Top 5 Myths Every New Teacher Needs to Know

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Starting a career in teaching can be both exciting and challenging. There are expectations we have as we are starting our teaching careers that may not be true. These mindsets and misconceptions may hold you back from being the leader in the classroom you want to be. 

It is normal to get stuck wondering things like, “am I cut out for this?” to “how am I supposed to meet the needs of all of my students and families?”

When you’re unsure what thoughts are “normal” to think and what aren't, it’s hard to move forward. The lies can lead to a spiral! And let’s be real - nobody can thrive as a teacher long-term while spiraling. 

The good news is, you can easily bring order to the chaos in your mind by becoming aware of common myths that might influence your expectations, and then having a process to get back on track. 

In this post, I’ll define the Top 5 Myths Every New Teacher Needs to Know and provide 3 steps you can take to get clear again. I hope that this will give you a roadmap so you can get started with overcoming myths and creating a calm, confident classroom for your students and yourself.

What is the perfect formula for your ideal teaching experience as a new teacher?

Keeping things simple is really important as a new teacher and you can do this by identifying 2-3 focus areas for the school year.  This will also help you avoid overwhelm and burn-out. As a new teacher, you need to protect your energy because there is just so much to learn right away.

The perfect formula involves selecting 2-3 focus areas like classroom organization, classroom management, and lesson planning. Once you have your 2-3 focus areas, you can begin to build on that, and locate resources or mentors to provide support in those areas.

The next task is building a daily schedule that feels good and helps you accomplish your teaching responsibilities while also working towards your 2-3 focus areas. For example, figure out what time of day you do your best work - is it in the mornings before students arrive? In the evenings once they leave? Do you want to optimize your work time during your prep time and not have to come in early or stay late? Pick an option and see how it feels. The last thing I would mention here is setting boundaries, and rating tasks by importance/level of urgency. 

It’s impossible to get all the work you have to get done in a day- we could be at school forever. You need to have a strict clock out time. This will support you in building a healthy work-life balance and keep you from overwhelming feelings of burn-out and exhaustion.

In other words:

Settling into your life as a new teacher comes with a lot of new responsibilities, but you don’t have to sacrifice your life to be successful in the classroom. This blog will help you figure out how to navigate this with grace. 

Defining the Myths Holding You Back 

In order to overcome what myths or beliefs are holding you back, you have to know what they are. It is your job to figure out the unnecessary pressures and expectations you are putting on yourself as a new teacher.

This is a crucial component because most new teachers strive for perfection their first few years in the classroom, but hear me loud and clear: perfection is impossible! If you are working toward an impossible goal, you will become burnt out and discouraged. Many of the myths we will talk about are born from unrealistic expectations - if you learn anything from me, let it be this: 

Your students want your best, not perfection. Your best is enough. 

With that mindset, let’s talk about most new teachers’ experiences, and how you can thrive NOW. 

As a new teacher, you are kicking off a whole new career, getting to know 20+ students, and also trying to learn a healthy work-life balance.

Many people who are new to teaching start out on the right track but then get stuck because they’re comparing themselves to other teachers, overloading themselves with too much work, and ignoring their need for self-care.

And then they wind up stressed out, overworked, and losing control of their classroom.

How does this happen time and time again? The myths I have outlined below contribute to this cycle in a big way… So let’s mythbust them together! 

Top 5 Myths Every New Teacher Needs to Know:

  1. Asking other teachers for help and advice will make you look dumb.
  2. Going to all extracurricular activities is key to getting established in your school. 
  3. Working during lunch / all your breaks shows how serious you are about your job.
  4. You’re a teacher, so you have to act happy and have a smile on your face at all times.
  5. Your students should be calm if you do your job right from the start. 

Realistically, these are five big myths… But there are hundreds new teachers can run into when they start teaching! 

I selected these five to highlight, because I want you to realize something:
Operating out of a place of people-pleasing or perfectionism will cause you to feel resentment. Every myth I defined above is powered by outer expectations and opinions. 

Don’t misunderstand me - those are KEY for your success with evaluations, testing, and observations! But those systems are in place already to make sure you are on the right track!

Don’t add extra hoops to jump through - create space to actually figure out who you are as a teacher and what works best for you. Everything else will fall into place. 

In order to overcome what myths or beliefs are holding you back, you have to know what they are. Which takes us into step 2 - figuring out what is true for you! 

Defining What is True for You - Finding strengths + weaknesses

The key to becoming the teacher you’ve always imagined yourself being is dropping the expectations of perfection (a common theme you are probably picking up on) and writing out what can realistically be accomplished in your first years as a teacher. 

What do you want to focus on first? Classroom management, work-life balance, getting your joy of teaching back?

To get started here, grab a cup of coffee and your favorite journal and write down your top three goals for your life in the classroom that you want to work on.


If you’ve spent hours doing something you think is “right” – e.g., decorating your classroom to the nines, creating color coded lesson plans, etc but something still feels off – like you’re not getting the results you want, clarity on your own goals is likely the piece that’s missing. 

You are a teacher because you felt called to this career. 

There is a reason you were called to that - and you have to be clear on why! 

Without this, you can miss out on your strengths and still be putting in long hours of work. 

So, what can you do?

A really useful tool for getting in touch with your why and clear on your strengths is reconnecting with why you chose this career and journaling about the times you have been most successful. 


  1. Write down what inspired you to be a teacher. Reflect on your goals and motivations that got you here. What inspired you? How can you reconnect with that inspiration monthly? 
  2. Write down and reflect on the 3 times you achieved great results as a teacher, student teacher, figure in a classroom. What common themes do you see? 

By getting clear on these questions, you will be able to operate in a whole new level of clarity. You don’t have to be good at what everyone else thinks is “trendy” or “cool” or have the best decor.  You have to be wholly yourself, and in your talents - the rest works out from there. 


Owning Where You Are

The best teachers know who they are, what they are trying to accomplish, and have an amazing toolbox to use as they guide their students to success. 

Here’s where you’ll really start to realize perfection was never the goal. Hitting benchmarks, cultivating a healthy classroom, and leading your students to success gets you to where you want to be. 

Of course, this isn’t a free-for-all. Creating expectations and confidence will take some time, and requires tools you may not have on hand. But ownership is key for success and now you should be more clear than ever on your why and strengths! 

So how can you step into that ownership? 

The formula you can use to confidently lead your classroom is:

  • Knowing your clear objectives for the year
  • Then gathering curriculum that allows you and your students to clearly make progress each  week, while building connection
  • Then, in order to really step into your why, you will want to create space for weekly check-in meetings with yourself to add more of what is working, and eliminate what is not

Once you’re done,  you’ll be well on your way to ditching the myths and building confidence as the teacher you have always wanted to be. 

Putting it All Together for Your Ideal Teaching Experience 

There you have it! The 3 components of your perfect ideal teaching experience as a new teacher  

It may sound like a lot, but like most things practice makes perfect. Just focus on a small step they can take each day, checking in with yourself, and getting to know what works for YOU as a teacher - instead of just doing what makes everyone else happy. This will help you thrive as a confident new teacher and lead your classroom with clarity.

What’s next? As you get to know yourself as a teacher, get to know your students with my Dreams, Needs, and Abilities Project download! 

If you need help getting started, my Dreams, Needs, and Abilities Project will help you understand your student’s more so you can lean into building a classroom around your strengths and their needs. 

>> Click here to download Dreams, Needs and Abilities Project now 

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