What I Wish I Had My First Year Teaching (Primary Flourish)

Before I share with you what I wish I had my first year of teaching, let me tell you what I did have.

I started teaching in 1973, and knowing and having what I have now - I wonder how I survived. 
In the 70's, I had the amazing Ditto machine to make copies and I had Frank Schaeffer Publications for my teaching resources.  I can still remember the smell of that ditto machine - oh and the purple fingers!

There have been so many amazing advancements in technology, learning theory, and educational resources so ...

A printer!

I could have printed resources for my students without that stinky smell or purple fingers!
I love this printer with the HP Instant Ink program.  They deliver ink to my home, before I need it!  No more running out of ink at 11:00 at night!
Now if you give a teacher a printer ... you know what she will ask for.... 
resources to print!

Teachers Pay Teachers

I so wish I had the rich selection of teaching resources available to me that first year of teaching!
Teachers Pay Teachers is my absolute favorite place to go for classroom resources!  
Now if you give a teacher all those amazing resources to print on that printer...you know what she will ask for...something to preserve them!


I love my laminator!  It preserves my teaching materials, word walls, focus walls, learning centers, and classroom decorations so I do not need to reprint and recut each year!
No more waiting in line at school to laminate, I can do it at home while I enjoy my family - 
and have it all cut out and ready to go!
It doesn't matter how many amazing resources I have if I cannot engage my students in the learning process!  So ...

Whole Brain Teaching

Looking back on my first year I felt so unprepared to teach!
 Even though I had my college degree and a teaching credential saying I was. 
Whole Brain Teaching transformed the last ten years of my teaching career!
Even though I did not have all those amazing resources available to me when I started my teaching career, I used what I had, mixed with a love for my students and a passion to be the best for them that I could be.

That strong desire to inspire and motivate my students drove me to constantly be researching effective teaching models, as well as teaching and learning tools.

I have often said,

Teaching is not a job... it's a journey!

May you flourish on your journey!

What I Wish I Had My First Year Teaching ( with KookyKinders )



My first year of teaching was a crazy!! I graduated in May and in August I received a call from the school where I had just finished up my student teaching. They had so many kindergartners that they needed to add a 6th....yes 6th kindergarten! I was hired two weeks after school started. I moved into an empty classroom in the first and second grade hallway. When I say empty...I mean EMPTY!! We didnt even have tables and chairs for a few days. It was very interesting but I learned so much in the year of teaching than in 4 years of college. 

A personal paper trimmer would have saved me so much time running to the lounge. I am so lucky that a friend suggested I get one. 

An electric pencil sharpener! Enough said!!

Creating class books, data folders, reading folders etc. would have been so much easier with a heavy duty hole punch!!
That first year of teaching I was tired like I have never been! I lived on Mt Dew from the vending machine in the lounge. I really wish that I had a personal coffee maker that first year. It would have saved me a few hundred dollars in dentist bills!! 

What were some of your first year must haves??


What I Wish I Had My First Year Teaching ( with Mrs. D's Corner )

Reminiscing about my first year of teaching always brings back great memories. Like when I thought that "bad" kid was the legitist of "bad kids" and if I could just survive that, I could survive anything. HA. That was fun memory lane... we should do that more often.
But in all sincerity, my first year was amazing. I worked with a great group of people, my school was newly remodeled, I was co-teaching 7th grade math... but thinking back on it today, there are still some things that I wish I had had back then.
Like my own personal laminator. Because you know first year teachers laminate all the things. And to think that when I first started teaching I thought they cost at least $1,000.

This was me: "There is no way I can laminate from the comfort of my house for less than $1,000!" The euphoria when I picked this Scotch Thermal laminator up at the store for a mere $25 a couple years later. #gamechanger
And then there was Velcro. Ahhh... be still my special educator heart. Velcro. That word should literally have a heart shape around it in the dictionary... or be imprinted on a block of gold.

You can literally use it for anything, and that's why it is absolutely worth its weight in gold.
The last thing I wish I had when I first started teaching was TeachersPayTeachers... or at least I wish I had known about it. Not even the seller part of it... just the actual you can literally find lesson plans on anything part of it.

Even though 6 years ago TPT was around, it wasn't nearly what it is today. Hundreds of thousands of resources available at your fingertips?! It's such a huge blessing, and I'm glad that it's here now for all of us!

*Some links contained in this blog post are affiliate links.

What do you wish you had your first year teaching?

What I Wish I had my First Year of Teaching (The Friendly Teacher)

It's Hannah here from The Friendly Teacher! I am coming to share everything I wish that I had my first year of teaching! 

#1 Flexible Seating
I LOVE FLEXIBLE SEATING! I wish I had flexible seating with my first year kiddos. They would have LOVED this! Flexible seating has changed the way I teach and I LOVE it! It keeps my students focused, they enjoy school more, and they are comfortable! I still have home seats for my kids at the tables! This way if they ever need to be in a seat they have one! I also have medicine balls, many comfy chairs, yoga mats, a sitting table, and a standing table! 

#2 My Student Information Binder
My student information binder has saved my behind many times since I started using it! It makes parent meetings so much easier and I never have a problem with documentation. Everything that I ever need to document is in one spot, so it keeps life EASY! I provided everything in my binder for FREE here! Go check it out!

#3 My Happy Planner
One of the biggest things that I wish I had is the Happy Planner! I have the Happy Lesson Planner and the Happy Life Planner! These planners keep me organized, they are adorable, and they are extremely inexpensive compared to many planners! I honestly LOVE this planner! You can find these at your local Michaels or Hobby Lobby!

