Print this page Share

The First-Year Teacher's Survival Guide: Ready-to-Use Strategies, Tools and Activities for Meeting the Challenges of Each School Day, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-45028-4
560 pages
July 2013, Jossey-Bass
The First-Year Teacher


Thoroughly revised edition of the bestselling resource for new teachers--complete with discussion questions, downloadable handouts, and a staff development guide

This award-winning book gives beginning educators everything they need to survive and thrive in the classroom. The third edition covers new material including working as a part of a professional learning community (PLC), teaching media literacy and social responsibility, incorporating Common Core State Standards, handling "homework push-back" from parents, changes in classroom technology, techniques for motivating students, seeking feedback, and much more.

  • A fully revised edition of a trusted resource, offering solutions to challenges and typical scenarios encountered by new teachers
  • Bonus CD features downloadable versions of the book's checklists, forms, worksheets, and self-assessments
  • Includes Discussion Questions and a handy training guide for Professional Development providers

This popular resource offers teachers an essential guide for knowing what to expect when they begin their career and ideas for solving classroom problems.

See More

Table of Contents

I. Assume Your Professional Responsibilities

Section One: Know What It Means to Be a Twenty-First-Century Educator  1

Section Two: Develop the Practical Skills You’ll Need to Manage a Classroom 35

Section Three: Collaborate with Others in Your School and Community 73

II. Establish a Learning Community

Section Four: Begin a Successful School Term  107

Section Five: Develop Positive Classroom Relationships 139

III. Promote Student Achievement

Section Six: Control Class Time  175

Section Seven: Manage Your Classroom  201

Section Eight: Motivate Students to Succeed  221

IV. Design and Deliver Effective Instruction

Section Nine: Choose Appropriate Instructional Strategies and Resources  259

Section Ten: Design Effective Instruction  279

Section Eleven: Deliver Engaging Instruction  303

Section Twelve: Meet the Needs of All of Your Students  331

Section Thirteen: Assess Your Students’ Progress  365

Section Fourteen: Level the Playing Field by Covering Basic Skills  401

V. Maintain an Orderly Environment

Section Fifteen: Prevent Discipline Problems  427

Section Sixteen: Manage Discipline Problems  447

Section Seventeen: Learn to Solve Classroom Problems  483

DVD Contents  xv

About the Author  xix

Acknowledgments  xxi

About This Survival Guide xxiii

I Assume Your Professional Responsibilities

Section One: Know What It Means to Be a Twenty-First-Century Educator  1

The Challenges of Our Changing Profession  2

You Can Manage Your Professional Challenges Successfully 3

Professionalism: The Powerful Force Underlying Everything We Do  4

Your Professional Responsibilities  5

Developing a Refl ective Practice  9

Teacher Worksheet 11: Template for Professional Self-Refl ection  11

Teacher Worksheet 12: Characteristics of Successful Teachers  12

Teacher Worksheet 13: Learning from Exemplary Teachers  13

Learning from Role Models and Mentors  14

Seeking Feedback on Your Professional Performance  15

Teacher Worksheet 14: Making the Most of Peer Observations  16

Using the Evaluation Process to Improve Your Teaching Skills  17

Teacher Worksheet 15: How Observers Will Evaluate You  19

Teacher Worksheet 16: Data Tracking Sheet  22

Maintaining Sustained Professional Growth  25

Teacher Worksheet 17: Are You in Charge of Your Career?  26

Teacher Worksheet 18: Track Your Professional Goals  30

Learning to Manage Your Stress  31

Best Practices Checklist  32

Time to Reflect: What It Means to Be a Twenty-First-Century Educator  33

Section Two: Develop the Practical Skills You’ll Need to Manage a Classroom  35

Arrange Your Own Work Area  35

Become an Efficient Teacher  42

Teacher Worksheet 21: Meet Your Classroom Priorities  44

Teacher Worksheet 22: Teacher’s Daily To-Do List  47

Teacher Worksheet 23: Checklist of a Teacher’s Weekly Reminders  49

General Tips for Managing School Papers  50

How to Organize and Manage Student Information 53

How to Grade Papers Quickly  54

Tips for Managing Electronic Files  56

Tips for Managing E-Mail  56

How to Maintain Your Class Web Page  57

How to Save Paper  58

Optimize Your Use of the Photocopier  59

Prepare Your Classroom for Students  59

How to Protect School Resources  66

How to Request Repairs  67

Classroom Safety Issues  67

Best Practices Checklist  70

Time to Refl ect: Develop the Practical Skills You’ll Need to Manage a Classroom  71

