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New Teacher Training Series Part 6: Advice for New Teachers from First-Year Teacher Ashley O'Dell

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Show Notes:

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you're getting out and enjoying some spring weather. You might even be very close to finishing the school year - YAY! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ If you're still teaching, hang in there, you’re so close to the end. 

In episode 179 of the podcast, I interviewed TaiLi Matheny, who is a second year teacher. She shared some of her best tips and advice for fellow beginning teachers. Be sure to check out that episode if you haven’t already.

To continue our New Teacher Training series, I have a special treat for you. I'm going to be interviewing a very special lady by the name of Ashley O'Dell. If you’re a member of our Beginning Teacher Talk private Facebook group, you might even know Ashley because she is a very active and generous member inside that group. 

Ashley O’Dell teaches third grade in Bloomfield Missouri. She is also a mom of three little girls. She is currently wrapping up her first year of teaching, and she is going to share her advice as a new teacher. I love bringing fellow teachers on the show because we all know that the best people to learn from are those who have come before us and learned what we want to learn. 

You're going to love Ashley's bubbly, positive spirit, and I know you're going to get a lot of value from what she has to share. Whether you’re just graduating, or you’ve taught for a year or two, you’ll benefit from hearing what she says about how you can improve specific areas of your teaching and how you can use the summer to prepare for the school year.

Ashley is also a member of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy. She almost didn’t join the academy because she thought she may be able to find what she needed by digging around the internet. However, she learned that she just couldn’t find exactly what she needed. Like so many of you, Ashley knew how important it was to plan ahead but she had no idea where to start when it came to teaching routines and procedures at the beginning of the year.

It seems like no matter how many Google searches you do, you can find information on what you need to do, but not how to actually do it. As new teachers, you need the how! Ashley wanted a step by step process she could follow, with specific examples, so that she could be prepared as possible when she walked into her classroom for the first time.

After completing the Academy, Ashley says that all the nerves and overwhelm she felt about the unknowns of teaching went away. She felt prepared and in control of how she would implement things like behavior management - and even knew what she needed to do to set up her classroom before getting her keys for the first time!

For those of you who are just graduating from college right now, and you're thinking about setting up your own classroom in the fall, there’s something that University doesn’t tell you about. They don’t tell you that the first couple of weeks before you start teaching is filled with professional development meetings. 

When you go through the Academy, you’ll have everything you need so that you have already thought through your classroom set up ahead of time. This will allow you to have the mental capacity to handle all of the unexpected things that are thrown at you in those first few weeks of school, like those endless PD sessions. Trust me, there is no busy quite like the beginning of the school year busy!

Also, a quick fun fact - Ashley actually inspired the classroom theme that I created this year! It’s a succulent theme that is so pretty and fun.

If you are a beginning teacher who is feeling overwhelmed about what the upcoming school year will bring, don’t forget that you are invited to my free masterclass, Four Secrets to Success in Your First Years of Teaching!  In this masterclass, you're going to get a step by step plan that walks you through what you need to do this summer so you can be truly ready for the school year. 

When you show up to this masterclass live, you’ll get a back to school resource bundle, including some super cute classroom decor, a one hour PD certificate, and an exclusive invitation to my pop up Facebook group. Did I mention that this Facebook group will have daily giveaways and a drawing for a brand new MacBook Air computer?! You won’t want to miss out on any of this fun. I hope to see you there!

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • Why Ashley decided to join the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy.
  • What Ashley was most struggling with as a first year teacher.
  • What a huge difference it can make when you have a clear roadmap to guide you through your beginning years of teaching.
  • The ways that the Academy made Ashley feel more confident and prepared when she went into her first year of teaching.
  • Ashley’s biggest “aha” moment from the Academy, and her advice if you’re on the fence about joining.

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at and at

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