Each year, more than 3.7 million teachers step into the classroom. For most, the first day of school marks an annual return. But for thousands of teachers, this will be their first year leading a class of their very own. And standing in front of a room full of students with all eyes on you can be quite daunting—especially in your first year of teaching.

Even after serving as a teacher almost 20 years, I can still recall those first-day, and first-year, butterflies. Over the course of my career I’ve worked in brick-and-mortar schools and at online public schools, with students and colleagues from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

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3 tips to help you navigate your first year of teaching

Regardless of where and who they teach, every teacher can find ways to ensure student success in their first year of teaching. As the new school year begins, I want to share with new teachers the three things I wish I knew in my first year of teaching that can hopefully help ease your entrance into the new year.

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Make connections with the whole family

The importance of making connections with parents may sound obvious, but it’s often one of the most overlooked to-dos for first-year teachers. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with leading a classroom that you become distanced from making connections with the key stakeholders in your role: students and their families.

About the Author:

Jennifer Schultze has served the last 10 of her 20 years teaching in the virtual classroom. She holds a BA in Music Education from the University of Wyoming and an MS in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University. She has taught with the Wyoming Virtual Academy as a middle school and high school teacher since the school opened in 2008. She is currently working towards her second Master’s Degree, in Virtual Education.