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First Year Teacher Resources

PiruTo say being a first year teacher is tough is a vast understatement. Any veteran can tell you: It’s pure Hell!

No, really, the truth is that education classes rarely prepare new teachers for some of the most difficult aspects of the job: classroom management, time management and stress management. The first year of teaching can be like taking a dive head first into cold water. Leaning on others, having a mentor teacher, and asking for help when needed can be lifesavers during the first couple of years on the job.

In addition to relying on others, there are plenty of resources out there to help young teachers cope. From lesson plans to uses for technology and ways to manage your own stress, online resources and teacher blogs can offer insight and assistance.

General Education

Teach for Us the Teach for America blog is a wonderful site for inspiration. The posted experiences of these teachers can really lift up and inspire teachers at any level of his or her tenure.

The Teaching Palette offers insights and tips for art educators as well as a great list of further resources. They also post other teachers’ ideas and tips on topics like classroom management and product reviews.

For the days you need a good laugh and a rant, try reading It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages. This anonymous teacher will make you laugh out loud, which is often needed at the end of the day.

Scholastic offers a great site full of ideas, lesson plans, activities and more. They include a special page just for first year teachers. And the best part is they include plenty of videos demonstrating various lessons.

Elementary Education

Mrs. Cassidy’s Classroom Blog is a wonderful resource for project ideas, lesson plans and classroom procedures for early elementary. She not only posts her ideas and projects, but she also shows examples and sometimes tips and hints.

At Elementary Teacher Resources, you will find a wealth of materials for the elementary levels including curriculum, worksheets, lesson plans, podcasts, websites and even free books.

Elementary Kids Blog offers a site where a teacher can set up a safe and secure blog for students. The blog created is password protected and moderated by the teacher and allows for a safe place for students to post and be creative.

On the blog, A Year of Reading, teachers Mary Lee Hahn and Franki Sibberson review new picture books for children. They provide reviews from a teacher’s perspective.

Both Regurgitated Alpha Bits (RAB) and Tales from the School Bus (aptly nick named “Tales” will give any elementary teacher a much-needed laugh. RAB is written by an anonymous elementary school teacher who dishes on all of the outrageous things her students and fellow teachers say and do. And the Tales are written by, of course, a bus driver with many interesting stories to tell.

Hooda Math is a great site for finding math games and puzzles. They are perfect for drawing in young students and helping to cement understanding of mathematical concepts.

Secondary Education

A middle school blog, Science Fix, offers outstanding and varied ideas for science experiments and demonstrations. Although it comes from a middle school teacher, the ideas here can be used as is or adapted for high school science classes. Either play the videos or mimic them in class to wow your students.

Teachers.net offers a chatboard for high school teachers. This can be a great place to lurk and get ideas and suggestions or to actively participate in conversations about teaching at the high school level.

At Gladly Would I Teach, a veteran high school English teacher reflects on her job and offers insightful thoughts and ideas for newer teachers. She has a lot to teach young educators.

The Blue Skunk Blog, from the director of technology for a public school district offers tips for administrators as well as teachers on the use of technology in schools.

Cool Cat Teacher is another useful technology blog written by a teacher. She writes about using technology in the classroom with an emphasis on projects using Wiki websites. Be sure to check out her freebie page for free technology.

A ninth grade science teacher writes the blog Re:thinking, which covers everything from science experiments to lesson plans, to using technology within the science curriculum.

At Misscalcul8, a high school math teacher shares her experiences with teaching in general, but also specific techniques for teaching math concepts at the high school level.

U.S. History Teachers Blog contains insights on teaching high school social studies and also includes an extensive list of links and resources that should not be missed by any first year social studies teacher.

Special Education

Digital Anthology is a blog written by special education teachers for their students and parents. It also makes a great resource for other special education teachers. You can follow along with what they do in class and what they find to be successful for their special needs students.

Jerry Webster, a special education teacher, writes a blog about his experiences with an emphasis on techniques that are useful for teaching special needs students.

On his blog, No Limits 2 Learning, Lon Thornburg writes about his experiences as a teacher and working with assistive technology. He provides plenty of practical insights for other special education educators.

The Special Education Strategies and More…blog provides useful and realistic strategies for both teachers and parents with special needs students. Michelle also writes about her personal experiences in education, which can be both lighthearted and heartbreaking.

Teachers Teaching Teachers offers a weekly webcast begun by two teachers. It provides interesting and useful teacher instruction and professional development from other teachers.

While your first year on the job can be one of the most difficult things you will ever do, there are lots of resources out there to help you. Start with your fellow teachers and your administrators and supplement their support with these outside sources. From the above websites, you can find lesson plans, worksheets, technology advice, teaching strategies and solutions to common teacher problems. Use the experience of others to help you on the road to becoming a great teacher.