Welcome Back: 5 Tips for a Professional Educator’s First 90 Days
Welcome back to school to all the students and educators around the world! Becoming familiar with new personalities and finding your groove can present some anxiety. We’ve curated a few tips to help you make those first 90 days stress-free while focusing on what counts – guiding the future generation of leaders!
- Be Positive: If you are stressed, nervous, or anxious about the start of the school year, understand it’s normal. Instead focus on what you’re excited about—being part of a great school district, getting to know new teachers, teaching students, etc. Be pleasant and courteous to others. Saying “Good morning” and “Have a good night” to the principal and staff members can go a long way. It shows people you are likable, and like-able people get more help and more opportunities for development because others want to be around them. Keep negativity at bay. Don’t complain about school policies, students, or any fellow teachers. Put positivity out there and your coworkers will give it right back to you.
- Set Goals and Milestones for Professional Development Early On: Express to your executive leader or team that you really want to hit the ground running. Work with he or she to set realistic goals for professional development within your first 90 days. Ask if it would be possible to have a progress meeting every 30 days so that you can address where you are with your goals and also receive feedback on what’s working and what isn’t. This is a great way to show the principal you want to be a productive member of the staff and are committed to professional growth. It’s also a great opportunity to start building a strong relationship with your leader.
- Make a Great First Impression: Yes, it’s absolutely important to do your best work, but use those first 90 days to make a great first impression in the traditional sense, as well. Follow the school’s behavior standards and dress code to the letter. Be on time. Meet every deadline and deliver ahead of schedule if you can. Double-check all e-mails and other communication for correct spelling and grammar. Learn all of your coworker’s names and which grade level and/or class they teach. Keep your classroom and/or workspace clean. In other words, start those first days being a great citizen for the rest of your team members. They’ll instantly appreciate your good manners and your results-driven attitude.
- Embrace School Values and Standards: Follow the “rules,” both written (in the employee handbook and official standards of behavior documents) and unwritten. It demonstrates your investment in your job and demonstrates respect for leaders and fellow teachers.
- Be a Team Player: You are not a one-person show. In order to set the right tone for the school year, be a productive member of the team. Give credit to other teachers when they’ve done a great job. And when you’re complimented on something, use the opportunity to manage up someone you work with. When you show that you are a team player, people will want to work with you.