15 pieces of teaching tips and advice for new and trainee teachers

TES Institute Team

4th October 2016 at 12:00

15 pieces of teaching tips and advice for new and trainee teachers

Teacher training can bring back a mixture of emotions for many teachers. From deciding on the best route into teaching to the first time stepping in front of a classroom, the whole experience can be a rollercoaster of feelings but it can also create some of the most memorable moments of a teaching career.

The reason that many of us go on to become great teachers after qualifying is the advice and help that we have received along the way. Whether from a headteacher, mentor, family member or even a pupil, we’ve all received advice at some point that has guided us in the right direction. It seemed logical then to ask our teaching community to share the best nuggets of advice that got them to where they are today. 

You can see some of our favourites by watching this video or reading them below:


“The best advice I could give is ensure you have a work/life balance. If you have extra work to do, be strict with yourself about how much you're going to do and give yourself a time to stop, then relax. I find I enjoy teaching better when I've had time to chill.”

Vienna Pirie


“Always start from your students, get to know them, establish a relationship with them, find out how they learn, what they know already and what they need to learn, and then (and only then) start planning what you will teach them based on all you know about them.”

Caroline Drummond


“Take some deep breaths before you meet a class. Make eye contact and smile. Stand still and be aware of how you are using gesture. Make an effort to really listen to your pupils. Speak more slowly and try to make your voice interesting.”

Tony Taylor


“If they (your students) don't know something, teach them. If they still don't know it, teach them again, in another way. That applies for skills too, so if your class is not good at sharing for example, teach them how to share in a series of lessons focussing on just that.”

Caroline Drummond


“I didn't realise how scary it would be to stand up in front of a class, speak and engage them. I found it was about putting on a big performance! Like a new, colourful version of yourself - and that takes time to get right. Enjoy the whole learning to teach experience”

Ceri DeRoy-Jones


“Always ask for help and advice if you need it. Be willing to soak up new ideas like a sponge. Don't suffer in silence, if you're worried or struggling ask for help. Most importantly remember you have to have a life out of work. Learn when to switch of and have some 'you’ time.”

Julie MacKinnon 


“Time is a great teacher and you need to allow yourself time to learn the intricacies of this job, so when starting out just do the best that you can at any given time and remember to use your down time to look after your body and mind.”

Emily Claire


“Never give up the dream. You are doing the most amazing thing you'll ever achieve.”

Ali Thompson


“Don't be afraid to ask for help- asking for help is a strength not a weakness.”

Hills Sally


“Take the time to get to know the pupils in your class, each is an individual with hidden talents, their own worries and feelings...they need to know that you are there for them”

Natalie Dix


“Don't compare your placements with anybody else. You, the school, your mentor and children are all different!”

Luke Wilkes


“Make students feel positive about themselves and celebrate their successes. Connect with them as individuals.”

Vivian Buxton


“Get to know the names of your pupils as quickly as possible.”

Margaret Bickmore


“Be organised, ask for help, shadow experienced staff, use TES website for resources and enjoy the bestest ,hardest, most rewarding job in the world!”

Rita Caldicott


“Be organised, including your room. Pupil's will react to and reflect what they see. So if they see you are not organised, then why should they be.”

Emma Sebastian


“Be magical, be adventurous and enjoy the ride!”

Carol Hind McGiveron