Skip to main content

A Survival Guide for New Teachers

As a new teacher you have been preparing to teach for years by going to school and working as a student teacher, and now you finally have your own classroom. As excited as you are, remembering all that you have learned and trying to figure out where to start can be overwhelming. But, with a little help and guidance, you can do it.

Once you have your school and classroom assignment, review the schools required curriculum and begin putting together your lesson plans. Choose supporting activities that you find interesting and that will be engaging for your students.  Consider all the things you are going to teach this school year and decide on the best way to decorate and set up your room. Use ideas from classrooms you have visited or check out all of the great ideas online.

The first few days even weeks are exciting and can be somewhat challenging. Not every student is going to be ready or willing to work. Not every parent is going to be easy to work with or to speak to about problems. But you aren't the first or the last teacher to deal with these issues so take advantage of all the information that other teachers like yourself have used during their first years. The following websites offer tons of helpful information that all teachers appreciate.

What to Expect Your First Year of Teaching (PDF)

The U.S. Department of Education provides insight into challenges new teachers face and advice that can help better the first year.

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Whether you are teaching 1st grade or 12th grade, this excellent list of ideas will help you prioritize and organize your list of classroom prep items in an efficient and timely manner.

Checklists for Teachers

Even the most prepared teacher sometimes needs help remembering what to do, and the checklists found here are perfect for these moments.

Managing Food Allergies at School

This list will help you protect your students with allergies and respond to incidents safely and promptly.

The Teacher's Corner

Check out this website for classroom materials including free printable worksheets, activities, and lesson plans.

PBS Learning Media

PBS is an outstanding source for educational material, and their website has even more great educational information that teachers can use.

Education World

Any teacher looking for lesson plan ideas should check out the tools and templates on this site. 

Teacher Planet

No teacher needs to reinvent the wheel when there are so many helpful ideas, games, worksheets, lesson plans, and more all gathered in one place such as here at Teacher Planet.

Teacher's Network

This page includes videos on a large variety of teaching topics with plenty of lesson ideas.  Teacher's Network also includes podcasts, lesson plans, and more.

Smithsonian Education

The Smithsonian Museum provides free lesson plans and activity sheets for teachers based on exhibits and topics housed at the museum.

Adventures of CyberBee

Discover several lesson plans, treasure hunts, game ideas, and web projects here. Introduce your student to the research tools page so they can learn more about citing sources and choosing reliable sources of information.

Google for Education

Whether you are searching for a product for your classroom, looking for new ideas, or just seeing what other teachers do, Google for Education is a great homepage to start all of your searches and find teaching related topics.

_Edutopia: New Teachers_

Edutopia's articles cover a huge variety of topics and challenges with advice specific to new teachers.

Teacher Training Videos

Every teacher should continue learning new skills, and this website offers multiple videos on using technology in the classroom.

THE Journal

This online publication specifically addresses children and technology.  Check out the latest news about cyber safety and ways to use classroom technology

A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums

This is a social media site for teachers where they can connect with other new teachers and discuss questions, issues, or any teacher related topic.

ProTeacher New Teacher

Here is another forum specific to first and second-year teachers with teaching questions asked and answered by peers.


TeacherTube is YouTube for teachers. Search and watch an array of videos on teaching topics here.


If you are looking for something inspirational watch this video of a documentary that follows four first-year teachers who work in extremely tough schools.


Here's an inspirational video website that houses many videos to inspire and teach both you and your students. Use this page to narrow down videos by topic.

Kids Audio Books

Children love listening to books being read, and on this page, you will find a large selection of books recorded on MP3 files that you can download and play.

Busy Teacher's Cafe

Visit this page and find printables, strategies, and other teacher resources.


Discover the large selection of certificates, games, welcome packs, signs and more created just for teachers.

First Day at the Elementary Level

If you are looking for some insight into how to prepare for your first day of teaching at an elementary school, then you should read this outstanding article.

Strategies to Prepare Classroom for Substitute Teachers

During every school year, teachers are absent from class due to illness, conferences, or other scheduled reasons. New teachers don't always know how to prepare their classroom for a substitute, but this article can help.

New Teachers: Working With Parents

Having a successful teacher-parent relationship is crucial to the success of your students; read this article and incorporate these great parent relationship ideas into your classroom.

Reading 101: A Guide to Teaching Reading and Writing

At some point, every teacher has to work with a child to develop their reading and writing skills, and this website provides some helpful tips that new teachers use to succeed at this task.

Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers (PDF)

It can be hard to remember all of the rules that go along with copyright and fair use, but here is a printable guide that teachers can use to make sure they and their students are following the rules.

Teaching Students with Different Levels of Preparation

It would be nice if every student did their homework and was ready to proceed along with your lesson plan, but that isn't always the case. Read this article and gain some insight into how to handle a classroom with children at varying levels of preparation.

Improving Presentation Style

Standing in front of a classroom every day lecturing and teaching lessons can often become mundane and thus less effective. Read this article and learn some new techniques for improving your presentation style.

Download a program brochure.

Complete the form below to learn more about our online graduate programs in education.

By clicking "Download Brochure,” I agree to provide the contact information listed above for the purpose of receiving communications regarding educational programs and opportunities.