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First Year Teacher Self-Study Course

First Year Teacher is a self-paced professional development course for novice K-3 teachers, developed by Reading Rockets. The program provides teachers with an in-depth knowledge of reading so they are prepared to guide their students into becoming skilled and enthusiastic readers.

Photo of teacher and students

What to Expect

The first year of teaching is a tough job. Everything is new — the students you're responsible for; the school's procedures; your relationship with fellow teachers, administrators, and parents; what you plan to do and teach each day; your classroom management and teaching style; and much more.

What to Expect Your First Year of Teaching

If you wanted to know what it’s like to walk on the moon, you’d interview an astronaut. If you wanted insights on playing Hamlet, you’d study the performance of a Shakespearean actor. And if you wanted to know what the first year of teaching school is like, well … you’d ask teachers who just completed their first year on the job. We wanted to know and we asked!

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Educational Research and Improvement
Download "What to Expect Your First Year of Teaching"

Survival Guide for New Teachers: How New Teachers Can Work Effectively with Veteran Teachers, Parents, Principals, and Teacher Educators

If you are new to the teaching field — or if you work alongside someone who is — then this book was written for you. In it are the reflections of award-winning first-year teachers who talk candidly about their successes and setbacks, with a particular emphasis on the relationships they formed with their colleagues, university professors, and their students' parents.

These relationships played a crucial role in influencing their success on the job, according to the first-year teachers we interviewed. Veteran teachers, especially, are a powerful factor in a new teacher's experience, which explains why so many of the 53 teachers involved in this book spoke of the need for hands-on assistance from mentor teachers.

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Educational Research and Improvement
Go to survival guide >

What to Expect

Learn More!

Diary of a First Year Teacher

Diary of a First Year Teacher

Join Barbara Zielinski, a first grade teacher at River Plaza Elementary School in Middletown, NJ, during her first year teaching.

"The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can't." — Mark Twain