Starting your first year as a special education teacher is so incredibly nerve-wracking .  You don't know the students, you don't know the staff, you typically don't know the building.  When I started, I was so nervous. And believe me, I had to start in a new district about 5 times!!  So after 12 years of being a self-contained special education teacher,  I finally decided to share my top 12 tips that you can use at the beginning of the school year.   I also made a little cheat sheet for you to grab in case you wanted to print it out and put it in your teacher binder. 1. Know the Staff The first thing you want to do as a new teacher is to get to know all of the support staff in the building.  That means the custodial staff, your cafeteria ladies, your secretaries, and even your nurses!  You would be surprised at how often you will need their help throughout the school year. The more you get to know them and they get to know your name, the more favors they will do for you....