Section Three: Collaborate with Others in Your School and Community  73

Your School Community: A Network of Teams 73

Communities of Practice  74

Where Do You Fit in as a New Teacher?  75

Building Trust: The Importance of a Reputation for Integrity  76

Strategies for Effective Collaboration  77

Social Media Guidelines  80

The Importance of Perfect Attendance  81

The Support Staff  82

The Chain of Command  82

Collaborate Successfully with Administrators  83

Working Well with Parents and Guardians  84

What Parents and Guardians Expect from You  85

Prevent Miscommunication with a Transparent Classroom  86

Teacher Worksheet 31: How Effective Are You at Creating a Transparent Classroom?  89

The Importance of Keeping Contact Records  90

Teacher Worksheet 32: Contact Documentation Form  91

Be Positive with Parents and Guardians  92

Take Care to Interact Professionally  93

Class Newsletters  96

Conduct Successful Conferences with Parents and Guardians  97

Best Practices Checklist 104

Time to Reflect: Collaborate with Others in Your School and Community 104

II. Establish a Learning Community

Section Four: Begin a Successful School Term  107

The First Day Is Important 107

Overcome Those First-Day Jitters 108

What to Do on the First Day: Your Priorities 109

First-Day-of-School Welcome Packet 111

Parent or Guardian Worksheet 41: Inventory: Please Tell Me About Your Child 113

Activities for the First Day 115

Teacher Worksheet 41: Planning Template for the First Day of School 117

Teacher Worksheet 42: Checklist for the First Day 119

Student Information Records 120

Student Worksheet 41: Student Information Form 121

Learn Your Students’ Names Quickly 123

How to Get to Know Your Students 123

Student Worksheet 42: Inventory for Elementary Students 127

Student Worksheet 43: Inventory for Middle School Students 129

Student Worksheet 44: Inventory for High School Students 131

Create a Positive Group Identity 133

What You Can Expect During the First Week 135

Mistakes to Avoid at the Start of School 136

Best Practices Checklist 137

Time to Refl ect: Begin a Successful School Term 138

Section Five: Develop Positive Classroom Relationships  139

Develop a Positive Relationship with Students 139

Teacher Worksheet 51: How Appropriate Are Your Relationships with Students? 142

Teacher Worksheet 52: Are You a Good Role Model? 149

Help Students Learn to Relate Well to Each Other 157

Teacher Worksheet 53: Checklist of Social Skills All Students Should Master 167

Best Practices Checklist 173

Time to Reflect: Develop Positive Classroom Relationships 174

III. Promote Student Achievement

Section Six: Control Class Time  175

You Control the Time Your Students Have with You 175

How Teachers Waste Time 176

Teacher Worksheet 61: How Well Do You Use Class Time? 177

Principles of Effective Classroom Time Management 179

Raise Your Students’ Awareness of Class Time 180

How to Handle Interruptions 181

Pacing Instruction 182

The First Ten Minutes of Class 183

Teacher Worksheet 62: Plans for Starting Class Effectively 186

Productive Transitions 187

How to Handle Requests to Leave the Classroom 191

Teacher Worksheet 63: Student Sign-Out Sheet 195

The Last Ten Minutes of Class 196

Teacher Worksheet 64: Plans for Ending Class Effectively 198

How to Use Any Time Left at the End of Class 199

Best Practices Checklist 199

Time to Reflect: Control Class Time 200

Section Seven: Manage Your Classroom  201

A Well-Managed Classroom 201

How to Focus Your Class on Good Behavior 202

The Importance of Clear Expectations 203

Procedures, Policies, Rules: When to Apply Each One 203

Policies You Will Need to Develop 204

Teacher Worksheet 71: Planning for Classroom Policies 205

Establish Procedures 209

Teacher Worksheet 72: Where to Find Help with Establishing Procedures 210

Suggestions for Establishing Three Necessary Procedures 211

Teach and Enforce School Rules 212

Creating Classroom Rules 213

Teacher Worksheet 73: Checklist to Determine If Your Rules Will Be Successful 215

