At Teachers Pay Teachers, we believe that teachers are the experts. And we want to help teachers share their advice, experience, and support with the larger educator community on social media. All year, we’ve been asking teachers and educators for their questions using #DearTeachers — and we’ve been overwhelmed by the responses! As 2019 draws to a close, we wanted to round up some of our favorite teacher tips, tricks, advice, and more that were shared in the comments of our social media posts. Across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we received thousands of comments supporting other teachers. Here are just a few of our favorites!

1 — ALWAYS remember your “why.” Why you chose this profession or why it chose you. A big enough why will eclipse the fear of the how. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, own mistakes and learn from them.(@Ladytknight78)

2 — Make a huge effort to get to know every single student! It’s a lot easier to learn from someone with whom you’re comfortable. (@Baileyirelandkelso)

3 — You don’t have to be perfect in all areas. It will all come together with time and experience. (@Fernsmithclassroomideas)

4 — Be confident! Even though you are learning how to teach, always believe in yourself. Teaching is an experience and you will take everything you learn with you. I’ve been teaching for 6 years now, and I’m still growing! (@Shortyjules16)

5 — Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what your mentor is there for. Have patience with yourself, it’s a learning process for you and the students. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the ride! (@E_tinez177)

6 — Remember your school may end up having a specific lesson plan format, curriculum, behavior plan that you’re expected to follow. So focus less on the details and more on how your mentor teaches plans, handles students, etc! Things that can work at ANY campus! Write down your questions every day and email them or put them on sticky notes so they can discuss their answers with you later. Take risks! Write down favorite books, tools, websites that they share with you. Ask for feedback on your interactions with students! Ask for opportunities to write emails/newsletters/participate in conferences. Offer to help! Remember having a student teacher is SUCH a fun opportunity but also more work, so try to help as much as possible. Take pictures of things you like (lessons, centers, organization). (@Haleymoconnor)

7 — Ask a ton of questions, it’s ok to do so while you are still learning! Also ask to go into other classrooms that you can observe, especially if you have extra time or a prep you can give up! I learned so much just by observing educators! (@Asmahanmashrah)

8 — Don’t burn yourself out! Try to stick to the contract the very best you can. Take nights and weekends for yourself. If you have any hope of starting and retiring in teaching, you need to set boundaries and keep them. (@Amylabrasciano)

9 — You will feel like you’re messing up 95% of the time, but you won’t be. Everything you do gives you the experience that you’ll need to be a better teacher. You’ll keep some ideas that you use in student teaching and you’ll throw others out, but none of them are wrong. They’re just not always what your students need. Students will be rude to you and will lie to you and will ignore you, but none of this is a poor reflection on you. You’re just getting your feet under you, and it’s ok to not know how to handle everything that happens to you. We’re all still figuring things out and our students manage to grow and learn and thrive. (@Basicallybet)

10 — Be consistent. If you say you’re going to do something, you have to follow through. Sometimes it sucks having to call parents and put behavior procedures in place, but it’s so important to let them know they cannot walk all over you! (@Torreymcleay)

11 —Start building a relationship with each of your students by knowing their best qualities. Yes, they all have one! After that, once the students trust you, play games with your class, get on Kahoot and be one of the players, go outside and play soccer with them. Once they see that a teacher is trying to have a good relationship with their students, then the students will also begin to try having a relationship with all the students. (@Tamzattack)

12 — Exemplify empathy. Encourage curiosity and the ability to ask tough questions. Talk about things that happen in life and how sometimes we can’t control it, but we can control how we react. Accept the fact that we all make mistakes and that mistakes don’t make us bad, but help us learn. (@Dianangelagutierrezinnocentin)

13 — Be yourself. Be happy, be silly, be obnoxious, be trustworthy, be frustrated, be apologetic, but be true. (@Marcibuchanan)

14 — Teachers are forever learning and adjusting to fit the needs of kids, it’s not cookie cutter. (@Keeping_up_wit_mrsjones)

15 — Plan by unit. Write it out on a monthly calendar so you can see where you are going. Use preps to make all the copies for the month so that you have the time to enjoy your personal life too! IF you have a prep a day choose to do one subject a day to work out a monthly schedule. Obviously schedules change, but if you have everything ready, you will feel better! (@Amy5984)

16 — I usually plan each subject individually for a week before I move onto the next period/subject(s). I find that I’m always working on lunch and using my preps to lesson plan ahead of time so I don’t have to do much work at home. For me, I’d rather sacrifice social time with other teachers than time with my family at home/on weekends. I also created a lesson plan template where I prefill many of the boxes and then just add/delete from the little lists for each category, then I can add in objected, CCSS, and procedures. Makes my life easier! (@Missmallyy) ✅

17 — The best advice I can offer is to ask your team for help and don’t compare yourself to others. Perhaps your team already has a way of planning for all subjects together (one plans for math, another for writing, etc.) or maybe each one plans one activity per subject for the week and the rest share theirs. Above all, share your concerns and ask for help. (@Susyinsa)

18 — Intrinsic motivation grows when students are provided with choices and get to choose to learn and/or show their learning in a way that interests or excites them! (@schoolandthecity)

19 — Create relationships with disruptive students. Try a 2×10 strategy, 2 minutes for 10 days in a row where you just give them your undivided attention. Students crave that time! (@Mollybao)

20 — What’s helped me a ton is designating ONE late day per week. I’m out at the end of contract hours 4 days a week, and stay a couple hours late on Fridays. Otherwise, I would live at school. (@Learninginwonderland)

21 — I remember the words of a veteran teacher during my first few weeks of teaching: “It gets better.” Balance is key. My experience taught me resilience, because this job requires you to be strong and resilient. I truly feel like it’s a calling and you either love it or hate it. Looking back, the best advice I can give is to put yourself and your family first. There were too many days that I spent staying late, missing precious time with my own family. Papers will always be there tomorrow, but time with those you love is priceless. (@Just.gabie)

22 — Don’t be afraid to try out different grades. I went to school for elementary education and I now work at a high school. NEVER would I have thought I would be where I am. I love it! (@Shelby.newlin)

23 — Have a teacher tribe and love them hard! I couldn’t do it without my teacher friends. (@Memmajean)