Advice for a First Grade Teacher

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Being a first grade teacher requires you to look at both your job and your students in a very particular light. Get advice for a first grade teacher with help from a longtime and dedicated educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Lesson Plans for Teachers
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Tina Gutierrez-Brewster. I'm an English teacher. And today, I'll be discussing with you certain ways to give advice to somebody, or if you yourself are looking for advice as a first grade teacher. There are a few things that I could talk about. There's also other things I could talk about. But, when it comes to first grade teaching, there's just a slew of things you want to remember. So, let's narrow it down to the first five that help me, personally, is - the first thing is to establish a classroom management plan, management as opposed to just a discipline plan. A lot of first-year teachers go into this thinking that when I'm managing, that means that I have to give consequences or give rewards. That's discipline. This is completely different. When talking about classroom management, you want to think about your procedures for the day. How are students going to be walking into the classroom? How are they going to raise their hand to - how are they going to get a tissue? Is there a certain symbol that you want to give? How are they going to be putting their books away? You want to really micromanage the procedures of the room. So, that way it goes, you know, fluidly. And, set this up early in the year, so that way students know what to expect. Another thing is to be consistent with whatever you establish as a teacher. Whether you're a first grade teacher or a high school teacher, you want to make sure that whatever you establish from the very beginning - your management, your discipline plan, your reward system, your grading system - you're consistent with it, you stay true to your word. Otherwise, you can break trust, and that is really hard if a teacher breaks a student's trust, because then they're not able to learn from you, because they're not going to be listening to you. So, be consistent with your rules and all your procedures. The third thing is to - and it sounds contradictory - is to be flexible. As a teacher, you're going to be expected to do a lot of things for your daily task - you're lesson planning, you're grading, you're evaluating, assessing the students. But, the same time, you're going to be given tasks on a moment's notice - a meeting to go to, a parent-teacher conference in five minutes that you weren't expecting. So, make sure that you keep an open mind. Stay flexible, keep calm, because it's not going to be just what you plan from the beginning, you know? The plans that you make are usually going to be broken. So, just try to be flexible. Fourth thing, especially for young students, is when you're teaching little ones, take your vitamins. We often overlook the value of health as a teacher, but there are so many times where you're going to be surrounded by germs, and little kids, you know, getting all over you, and snot everywhere. Just make sure that you are keeping yourself healthy, whether it's taking your vitamins, practicing yoga, eating right, exercising daily, keep yourself fit, because it's going to be taking a lot of energy to keep up with these little ones. And finally, please be kind. Little, tiny first graders will respect and appreciate somebody that can reflect as a role model the values and traits of a good person. They take on to somebody who is kind. Try to avoid sarcasm if you can. I know that's part of our humor - some of us like to do that - but to a first grader, they don't understand it. It comes off more as mean than anything else. So, be genuine, be excited about what they're doing, whether it's a math problem, or they're doing a construction paper activity. But, stay kind. Once again, those were a few ways that you can give yourself advice or give somebody advice to being a first grade teacher. My name is Cristina Gutierrez-Brewster. Thank you for joining me today.


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