5 things you'll learn in your first year as a primary teacher


Teaching is a highly rewarding career, but it’s also one packed with challenges. And while that means that no two days are ever the same, there’s also plenty that you’ll only learn while on the job.

From understanding how to manage certain situations to finding unique ways of shaping lessons, here are a few things that primary school teachers will only learn during that initial 12 months in education.

1. Know how to recognise and kick bad habits

Every day in the classroom is a learning experience, both for pupils and the teacher themselves. As you’re fresh to the setting, it’s important to recognise that you will make mistakes, but it’s also vital that you learn from them.

It’s very easy to develop bad habits during the first few months in the classroom, so always give thought to whether the approach you’re using is the best for any given scenario. Pupils can develop these bad habits too, so make sure that you’re providing care and considered support when it’s needed.

2. Observe others at every opportunity

You can learn a lot from those around you, and especially from those who have greater experience in the classroom. By observing other staff and what they do, you can then develop your own approaches and ways of doing things. From how they prepare for lessons or gain control of a class, to the way they deliver subject material, each action can provide inspiration and help to shape your own teaching habits.

3. Relive your own time in the classroom

As a primary school teacher, how you handle certain situations will influence how pupils remember you. Cast your thoughts back to your time in the classroom for inspiration – of the school staff you remember positively, what did they do to make you think that way? And among those you remember negatively, what were the traits that you don’t wish to replicate? By considering how best to teach a group of individuals in this manner, you should find it easier to engage with pupils and create a better learning environment.

4. Remember that each pupil will learn differently

An understanding of each pupil’s issues and learning habits is only possible by spending time with them. A primary teacher shouldn’t expect to instantly know what will work best for each youngster, especially when each will learn in a slightly different way. Remember that what works for one individual will not necessarily work for the next.

5. Build on your successes

While classroom life can be daunting, it will undoubtedly also provide a number of positive experiences. You’ll develop quickly as a primary teacher when you can see those successes and build them into your routines. Keep a note of what works well, and what doesn’t, and use those insights to shape future lessons. Over time, you’ll be able to learn by doing and standards will continue increasing throughout each year.


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