Teaching Classroom Rules 216

Enforcing Classroom Rules 217

Enlisting Student Support for Class Rules 218

Positive or Negative Consequences? 218

Best Practices Checklist 219

Time to Reflect: Manage Your Classroom 219

Section Eight: Motivate Students to Succeed  221

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy 221

Be Positive If You Want Positive Results 222

Lay a Solid Foundation 223

Motivate Your Students with a Variety of Methods 223

Extrinsic Motivation 226

Make Sure Intrinsic Motivation Is a Classroom Constant 228

Make Success Attainable 231

Teach Your Students to Follow Directions 232

Purposeful Learning 235

Teacher Worksheet 81: Assignment Checklist 237

Take a Goal-Oriented Approach to Learning 238

Student Worksheet 81: Setting and Achieving SMART Goals 239

Make Success Visible 241

Teach Students to Track Their Own Mastery of Material 241

Student Worksheet 82: Progress Tracking Chart 243

How to Survive the Homework Debate 244

Teacher Worksheet 82: Plan Successful Homework Assignments 248

Student Worksheet 83: Missing Homework Explanation Form 252

Student Worksheet 84: Class Log Page 256

Best Practices Checklist 257

Time to Reflect: Motivate Students to Succeed 257

IV. Design and Deliver Effective Instruction

Section Nine: Choose Appropriate Instructional Strategies and Resources  259

Take Advantage of the Advances in Educational Research 259

Why Small, Strategic Steps Are the Keys to Success 260

Overview of Just a Few of the Instructional Options Teachers Have 260

Classroom Technology Resources to Aid Your Instructional Practices 267

Useful Web Sites for Educators 273

“There’s an App for That!” 274

Best Practices Checklist 275

Time to Reflect: Choose Appropriate Instructional Strategies and Resources 276

Section Ten: Design Effective Instruction  279

The Benefits of Careful Planning 279

Backward Design: Think Big, but Start Small 280

Cover the Curriculum or Teach Your Students? 280

How Prepared Should You Be? 281

Common Planning Problems 281

How to Find the Time to Plan 282

Your State’s Standards 283

The Common Core State Standards Initiative 283

Assess Your Students’ Prior Knowledge285

How to Begin Planning Instruction 286

Teacher Worksheet 101: Format for a Course Overview 288

Teacher Worksheet 102: Format for a Unit Plan 290

What to Include in Your Plans 291

Teacher Worksheet 103: Easy-to-Use Format for Daily Lesson Plans 294

Successful Learning for Nontraditional Schedules 295

How to Adjust a Lesson 296

Always Have a Backup Plan 296

Free Online Resources for Lesson Plans 298

Best Practices Checklist 300

Time to Reflect: Design Effective Instruction 301

Section Eleven: Deliver Engaging Instruction  303

Guidelines for Improving Your Classroom Charisma 303

Pitfalls That Plague Too Many Teachers 304

Improve Your Oral Presentations 305

How to Make a Point Students Will Remember 310

How to Help Students Stay on Track During a Lecture 311

Conduct Class Discussions That Engage Every Student 312

The Power of Play: Using Toys to Capture Attention 314

Games Your Students Will Enjoy 315

Use Graphic Organizers to Engage Students 318

Two Simple Techniques: Learning Cubes and Colored Dot Labels 320

Providing Models, Examples, and Samples 326

How to Make Seatwork Appealing327

Best Practices Checklist 328

Time to Reflect: Deliver Engaging Instruction 328

Section Twelve: Meet the Needs of All of Your Students  331

Differentiated Instruction to Support All Learners 331

Teacher Worksheet 121: Individualized Instruction Worksheet 335

Teacher Worksheet 122: A Planning Tool for Differentiation 338

Students Who May Need Special Care 346

Best Practices Checklist 362

Time to Reflect: Meet the Needs of All of Your Students 363

Section Thirteen: Assess Your Students’ Progress  365

Data-Driven Instruction: Summative and Formative Assessments 365

How to Use Formative Assessments 366

Teacher Worksheet 131: Tracking Formative Assessment Data 368

Student Worksheet 131: Assignment Refl ection 376

The Two Most Common Written Assessments: Tests and Quizzes 377

Create Useful Objective Questions 379

How to Grade Objective Questions Quickly 381

Conduct Rules for Quizzes and Tests 381

What to Do If Many of Your Students Fail a Test or Quiz 382

Types of Authentic Assessments 383

Keeping Track of Grades 388

Student Worksheet 132: Grade Tracking Form for Student Success 391

How to Personalize a Grade Report 392

What You Should Do When Students Challenge Grades 392

What to Do When You Suspect a Student of Cheating 393

How to Manage Cyber Cheating 393

Extra Credit Dilemmas and Solutions 395

Success with Standardized Tests 395

Best Practices Checklist 399

Time to Reflect: Assess Your Students’ Progress 399

Section Fourteen: Level the Playing Field by Covering Basic Skills  401

Media Literacy Skills 402

Listening Skills 404

Speaking Skills405

Writing Skills 406

Vocabulary Acquisition Skills 407

Critical Thinking Skills 412

Reading Skills 417

Best Practices Checklist 424

Time to Reflect: Level the Playing Field by Covering Basic Skills 425

V. Maintain an Orderly Environment

Section Fifteen: Prevent Discipline Problems  427

Punishment Is Not the Way to Prevent Problems 427

Self-Discipline Is the Key 428

Be Aware of the Causes of Most Discipline Problems 429

Easily Avoidable Mistakes Many Teachers Make 429

Teacher Worksheet 151: How Effective Are You at Preventing Discipline Problems? 431

