Here is my advice to all of the wonderful, brave new teachers just starting their career:
Buy: Buy everything that you can from garage sales, Craigslist, Goodwill, etc. Also, make sure to wait and see what your school is providing you with before you run out and buy a whole ton of stuff! Your teammates may also have things to share with you. The first year that I taught, I spent over $2,500 on teaching-related expenses. That is TOO much! Try to set a budget and stick to it.
Always: Set your personal Facebook account to private. This is a little random, but I've known some student teachers who have really gotten into trouble with this one. I don't even have my account available to search for anymore. I like to share pictures, etc. on Facebook and just like to keep my personal life separate from my classroom life! In my opinion (and most school district's opinion), it is not appropriate to FB friend/accept a friend request from a parent or a student!
Never: Get down on yourself for a rookie mistake. It's your first year and you are going to make some...probably lots and lots...of little mistakes. It's all part of the learning process, and by the end of the school year, you will look back and laugh at yourself. You will also be able to reflect on how far you've come as an educator. Don't be afraid to take risks and make mistakes--you will become a better teacher! If you get down on yourself for every little mistake, it will be hard to enjoy your job and keep a positive attitude, which is SO important!
Make: Friends with the custodians, office staff, and trustworthy subs! Seriously, these are the people you rely on for sooo many things...furniture, potty clean-ups, copies, class lists, ETC. You don't want to get on their bad side!!
Be: Humble yet confident. I think this is so important if you're young and just coming out of college. You need to be humble and accept that you don't know everything about teaching just yet (even if you had just greatest class on Reader's Workshop, you don't know anything until you've tried to teach 25 kinders to quietly read all at the same time for the first time!). It's fine to talk to your teaching teammates about some new ideas that you'd like to try out, but make sure it's not coming off as lecturing. Listen to your older, more experienced colleagues. Maybe they don't have the most up-to-date teaching methods, but they have succeeded at the profession for many years and probably know lots about classroom management, dealing with parents and tough situations, and the ins-and-outs of your particular building. That being said, make sure you are confident, especially when you are speaking with parents! Starting off with.."uhh this is my first year so I'm not sure" is not a good way to gain their trust!
If you are a first year primary teacher and have questions, please don't hesitate to email me or leave me a comment!!!