New Teachers

The new teacher in a group a veteran teachers

Hello, I am about to graduate and become a new teacher.  I've seen some activities and lesson I want to do when I become a teacher, but what do I do if the whole grade level decides to do an activity I don't like or doesn't take my activity/lesson recommendation.  Also, it is a good idea to use previous year lesson plans that are just forward to me and just needs to be tweaked  or is it better to write brand new lesson plans each year?

Gisselle Medal
Gisselle Medal
3165 Activity Points

Most elementary teachers at the same grade level teach differently from each other so doing your own thing should not be a problem. Using the same lessons is perfectly alright. You would go crazy trying to find new ones every year. You will find new ones to add each year so add and change gradually.

Betty Paulsell
Betty Paulsell
48540 Activity Points

Giselle Get your hands on as much teaching materials as possible and hold on to them. I make databases of mine for topic keyword searches and use. You want to avoid doing lesson plans every year as much as possible. You're going to have plenty of other paperwork to do.

Harry Mazurek
Harry Mazurek
60 Activity Points

Hi Giselle! Congratulations on becoming a new teacher. I know it can be daunting to begin teaching for the first time. If your whole grade level decides to do an activity that you don’t particularly like, I do not think you should worry too much. I think as a new teacher, you should focus on seeing what works for you and trying to establish yourself. It may be useful to at least try out what the other teachers are trying in your grade level. See if they work for you, and remember it’s not set in stone. You are able to personalize the lesson to your liking and comfortability. It’s important to see what lessons work well for you. Every teacher is different in their style and it’s important to give yourself enough time to develop that.  As for using old lesson plans versus writing new ones, I think it’s good to have a mixture of both. Perhaps for the first few weeks, using the old lesson plans may be better just to get a feel of the material and style of the lessons. If you have issues, remember to mark them down and tweak the lessons to your liking. As you get more settled in the school year, I think you should try to write some new lesson plans because it helps develop your conception of yourself as teacher. Writing your own lesson plan can be very eye-opening. You can get feedback from your lesson plans from teachers who choose to use it as well. Good luck!

Isabella Hoang
Isabella Hoang
30 Activity Points

Hello, I am also about to graduate and become a new teacher. Based on what I have learned and seen working as a substitute for two years, I think that it's okay if other teachers do not take your ideas. More than likely, they won't. Teachers with years of experience sometimes don't want to take recommendations from new teachers, even if the idea is good. If that happens, you should try your idea out and if it is successful, then show results to other teachers. If it is not successful, then you will learn something that you can use to make modifications. Remember, everyday should be a learning experience. Also, do not be afraid to try some of their ideas as well. Though you may not want to do it, they may have had many successes from doing activities they are recommending for you to do. You won't know until you try. I've also seen many people using old lesson plans from previous years and not changing anything, as well as tweaking it a little bit to fit the needs of your new students. A lot of trial and error will take place during your first year, but don't be afraid to try new things! Good luck!

Katherine Chambers
Katherine Chambers
2355 Activity Points

Hello Giselle! Lots of good responses here. I concur with all of what was said. The absolute biggest thing, in my opinion, is to reflect on EVERYTHING you do! This means a real willingness to learn and change to make things work how you want in YOUR classroom. I would tell all my student teachers and new teacher colleagues that they do not need to create everything from scratch! There are a lot of bright and intelligent people out there producing great resources. Why re-invent the wheel? They should make decisions about resources in this order: 1) If you find or are given a resource that fits perfectly to what YOU want to accomplish in YOUR classroom, then use it unmodified - only AFTER reviewing the resource thoroughly. 2) If you find a great resource but it doesn't quite fit, then modify it. 3) If you can't find a great resource - then make one up. If you think about, most of your lessons will revolve around modifying something out there. After your lesson reflect and re-evaluate everything that was used and how it was executed. Make modifications as necessary. Don't beat yourself up if a lesson bombs...just figure out why it did and do something about it. I concluded that if every lesson I ran went perfectly well, then all my students would be getting 100%. That never happened so I kept trying to get it perfect right until my retirement! Hope this helps, Gabe

Gabe Kraljevic
Gabe Kraljevic
2065 Activity Points

Great advice, Gabe. I totally agree. If we make a mistake when we are teaching a concept that is new to us, it is a teachable moment! Ask students to give input on what went wrong. Ask how they think they can change some variables to have the experiment work correctly? Most scientists do hundreds of trials before getting the results they hoped for. We don't have that same luxury of time and materials in school but there are times we can go back and have a do-over. 

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
85969 Activity Points

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