Your Role in Preventing Discipline Problems 432

Teacher Worksheet 152: Preventing or Minimizing Discipline Problems 433

Be Positive: Nothing Creates Success Like Success 434

Become a Consistent Teacher 434

Become a Fair Teacher 435

Withitness: One of the Most Valuable Prevention Techniques 436

Teacher Worksheet 153: What Is Your Level of Withitness? 437

A Crucial Step in Preventing Discipline Problems: Monitoring 438

How Students Can Get Help Quickly 439

Earn Your Students’ Respect 440

An Unexpected Tip: Be a Good Listener 440

Early Intervention Strategies 441

When You Should Act 442

Harness the Power of Positive Peer Pressure 443

Best Practices Checklist 444

Time to Reflect: Prevent Discipline Problems 444

Section Sixteen: Manage Discipline Problems  447

Myths About Discipline 448

Control Your Anxiety with Proactive Strategies 448

Behaviors You Should Not Accept 449

What Do Your Supervisors Expect from You? 451

Respond Instead of Just Reacting 451

Teacher Worksheet 161: Classroom Management Techniques to Avoid 454

How to Avoid a Lawsuit: A Teacher’s Legal Responsibilities 455

Teacher Worksheet 162: Behavior Incident Report 458

Due Process Procedures 459

Cultivate Grace Under Pressure 459

Great Advice: Don’t Take It Personally 460

You May Be the Troublemaker461

Think Before You Act 462

Don’t Give Up on Your Diffi cult Students 463

How to Deal with a Diffi cult Class 463

How to Cope with a Student’s Chronic Misbehavior 465

How to Hold Successful Conferences with Students Who Have Misbehaved 465

Put Detentions to Good Use 467

Manage Referrals to an Administrator with Confi dence 469

Handling Four Common Types of Student Misbehavior472

Best Practices Checklist 480

Time to Reflect: Manage Discipline Problems 481

Section Seventeen: Learn to Solve Classroom Problems  483

Questions to Consider When You Are Trying to Solve Classroom Problems 484

Take a Problem-Solving Approach 484

Teacher Worksheet 171: Work Through Classroom Problems 486

Problems Associated with Individual Students 487

Problems Associated with Enforcing School Policies or Rules 493

Problems Associated with Behavior During Instruction 497

Problems Associated with Students’ Relationship with Their Teacher 501

Best Practices Checklist 503

Time to Reflect: Learn to Solve Classroom Problems 504

A Final Word  505

Index  507

How to Use the DVD  529

See More

Author Information

Julia G. Thompson has been a public school teacher for more than thirty-five years. Through her Web site (www.juliagthompson.com) and Twitter handle (@TeacherAdvice) she offers tips for teachers on a wide variety of topics.

See More

Related Websites / Extra

Professional Development Facilitator's Guide Available!
Download the Staff Development Facilitator's Manual that accompanies The First-Year Teacher's Survival Guide, Third Edition.
See More

Press Release

August 03, 2015
Wiley Announces Partnership with Knowledge Delivery Systems to Bring Survival Strategies for New Teachers to an eClassroom

John Wiley & Sons Inc. today announces a partnership with Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS), a leading provider of research-based, strategic and blended professional learning solutions for states and school districts, to bring the course, Survival Strategies for New Teachers to classrooms nationwide.


According to the 2014 Carnegie Foundation report, “Beginners in the Classroom: What the Changing Demographics of Teaching Mean for Schools, Students, and Society” teacher turnover costs the nation $7 billion a year. At least four of every 10 individuals who enter teaching leave the profession within the first five years. As a result, students suffer by being taught by inexperienced teachers who leave before they become accomplished educators.


