Reflection Prompt: As your first semester of teaching comes to an end, what suggestions would you give to a new teacher at your school? Consider reflecting on things you did well and also what you'd do differently. Here's the challenge: you can't add something to your to-do list without taking something off. This will help keep things realistic and prioritized.
The advice I would give a new teacher at my school is to get organized. I cannot stress that enough! This may mean you have to organize, let it set for a while, and reorganize again. I have spent days on end getting my classoom, files, assignments and lesson plans organized. This reduces the "stressed, messy teacher" classroom look that ultimately wears you down and makes you look bad- especially to administration. Students also respond posistively to a clean and organized classroom. In the midst of a chaotic world, an organized classroom can become a refreshing oasis to your students.
Another piece of advice I would give is to plan ahead when it comes to lessons and lesson plans. Do not wait until the last minute to come up with an agenda and lesson for your students. Creating apprioriate and timely lesson plans takes work. A teacher must properly assess their students' performance, review the pacing guides, brainstorm, stop to reflect, and then proceed until each and every lesson has completed the task of meeting students needs and pushing them to the next level. It may mean you have to rewrite the lesson plan 3 or 4 times. It can be a hastle, but in the end it's worth it all when you know your students have left with full understanding of the material you presented in class. And trust me, waiting until the last minute is no fun. It adds unnecessary stress and takes up your personal time. I learned this lesson the first month of school. The worst part about it is that even your students know when you are winging it!