#4 My Next Week Tubs

My first year of teaching I would have papers EVERYWHERE! I love to copy early and plan weeks in advance. But, I was never organized. I put all the papers for the next week in this cart. Then, when it is time to organize I move them over to my daily bins. It seems like a small thing, but it has kept me so much more organized! (Labels from Miss West is Best)

Do you use any of these items in your classroom?!

What I Wish I Had My First Year Teaching ( Peppy Zesty Teacherista )

My first school was not well equipped with math manipulatives and I learned the hard way that they are so important for student learning. 

These are the ones I use in my classroom:

This is the first year that I have implemented whole class fidgets in my classroom. I have a table caddy for each table that has various fidgets. The table caddies get put on the desk when we start out lesson. This is an excellent way for kids to use these to get their wiggles out while still maintaining focus. 

These are the fidgets that I purchased for my classroom:

My first year, I felt like I was giving out the same information to different parents! Even though I sent a newsletter. By having a classroom website, I had a hub for everything so the only thing I needed to do was email them a link with the information. 

I also embedded a Google Calendar! 

You can read more about that 

I hope these were some Peppy Zesty ideas for you! 

What I Wish I Had My First Year Teaching {Amna from Teach Two Reach}

How technology and retail items have changed in such a short amount of time. When I started teaching 10 years ago...I WISH I had so much of the stuff that I started to accumulate as years went on but those things just weren't that well known or didn't exist back then. So now looking back, I would have loved to have the following things my first year teaching. 

Book Bags and Whisper Phones

This is a two for one type of deal for me. How my Silent Reading time would have been really silent had I made use of book bags and whisper phones.

I made a bunch of whisper phone about 5 years back using PVC pipe and duct tape. Pinterest will give you tons of DIY ways or you can read one of my very first blog posts on my personal blog HERE for how I made mine. 

I also went to the Target Dollar Spot and got a class set of Dr. Seuss themed bags.  I attached each one to a Command hook and students would go once a week to the class library - pick some books they wanted for the week and put them in their bag. When it was Read to Self time during our rotations, they would get their book bags, grab a whisper phone, and get to work. They love the novelty of the whisper phone and so it motivated them to keep quiet. 


Speaking of the book bags I got from Target, I SOOOO wish the Target Dollar Spot existed all those years back. That place is a gold mine but also a money trap! I have to stop myself from going there all the time because otherwise it becomes very expensive. I got all my paper bins, supply caddies, and buckets from the Dollar Spot and they've made my room colorful while providing all the storage I need. 

A Glue Gun

Some schools may not allow this, but after years of frustration of posters and other things falling down from the walls when it got humid, I finally started using the glue gun to hang everything. I would put painter's tape on the back of all my items, put the glue on the tape and then stick it to the wall. That stuff lasted all year! I also used the glue gun to layer different colored borders onto the butcher paper for my bulletin boards. 

These are simple things that made my life a whole lot easier I had known when I first started. I hope you've been getting tons of ideas during this blog series. Don't forget to come back every day this month to gather even more ideas!

What I Wish I Had My First Year Teaching {with A Love of Teaching}

Thinking back to my first year teaching, there are several things I wish I had known about and had. Sometimes the little things can make large tasks seem simple or more enjoyable. Here are 3 of my favorite things as a teacher. I wish I had known about these during that first year trying to survive as a new teacher!

#1 Flair Pens

I never realized I was a pen addict, but in my 15 years of teaching, somehow I have become one. A flair pen addict that is. Not just any pen – must.be.a.flair.pen. (Or, Paper Mate Ink Joy Gel Pens will do, too!) 
How in the world did I ever live without this beautiful, colorful, rainbow of happiness? Okay maybe that's a little much, but these do make me happy!
During my first year teaching, I was happy to have a red ball point pen to check papers with. I had no idea that Paper Mate Flair Pens even existed.
Flair pens are perfect for grading, taking notes, writing in my planner or just doodling. I seriously can’t get enough of them. Another teacher recently introduced me to Paper Mate Ink Joy Gel Pens, and I ended up ordering a pack of fourteen that same night on Amazon.  

A few years ago, I decided to organize my cooking utensils, so I purchased one of those Pampered Chef black spinning organizers for my kitchen counter. Standing in my kitchen one day, it occurred to me that this thing would make the perfect pen organizer. Since I spend more time in my classroom than I do in the kitchen, I dumped all my cooking utensils back in the drawer and hauled it to school. Not only does it organize my pens but it’s perfect for highlighters, sharpies, scissors, white-out – you name it! There’s room for everything in that thing!
This summer while shopping at Target for the one-hundredth time, I ran across this Yoobi pen bag and had to have it! I love how it organizes my pens, and it’s so handy to throw in my bag to take back and forth to school.

#2 Erin Condren Planner

I love my Erin Condren Planner. It took me a few years to bite the bullet and purchase one of these babies, but after using it for a year – I was hooked! Not only do I love how beautifully designed it is, but I also love how I can use my flair pens while writing in it. I love all the stickers and accessories that you can purchase for it.

I may have I have sunk a small fortune in Erin Condren supplies over the past few years. My planner goes everywhere with me. It keeps me organized in my personal life and in my school life. I really could have used one of these during my first year as a teacher!

#3 Google Drive

I’m a technology facilitator at my school, so Google Drive is a huge part of my everyday life and has been a game changer in my teaching style!
Every student at my school has a Google account, and almost every assignment involves using Google Drive with students. I love how students don’t have to worry about saving their work - that can be a nightmare! I also love the sharing feature of Google Drive. I can edit and grade assignments right from my couch at home. Plus, there are so many possibilities for students to create and share awesome projects that they can work on from anywhere! I also love how I can organize my files and access them at school or at home. It would have been so nice to have had Google Drive as a first-year teacher.

What is one thing you wish you had known about and had during your first year as a new teacher? Tell us in the comments!