Tips for Improving Your New Teacher Orientation

Learn how to create an onboarding process that sets teachers up for success.

Tips for Improving Your New Teacher Orientation

Tips for Improving Your New Teacher Orientation

As an administrator or director, it’s important to make your teachers feel supported from the first day they start at your center. Whether they’re a first-year teacher or an experienced educator, providing a great onboarding experience can help your new hires better adjust to their new surroundings and get excited for the upcoming school year. 

Below, we explore some tips and strategies on how to improve your new teacher orientation to create an experience that supports, motivates, and prepares your new staff.

What is new teacher orientation? 

When hiring a new teacher or childcare employee, it’s important to ensure they’re given a proper introduction to their new school and classrooms. New teacher orientation training allows you to help new hires feel more welcome in their surroundings, familiarize themselves with the resources available to them, ask questions on school policies or procedures, and start to get to know their new colleagues.

This training, when done successfully, can make teachers more confident and motivated in their new roles. That’s why it’s crucial that administrators ensure onboarding processes are comprehensive, consistent, and informative. (Tip: A supportive onboarding procedure should also be implemented to welcome new families starting at your preschool as well.)

Multi-cultural group of people sitting around a table with computers and coffee


Importance of new employee onboarding process 

Starting a new career, or simply starting over at a new location, can be daunting for new teachers. There are new people, policies, procedures, and expectations to learn. Having a supportive new employee onboarding process can ease the transition and provides three unique benefits for you and your new teachers.

Helps new hires stay organized

Starting a new job always involves lots of paperwork. There's a lot to keep in order, from background check forms and child safety protocols to benefit enrollment documents and school policies and procedures. 

Having all these important documents compiled into an employee handbook at the start of orientation can ensure your new hires feel organized and not overwhelmed.

Increases employee retention

Poor support during the new teacher onboarding process is a common reason for employee dissatisfaction. Without proper training and guidance early on, new teachers can feel unsupported and left in the dark about school policies and expectations. 

But, by investing the time and resources early on, your new teachers have the tools they need to succeed. An organized, comprehensive orientation process signals that you value your staff’s professional development, helping you build a more motivated and engaged staff.

Motivates staff

It’s important for new and experienced teachers alike to understand your goals and the standards expected of them. By detailing how their role aligns with your company’s vision, you can enable your staff to feel more confident in their positions, allowing them to perform at a higher level.

New teacher orientation ideas

Here are eight great ideas for creating an effective new teacher orientation process

Share your employee handbook early

Providing new teachers with an employee handbook early gives them more time to absorb important policies and guidelines before they begin, ensuring a smoother start to the school year. Your handbook should include your mission statement, state licensing regulations, employee benefits descriptions, health and safety policies, professional development opportunities, and general staff expectations.

Host an orientation day

Have several new teachers starting at the same time? Consider hosting an orientation day to give them all a chance to get to know you and one another better. This is the perfect time to collectively review your employee handbook, incorporate a few team-building activities, and get your new staff excited to start the school year.

Give new hires a tour

In addition to learning new processes and meeting new colleagues, new hires also need to become familiar with an entirely new facility. Give your new hires a school tour, and cover important information along the way, like classroom responsibilities, emergency exit locations, cleaning protocols, drop-off and pick-up procedures, parking information, and details on daily schedules and breaks.

Have new hires shadow current staff

Sometimes, the best way to learn something new is to watch someone else do it. Give your new teachers the opportunity to shadow a fellow educator for a day before they start working with children. This will give them time to ask questions they didn’t have before and develop ideas on how to enhance their classroom instruction.

Host a welcome gathering

Within the first few weeks of a new teacher orientation, be sure to plan a welcome gathering to introduce new hires to your entire staff and give them a chance to acquaint themselves with their new colleagues. 

Assign staff mentors

Whether you’re training one new team member or several, performing onboarding tasks while completing your daily administrative duties is no small feat. Let your experienced staff help by assigning mentors to new teachers. This will not only build camaraderie among your educators, but it will also give new hires a dedicated person to go to for quick questions and advice.

Set up frequent check-ins

As new teachers get more comfortable in their roles, it’s important to schedule routine one-on-one check-ins to help make the transition easier for them. You can use this time to discuss things that are going well, address areas of improvement you see, answer questions they have, or talk about their career goals and how you can support their growth.

Help new staff connect with families

Connecting new teachers with the families in your program is another great way to help them get comfortable early on. Send a message to families introducing them to your new staff or share a “new teacher spotlight” in your school’s newsletter or social media page.

New teacher orientation checklist

If you want to ensure a smooth onboarding process for your new staff members, download our free staff onboarding checklist for childcare centers and preschools. Our printable checklist will help you get new staff up to speed on your program’s culture and policies, plan fun activities to help new hires feel welcome, and set up new teachers for professional success from day one.


Help your new staff feel supported and prepared for their new role by ensuring your new teacher orientation process is comprehensive, informative, and effective. This will not only motivate new teachers to achieve more, but it will also ease their anxieties about starting a new role and help make the school year as impactful as possible.

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