back to top

10 Honest And Amazing Pieces Of Advice For New Teachers From Experienced Teachers

It's Teacher Awareness Month! GEICO thanks you for everything that you do. Explore great benefits with GEICO. Click here to see if you qualify for educator discounts.

Posted on

We recently asked teachers of the BuzzFeed Community for advice they would give to new teachers. Here's what they said...

1. Not everything needs a grade.

Toei Animation

“Don't. Grade. Everything. For the love of all things holy, give a few participation grades, whatever, but don't stay all day and night at school trying to grade everything." —aliciannasanmiguel

2. Befriend the support staff.

Xixinxing / Getty Images

“Your secretary and your janitor can be your best friends. Acknowledge them and let them know they are appreciated. You never know when you might need more copies for the printer or help when there’s a spider in the room!” —jessicar493e107dc

“Be nice to the janitor. When little Johnny pukes in the middle of second period, you’ll be glad to have the janitor on your side.” —stephanieh40ee17c5f

3. Give yourself a break!

Maurizio Siani / Getty Images

“You get to be a person. You are a teacher, but don’t lose yourself to it. Your life outside of school is just as important. Work early or work late if you need to...but don’t do both.” —

4. It’s okay to cry.


“It’s okay to cry a lot your first year. Just keep working. You’re the best to those kids even when you don’t feel like you are just by showing up and teaching your heart out.” —mandam4d1ef02e6

“I cried a lot my first year, but I got through it all because I had a wonderful mentor, who was literally my shoulder to cry on. You will mess up, and you will have mistakes, some big and some small, but it’s important that you treat those times as learning opportunities. I expect my students to learn from their mistakes, so why should I expect differently of myself?” —sarahe49ff3da7b

5. Don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel.

Compassionate Eye Foundation / Getty Images

“There are so many resources online that will make your job a million times easier. Teachers Pay Teachers is amazing. Spend $15. Buy the unit plan, then tailor it to your needs — or spend countless hours developing essentially the same thing.” —Hannah Streeter, Facebook

6. Honesty is the best policy.


“It’s okay to be honest with your students when you’re sad because something outside of the classroom is bothering you. Not only does it create an honest space because you’re showing them adults can also feel sad and anxious, [but they might also] make you a ton of pictures (which we can never have TOO [many] of.)" —asalvino

“The better you are at admitting you are wrong to your students and actually being okay with and learning from it, the more they will respect you. Helping them to understand that it’s okay to make mistakes and move on is a huge life lesson each teacher has to cover.” —ilanak443d3de38

7. Your students will not always like you, and that’s okay.

TV Land

“It is not the end of the world if some of your students do not like you. What is most important is to gain their trust and respect. Be fair and consistent to all students — every child deserves that from their teacher.” —brielleg4ec5103a8

“The best piece of advice my mentor gave me was to take things professionally, not personally. Students, especially high schoolers, have their moments and say things that can get under your skin or flat out hurt! But you need to remember that they almost never mean it, so it's important to not internalize and push forward.” —kayleighannab

“A lot of students' lives are filled with negativity and confrontation. They are just looking for someone to fight with. Don’t be that person. Instead of attacking, sometimes you need to give them space and just be understanding. I’m not saying let them get away with everything, but don’t make a big deal out of small things.” —Katurah Klein, Facebook

8. Follow the “Golden Rule.”

David Schaffer / Getty Images

“Remember the Golden Rule in your classroom. It may be old, but it is tried and true. If you treat your students like worthwhile human beings, if you speak to them like people who have something to say that interests you, and if you show them genuine respect and kindness, they will amaze you with their responsiveness!” —Judy Sarriot

9. A little food can go a long way.


“I don’t care what they say, food is still the best incentive for learning.” —elliee42148fb37

“Always keep emergency chocolate in your desk (or whatever your pick-me-up is). Share with your neighbors — they might need it more than you!” —catz459546074

10. Remember that you make a difference!

Lwa / Getty Images

“In many cases, you are the only or best advocate for your students. Support them, even the 'tough' ones.” —alyssafaithw

“Keep a 'smile file.' Best advice I was given as a new teacher. You will be given so many notes and pictures that your students make just for you. As the pile mounts put them in a folder or box to look at on those days you wonder why you ever chose this profession. It's because your students love you and need you in their lives! You make a difference every single day!” —superjschiel

Note: Submissions have been edited for length, grammar, and/or clarity.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Month! GEICO is proud to offer savings to educators year-round. Click here to see if you qualify for discounts.

View this video on YouTube