@SCross1989

  20. “Never forget, you don’t teach English, math, science, etc. You teach STUDENTS!”—@tavia_clark

What’s the best piece of advice you received as a new teacher? Pass along the wisdom in a comment below.

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