10 Tips for New Math Teachers

Article Summary: As a first-year teacher, you are in for a challenging year. It might be painful at times, but you couldn't choose a better career. That is assuming that you don't have the skills of a professional athlete or the singing/acting talent of legends. As many of us veteran math teachers look back... It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but it provided us with a great foundation. Here's some quick advice to help you through your best/worst year.

Starting out as a new teacher can be intimidating and even frightening. Some basic tips may help to eliminate the stress and anxiety from teaching a class of children. Students will give their trust easily if they like you.

Don't be too serious

Every new thing is kind of scary, so when you have to stand up and teach math it can be a little intimidating at first. Try not to frown or look to serious. It will discourage the students and they will be afraid of you. Humor can built a bridge that can make amends later on it the year. Remember that a good laugh is like medicine for the body.

Use discipline

There will be no teaching without controlling of your class. It is better to fall behind by a day or two early in the year to address discipline, than to have an uphill battle all year long over behavior. Let students know from the beginning what is acceptable behavior and what is not. This way they won't take chances.

Involve the students

Encourage the students to work in groups. In this way they can have a study partner and feel comfortable with one another and learn to trust each other. In the long run it will benefit your students if they all get along smoothly and there will be order in the classroom. Later on you can have competitions between the different groups as well.

Motivate your students

Be a motivation to your students. Identify early on what math they are struggling with and help them overcome those areas. Students are surrounded with negativity where ever they go. If you can give them a place to feel safe and comfortable they will give back to you a solid return by doing their best.

Make it interesting

Use every day examples to draw and hold their attention. Math can get very boring when the same patterns are followed every time. Be open to creativity and use basic things that aren't costly. Students can bring junk materials from home to use in their projects.


Get your priorities straight right in the beginning. A good diary can only be an investment and remember that you don't have to do everything just to accommodate others. If your schedule allows it, you can take on extra curricular activities.

Rest when possible

Teaching is hard work. Make time for yourself. If you are stressed out you cannot give your best. Take vacation time to sleep, eat and maybe read a good book once in a while. When you are rested you will benefit your students.

Be prepared

Preparation is of the essence. Take time every day to prepare for the following days lessons. This will pay tremendous rewards as you can then give your full attention to the subject at hand. Don't leave things and hope it will work out. Be prepared for all situations.

Organizational skills

Organizational skills are like a lifeline. Pack away stuff, clear desks, and make sure that you personally take tests from students. Organizing can save you a lot of time and trouble.

Planning goes a long way

Keep students busy. When they sit around they get bored and think of mischief. Plan extra activities that they can do. Something that will be a challenge to them. Some students finish quicker than others, give them extra assignments, perhaps let them read an article about math and set up a reward system for every 10 articles they read. This way they will be kept busy and won't bother each other.