How to Take Over a Classroom Midyear

You've been waiting patiently for your own classroom when unexpectedly you get an opportunity to take over a classroom midyear. Even though it's not your ideal situation, it is still a teaching position where you get to put your skills to the test. In order to step into your position on the right foot, you must be well-prepared, confident, and ready for anything. Here are a few tips to help you minimize any anxiety you may have, and make taking over a classroom midyear a rewarding experience.

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Communicate With Parents

Mother and child waving to teacher
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Send a letter home to parents as soon as possible. In this letter, detail how excited you are to be given the opportunity to teach in the classroom, and tell parents a little bit about yourself. Also, add a number or email where parents can reach you with any questions or concerns.

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Establish Your Authority

teacher in front of class

From the moment that you step into that classroom, it is essential that you establish your authority. Set the bar high by standing your ground, stating your expectations, and giving students a sense that you are there to teach, not be their friend. Maintaining a well-behaved classroom starts with you. Once students see that you are serious and in charge, they will be able to adjust to the new transition much easier.

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Welcome Students to School

teacher letting a student into classroom
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It’s important to welcome students and make them feel comfortable as soon as they step foot into the classroom. School is a place where students spend the majority of their day so it should feel like their second home.

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Learn Students' Names Quickly

students raising hands in classroom
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Learning your students' names is essential if you want to create a good rapport and establish a comfortable atmosphere in the classroom. Teachers who learn students' names quickly help reduce feelings of anxiety and nervousness that most students experience during the first few weeks.

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Get to Know Your Students

elementary students looking at a book
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Get to know your students just as you would have if you started school with them at the beginning of the year. Play getting-to-know-you games and take time out to speak with students individually.

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Learn Procedures and Routines

students in line in front of teacher
(Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

Learn the procedures and routines that the former teacher has already implemented. Once you get a sense of what they are, if you need to adapt or change them, you can. It's important to wait until everyone is adjusted to make any changes. Once you feel students are comfortable, then you can make changes very slowly.

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Set Up an Effective Behavior Program

School boy being punished
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Help increase your chances of the rest of the school year by implementing an effective behavior management program. If you like the one the teacher has already implemented that is okay to keep it. If not, then use these behavior management resources to help you establish and maintain effective classroom discipline in your new classroom.

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Build a Classroom Community

Portrait of Primary Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Standing in a Line in a Classroom
(Digital Vision./Getty Images)

Since you came into the classroom midyear you may find it hard to build a classroom community. The former teacher most likely had already created one, and now it's your job to continue that sense of family for the students.

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Your Citation
Cox, Janelle. "How to Take Over a Classroom Midyear." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Cox, Janelle. (2023, April 5). How to Take Over a Classroom Midyear. Retrieved from Cox, Janelle. "How to Take Over a Classroom Midyear." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).