First Year Flashback

It’s always fun to think back to your first year teaching.  I made so many mistakes, but I also did some great things!

What ago group and subject were you teaching?

I taught Geometry (9th and 10th grade) and Algebra 2 Honors (10th grade).

What was your first classroom like?

My school was being rebuilt my first year, so I was in a portable.  Everything was a pinkish beige, including the tile floor.  I learned the hard way that the white boards did not erase.  So, I used the document camera to project everything onto the white board.  My classroom was so empty, because I knew I would be moving into a new building the next school year.  I think I hung three posters.

Were you given supplies or materials?

My school is great about supporting new teachers.  I has a great mentor that made sure I was supported and ready to go when school started.  She and I even when on a shopping trip to a teacher’s supply store together.  My team members gave me their entire curriculum during inservice.  I could use it or come up with my own thing, but it was fantastic to have a safety net.  It was a huge relief and allowed me to actually have a life my first year.  After that positive experience, I will always help new teachers in my school in this way.

I had a few supplies in my room (a stapler and tape), but there was a large storeroom for the teachers.  I don’t remember having to buy anything.

What was the hardest part of your first year teaching?

I made several lessons harder than they needed to be.  So, I guess the hardest part was explaining things so that students could understand.  I think back to some of my explanations my first year and I cringe!  The first time I taught multiplying matrices, it BOMBED.  Now, I teach it using different colors for each entry in the matrix and I don’t have to explain it more than once.  So much better!

What was the best part of your first year teaching?

My colleagues, by far.  My mentor helped me so much and really helped me realize how to channel my creative ideas to work in the classroom.  We even wrote a lesson plan together and taught it on the same day.  Doing that gave me the confidence to try trashketball in my classroom for the first time.  Also, my department chair and whole department were very supportive.

What do you know now that you wish you knew that first year?

It won’t be perfect, but that’s ok.  You will have lessons that bomb, your classroom management won’t be perfect, you will forget something important, you will stay up late working…  However, it’s just your first year!  Cut yourself some slack!  Also, put your work away and go to bed early!


  1. Thanks so much for linking up!

  2. Hi Mrs. E. Love you and your blog. You don’t have to publish. I was looking for something on matrices, and yes color is so useful on these. I noticed a tiny error on your photo of the multiplying matrices photo 2nd row column 1. I believe it should be 3(5) + 4(7). The result is correct, just a couple of numbers transposed. Keep up the very excellent work. It always looks beautiful. Me


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