You’re a first year language arts teacher.
You’re probably excited. Hopefully you have a few ideas—and more than a few plans.
That’s a joke. I know you’re brimming with everything to teach your students. You’ve maybe thought of this day since you pulled a circle of chairs in your living room, plopped your baby dolls down, and started a lesson.
I also know you know this, but I’ll repeat it: Every day with students is important. You are the determining factor in the classroom.
You knew that though. Surely it played into reasons for becoming an English teacher. And you definitely know that you signed up for a tough job.
As an experienced language arts teacher, I set a goal for myself. I wanted to help new teachers because I remember my first year of teaching. The questions, the exhaustion, the eagerness to do everything the best I could.
I created a series of blog posts for a new language arts teacher, not because I know everything or because I’m perfect. I thought of what I could have done differently, what questions I had, and what could have gone better.
How to teach English language arts? Below, I wrote what may help a new English teacher.
A long letter from me to you.
If these help one new teacher, I’ll be pleased. For ease, I’ve divided these into “life as a teacher,” content information, and digital language arts teaching. Feel free to poke around my blog for more ideas. You can always use the search bar!
First year language arts teacher: Life as a teacher
As a first year language arts teacher, you’ll write lesson plans, and rewrite them too. Not one right way exists to create lessons, but sometimes it helps to take a peak at another teacher’s process.
Still need help? This is such a process, I wrote about creating lesson plans twice.
Congratulations! You are hired. Now what? Start with these questions.
The process of perfecting a classroom setup never truly ends. New research, changing trends, student interests… get started with these no-nonsense tips.
You need to have personal necessities at school. What will get you through the day, and maybe longer days? This is a comprehensive and no-fuss list.
Dress professionally, on a teacher’s budget? Read these tricks and create your teacher wardrobe.
Yeah, not the most glamorous part of teaching—organizing. Trust me though: after you create a project, you’ll want to locate it next year.
How can you be prepared for that first day? This is a list of considerations for that first day with high school students.
Coworkers and friends, collaborating and working, and some feelings you may face.
I don’t abide by the “don’t smile until Christmas,” rule even though I sorta did at one point. Routines and procedures go a long way with older students.
Cleaning at the end of the school year.
Yep! Your first year will end. Before you walk out the door, clean and organize for a smooth return.
First year language arts teacher: Content
Languages arts teacher resources abound! I would not spend a great deal of money on material, especially your first year teaching.
If you need ideas for how to teach language arts, I can set you up with free ideas to start. My subscribers have access to over two dozen downloads, and I’d love for you to join us. After you join, check out my post popular blog posts about the pillars of how to teach English language arts.
You might not have a clear public speaking outline, so I have provided the outline to my speech unit.
Where do I start with grammar lessons? After I wrote my first workbook, I provided extra support for establishing a foundation of grammar with students. My entire process is included in how to build a grammar lesson.
Secondary students will read informational texts. You will find ways to match them with literature and poems. Part of being a language arts teacher is anticipating where students who struggle. When students respond to nonfiction, they normally struggle with tone, presentation, and balance.
Concerning literature, most first year language arts teachers are comfortable with content. Still, it helps to have literature activities on hand.
I grow as a writing teacher every year. When I consider how to teach language arts, I believe that most growth comes with teaching writing.
School, for yourself?
Many new teachers return to school to earn a master’s degree. If you are questioning what type of master’s degree should a teacher get, I have answers since I have two master degrees.
Not only is the search for how to teach English language arts with best practices overwhelming, but you might also need to teach online or in a hybrid situation.
If you are teaching virtual for the first time, you won’t see lots of information. For many language arts teachers, they are experiencing new practices too. If you’re looking for how to teach English language arts in a virtual setting, I do have ideas to prepare.
Online grammar tools allow for differentiation and targeted practice. As a language arts teacher, you might find incredible success with online grammar lessons. As you perfect how to teach language arts, you’ll discover ways to incorporate grammar into literature, writing, and nonfiction lessons.
When I teach writing online, students have ample time for exploration and choice. Students ask to alternate writing activities with their own twists. Don’t be afraid to say yes! (Please join my mailing list, and you can receive writing and other language arts teacher resources.)
Virtual Classroom Setup
As a first year English teacher, you might be teaching in online. The setup of an online classroom matters. You don’t want to overwhelm students, and you want your layout to be user-friendly. Check out my best tips for setting up a virtual classroom. I included how-to videos as well.
I do NOT use tons of tools with virtual learning. The tools that I do use are simple and fun. You can see my online recommendations that will enhance your language arts teacher resources. An English course has many components, and as a language arts teacher, I don’t want to add unnecessary tools to possibly confuse students.
That first year of teaching will end, and you’ll be sharing tips.
A first year language arts teacher will be happy to hear them.
Are you looking for other language arts teacher resources and ideas for the first year English teacher? Many teachers discuss ideas on my Facebook page. New English teacher or not, you are welcome!