Welcome to the blogworld, Miss Hardeman! I'm sending all my Wagoneers and Wagon Watchers straight over to your blog, Life as a Math Geek. As a new blogger, you will, no doubt, be exponentially (See? A math term!) excited to pick up some new followers.
A hearty howdy, as well, to 2nd-grade-teachers, Jamie of Teaching Tidbits and More. She also has a fairly new blog everyone will want to explore.
The temptation for a new teacher is to buy, buy, buy. That's fine if you have unlimited funds. (I did say NEW teacher--read limited income.) You'll be surprised at what you can make/recycle for yourself, even if you've never tried something like that before. If God has called you to teach, He has given you the creativity to do the job. It's up to you to draw it out of yourself. You. Can. Do. It!
No matter how much of a stinker a child was yesterday, begin each day with his/her slate completely clean. Otherwise, children have no incentive to strive for better behavior.
Steer clear of rooms (like the teacher's lounge) that can be stages of negativity. Avoid as well teachers and staff who are Negative Nellies. Remaining in a fetid environment any longer than you have to begins to work on your own attitude, which carries over onto your views and interactions with your students. They deserve better than that, and so do you.
Being a teacher (especially a new teacher) can be all-consuming. Your work is never completely done. Even when you're away from school, your teacher-brain continues to whir. You must carve out some time to be completely school-free to avoid burnout. Easier said than done. I have not, in my 42 years of teaching, mastered this bit of advice.
Your school secretary and custodian are not merely staff persons. They can make your life at school smooth or bumpy. Frequently, let them know you appreciate things they do for you. Occasionally, bring them a treat or surprise they will enjoy. As teachers, we don't see all the effort they put into their jobs or the frustrations they have. Everyone deserves to be appreciated.
Whether it's your students, colleagues, parents, or administration, focus on what they are saying and their body language. Actively listen--with eye contact. You may have to disagree with what they say to you, but you will have given them your full attention and heard them out. This action alone goes a long way in building strong relationships.
New teachers: best wishes for a very successful first year!!