Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: Tips for Teachers who are Switching Grade Levels

Tips for Teachers who are Switching Grade Levels

1. Contact your new team lead.

Do your very best to get the contact information for your team lead or new team teachers. Most principals will provide email addresses.

You don't want to be a big pain in the neck, but it is a VERY good idea to briefly introduce yourself. Don't make it sound like you are a know-it-all who doesn't want to work with others. #epicfail Instead, let them know what your previous experience is and that you are excited to learn from the team in this new grade level.

You also want to ask a few questions. I would probably ask:
What curriculum is required and provided?
Is there a curriculum map or pacing guide?
What manipulatives, technology and/or classroom resources will be provided?
What do you recommend that I purchase over the summer? (books, furniture, supplies, curriculum, etc.)
What does your daily schedule look like?
Do you have any other advice for me?

2. Read the standards.

Seriously. READ THEM! All of them!

Before you go crazy decorating or buying resources, you have to be familiar with what you will be teaching in your new grade level. I suggest that you make yourself a cheat sheet. 

If a standard is confusing to you, do some research. Look the standard up on Google, Teachers Pay Teachers and on state education websites. 

I know that standards are not really a fun summer read. Maybe a margarita will help to make it more bearable. But you have to do it.

3. Become familiar with the provided curriculum. 

Now that you know what you will have to teach, spend some time looking over any provided curriculum. 

Reviewing the curriculum will help you to see where the holes are and where you will need to provide additional resources. It will also give you an idea of what your instruction is going to look like.

4. Join a grade level specific Facebook group.

I love learning from other teachers. You can't bug your new team lead all summer. But you can ask thousands of teachers (who teach the same grade) all of your burning questions on Facebook!

I have Facebook groups for second, third, fourth and fifth grade. Click HERE if you would like to join one of those groups.

If you teach a different grade, do some searches on Facebook. I am sure there are groups for every grade if you look.

Once you find a community of teachers, ask them how they teach certain standards. Ask them about their favorite read aloud and teacher blogs to follow. You can learn so much!

5. Keep organized.

Now that you know what you will be teaching, you are probably starting to download free resources and purchase games, centers, etc. Your printer might be working on overdrive! 

Do yourself a favor and keep everything organized from the start. Whether you prefer binders, file folders or a Goggle Drive- just be certain that you are filing each resource as soon as you purchase, download or print. 

Label all of your boxes, binders and files with subject names or standard numbers.


It might also be helpful to keep a list of what you have printed and what you are still looking for. I accidentally printed the same thing more than once and forgot about other great things that I had purchased. 

Spend the time now, to save your sanity later.

6. Relax

You are a great teacher. That is why you were asked to move to another grade level. They knew you could handle it. Believe in yourself.

If you love your students and are excited to learn new things, you will be an amazing teacher in any grade level. 

Take a deep breath and don't forget to enjoy your summer break.



I hope that these tips help you to get prepared for your new grade level! Good luck!

Have a Not So Wimpy day,


P.S. If you are new to third grade, you might want to check out all of my tips in THIS blog post.