16. BE REALISTIC.
You will not win the battle with
every student. Don’t let your sincere
concern for each child turn into a
depressing experience through a
fear of failure.
17. BE PREPARED FOR SPECIAL
You may have students with special
learning problems or physical
handicaps. Don’t expect those
problems to work themselves out.
Plan from the beginning how you
will deal with them in the best
interests of the student, yourself,
and the rest of the class.
18. THINK ABOUT HEALTH.
Make an early determination about
how you will handle students
with special health problems. Do
you know what to do if you have
a student subject to epileptic
seizures? What about administering
medicine to students?
As soon as you have identified
students who could be considered
gifted, make arrangements to
address their specific abilities.
24 | KNOW • Volume 15 Issue 2
20. FIND A SHOULDER.
Look for a colleague to turn to
for special advice or simply to
unburden yourself about a specific
21. GET PARENTS INVOLVED.
Determine how you will involve
parents in your students’ education
during the coming year. Is there any
special way to approach parentteacher
conferences? Are there any
particular messages you want to
send home to parents? How will you
deal with parents who want to help
their students learn?
Send a note home early in the year
to introduce yourself. If you teach
primary grades, explain to parents
that you need time to get to know
pupils before you can comment on
them. Let parents know that you are
available, and list the process and
times for getting in touch with you.
If you teach upper grades, include
your policy on homework.
23. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
Read or re-read your contract so
that you will know your rights.
24. PLAN LESSONS.
Develop your lessons on the basis
of what you think your students
need to know and then determine
the best way of teaching them.
25. SUPPORT YOUR
Join your local education
association for the moral support
of people who understand the
difficulty of your job.
26. MAKE A GOOD
Whatever else you do, give the
class the impression from the
beginning that you are well
organized. Your students must feel
that you are prepared and know
what you are doing.
27. BUILD AN ATTITUDE.
From the first day forward, you can
help your students decide whether
school is drudgery or a serious
undertaking that can be both
rewarding and enjoyable. If you
give the impression that being in
class is a chore for you, that attitude
will be reflected in your students.
28. FOSTER CURIOSITY.
If you want your students to
be curious, you have to set an
atmosphere that encourages
curiosity and doesn’t stifle it.
29. START OFF SLOWLY.
During the first grading period,
while the material is not too
difficult, go over the course content
slowly enough that most students
can find some success.
30. SET A POSITIVE TONE.
Send a positive note home with
every student at some time
during the year. Catch the kids
31. KEEP THE
If you plan to do anything new
or unusual this year, make certain
you mention it to your principal
32. BRIEF YOUR STUDENTS.
Let your students know early exactly
what you expect of them in each
class. Most students will rise to the
33. REMEMBER THREE
QUALITIES OF GOOD
Be flexible, be patient, and
keep your sense of humor.
Source: Adapted from 33 Ways to Start the First
Year Off Right, Virginia Education Association, 2002.