In an effort to dramatically improve teacher effectiveness and raise student achievement the course, Survival Strategies for New Teachers, which is based off of the bestselling books of Julia G. Thompson, provides new teachers with strategies and tools that enable them to navigate the school environment, manage their classrooms, work with parents and advance their career. They will explore the importance of relationships with colleagues and supervisors as well as with parents/guardians and students.


Survival Strategies for New Teachers is a course that explores ways for teachers to motivate students, build relationships amongst students in the classroom and establish a culture of high achievement in which all students can succeed,” said Lesley Iura, Vice President and Publisher for Wiley’s Education program. “Teachers will explore effective strategies for designing and delivering instruction and proactively managing their classroom and will identify ways to continue to grow throughout their career as educators.”


Wiley has worked closely with KDS to provide a course that isavailable conveniently through online access anytime, while maintaining the integrity of the content and enabling participants to benefit from the learning experience. Survival Strategies for New Teachers delivers a curriculum that develops all teachers the abilities to:


  • Develop a plan for taking charge of professional growth and career.
  • Create a productive work and learning space in the classroom; establish positive collaborative relationships with colleagues and parents; and define expectations for beginning the school year.
  • Develop strategies to cultivate a learning community of positive teacher-student relationships and supportive and collaborative student-student relationships.
  • Establish a culture of high achievement through effective time management procedures, classroom management practices, and techniques that motivate students.
  • Design and plan effective and engaging instruction utilizing varied instructional strategies and resources to foster meaningful student engagement, meet differentiated learning needs and provide for the ongoing assessment of student progress.
  • Implement problem-solving and solution-oriented practices to proactively prevent problems in the classroom and to appropriately and efficiently manage discipline problems when they arise.


“The challenge of new teacher attrition and retention is not only a multi-billion dollar black hole, it impacts our neediest students who are most often taught by inexperienced teachers," said Alvin Crawford, CEO of KDS. "Most people who enter the teaching profession really want to change the world. This course provides them with the survival skills they need to not only survive but to thrive and create a culture of high expectations for all students.  We are very excited to partner with Wiley in the first of many strong teacher development offerings, to positively impact teacher effectiveness and ultimately improve student achievement." 


Survival Strategies for New Teachers are available for K-12 district sale. For more information about utilizing the Survival Strategies for New Teachers course in your school district, contact Mark Davis at mdavis@kdsi.org. For media inquiries, contact Alyssa Miller at 973-615-1292 or Alyssa@ammediaworks.com.




Press Contact:

Alyssa Miller






See More
Back to Top