When you’re a new teacher, you don’t know what you don’t know until you know you don’t know it! And that’s not just for inclusion… that’s for any teacher – and any job really!
That’s why we asked the veteran teachers in our group, Mrs. D’s VIPs, to share their best tips for new inclusion teachers.
Their advice was spot on and a great reminder that sometimes the most important thing to do as a new teacher is to breathe! Check it out below!
Advice for New Inclusion Teachers
1 – Share Your Ideas and Strategies
Have a great idea? Share it with the other teachers! Strategies and ideas are the backbone to success in special education so the more tricks you have in your teacher toolbox, the better off you’ll be. Don’t be afraid to share your strategies and ideas because they’ll make you – and others – better teachers!
2 – Be Willing to Try New Things
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine (aka rut) and not try things you’re not familiar with. As a new inclusion teacher, it’s especially important to have a willingness to try new things. Remember, there is a lot you don’t know yet and a lot you can learn by being open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.
3 – Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communication is going to be key when you’re a new inclusion teacher (and a veteran as well!).
Communicate with other teachers.
Communicate with the administration.
Communicate with parents.
Communicate with students.
Communicate, communicate, communicate! By having open lines of communication with all of the people you come in contact with throughout your day, you create a sense of trust, belonging, and positivity. A little communication goes a long way towards making everyone feel included.
4 – Collaborate with Other Teachers
As an inclusion teacher, you may be working in the same classroom as another teacher. Collaborate on ideas, strategies, and more so that the classroom runs smoothly for all of you. When you both feel invested and part of the “team”, it’s easier to create an inclusive classroom that will benefit all of the students – not just those with IEPs.
5 – Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
There’s only one way to learn about things that you don’t know and that is to ask questions. Ask other teachers and admins the questions that are weighing on your mind or that you can’t figure out. If you need help, reach out before the situation gets out of control. There is nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about when it comes to asking questions. Even the most successful veteran teachers know that in order to improve, they must ask questions and learn about the things that they don’t know.
6 – Be Flexible, Patient, and Kind
Flexibility, patience, and kindness are essential when it comes to teaching. You should display those traits to your students, your co-workers, and your administrators. However, the most important person you should practice flexibility, patience, and kindness with is yourself.
Teaching is hard in many ways and when you’re a new teacher it can feel especially overwhelming. Be kind, patient, and flexible with yourself as you learn to navigate the world of teaching and special education. New inclusion teachers have a big job, but we know you can do it!
What advice do you have for new inclusion teachers? Share in the comments below!