Professional Development

It’s Actually OK to Smile Before Christmas, and Other Tips for New Teachers

By Ross Brenneman — August 21, 2014 1 min read

In the latest installment of Education Week and Education Week Teacher‘s Twitter chat series, we asked educators about their first year of teaching—what advice they liked, what advice they didn’t like, how well-prepared they felt, and about their biggest fears entering the profession.

Among the most pronounced areas of agreement:


  1. Don’t underestimate the power of having a mentor.
  2. Because schools don’t provide enough collaboration time, a lot of teachers just use Twitter to connect with each other now.
  3. New teachers don’t—and shouldn’t—need to be authoritarian jerks to earn student attention and respect.
  4. Teacher preparation should have a deeper focus on differentiation and technology.
  5. Principals need to be supportive and collaborative—not, you know, jerks.

A thorough recap of the chat is below. There’s even a little bit of Taylor Swift. (Intrigued yet?) There’s plenty more introspection and feedback, though, if you want to wade through the #ewedchat hashtag.

These Twitter chats take place on the first and third Wednesdays of every month at 8 p.m. ET, with varying topics; follow @EWedchat for updates and recaps. And thank you to everyone who participated yesterday.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.