You are here

Sage online ordering services are currently unavailable due to network disruption. We are working to restore service as soon as possible. In the meantime, our books are still available widely via retailers and online. Inspection copies can be requested direct from Vitalsource.
If you need further assistance please visit our Contact us page for further information. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the inconvenience.
The First Years Matter: Becoming an Effective Teacher

The First Years Matter: Becoming an Effective Teacher
A Mentoring Guide for Novice Teachers

Second Edition

Foreword by Peter DeWitt

Additional resources:

July 2016 | 296 pages | Corwin

Use this updated resource to prepare for your journey into teaching
Teaching is an ongoing learning process. Where do you begin? This newly revised and updated 2nd edition of The First Years Matter sheds light on what your first years are all about. Key actions steps and a flexible twelve-month curriculum - including July for reflection and planning - keeps you proactively prepared for the classroom. Use this book to collaborate more effectively with your mentor who may be using the companion text Mentoring in Action.
The First Years Matter includes a planning section, affirmations, and activities to help you master classroom management, instruction, assessment, goal setting, and more. Whether you’re a first year teacher or entering your second or third year, you’ll learn to mindfully

  • Align mentoring to your state or district evaluation standards
  • Integrate student voice to build a community of learners
  • Prepare for teacher observations and standardized testing
  • Apply mentoring lessons to differentiate instruction
  • Develop leadership opportunities
  • Gather evidence to document your progress

This updated version includes convenient QR codes and a robust companion website featuring videos, downloadable forms, and a journal for reflection. Start your teaching journey off right. Use this empowering book to become a competent and confident teacher! 

“I love the idea of having mentors and mentees work alongside each other with Mentoring in Action and The First Years Matter, sharing their thoughts about challenges and successes each month and opening up a reflective dialogue.”
Karen Mayotte, Grade 2 Classroom Teacher/ Co-coordinator Mentor Program
Nashoba Regional School District

Use with Mentoring in Action, the companion guide for mentors!

Foreword: Peter M. DeWitt
About the Author
Part I Beginning Your Journey Into Teaching
The Purpose of Induction and Mentoring
Sustainable Mentoring
What is Mentoring in Action?
Building a Relationship With Your Mentor
Purposeful Mentoring Conversations
Part II Month-by-Month Mentoring: Being Mentored in Action
Why Do We Need a Mentoring Curriculum?
A Month-by-Month Cycle for Mentoring
The Transformation of a Teacher
August Orientation to the School and Community: Resources and Values
September Beginning the School Year Successfully: Creating a Community of Learners in the Classroom
October Teaching For Understanding: Planning and Delivering Effective Instruction
November Assessing Diverse Learners: How Do Teachers Know Students Have Learned?
December Maintaining Balance: Teaching and Keeping the Students Interested
January Beginning a New Calendar Year: Looking Back and Moving Forward
February Engaging Students in the Curriculum: Focus on Content through Active Inquiry
March With Your Mentor: Building a Trusting Relationship
April Standards: Creating Meaningful Standards-Based Learning Experiences for Students
May Assessing Students’ Progress: High-Stakes Tests and Teacher Assessment
June Completing the Year: Paperwork, Relationships, and Closing a Room
July Final Reflection and Planning For Next Year: Retreat, Reflect, Review


"What amazes me about the Mentoring in Action and First Years Matter books is that every aspect of the teaching field is addressed." 

Kerri Schoonover, History Teacher
Atlantis Charter High School

“I love the idea of having mentors and mentees work alongside each other with Mentoring in Action and The First Years Matter, sharing their thoughts about challenges and successes each month and opening up a reflective dialogue.”

Karen Mayotte, Grade 2 Classroom Teacher/ Co-coordinator Mentor Program
Nashoba Regional School District

"The two texts, Mentoring in Action and The First Years Matter, are companion texts that give both participants a guide for discussions, suggestions for activities, and a place to track reflections.  They also allow for targeted differentiation."

Maureen Perkins, Reading Specialist
William A. Berkowitz School

"Integrating teacher evaluation standards fits naturally into the reflection prompts and activities in The First Years Matter and Mentoring in Action texts."

Caitlin Corrieri, Mentor Coordinator
Belmont Public Schools

"I will most definitely use the Mentoring in Action text paired with The First Years Matter text as a month-by-month curriculum to focus mentoring conversations." 

Kristen Daly, First Grade Teacher
Kenneth Coombs School

"With the Mentoring in Action and The First Years Matter books, training of mentors is consistent and comprehensive.  The First Years Matter is structured enough to provide a clear path toward helping a new hire to achieve independence."

John Radosta, Mentoring Coordinator
Milton High School

"Mentoring in Action and The First Years Matter are so important to guide discussions between mentor and mentee and are also helpful when differentiating for a new teacher’s needs." 

Elyse Hager, Kindergarten Teacher
Nathaniel Morton Elementary School

"Our district will use the Mentoring in Action and The First Years Matter texts to directly align with teacher evaluation standards and create a common language among our mentors and novice teachers."

Bethany Botelho, Mentor Teacher Facilitator
Old Colony Regional HS

"The Mentoring in Action and The First Years Matter books are critical resources that each mentor will need to provide support for becoming a qualified mentor." 

Angela Downing, 1st Grade Teacher
Franklin Elementary School

"The Mentoring in Action and The First Years Matter books have given me so much knowledge and understanding of the mentoring process that I feel more than confident in my ability to direct a mentoring program."

Adam Crawford Crombie, Co-Director of Mentoring
Winthrop Middle School

Summary of Changes:

·         Twelve month curriculum with the addition of July to reflect

                        August is the teaching chapter that shows how you go through each month teaching reader to download things from the website. Following months will have reminders to go to the website.

·         Alignment to state standards to support novice teacher effectiveness on evaluation (introduction)

·         Introducing the use of the book for (after year 1) for 2+ years also

·         Updated wording and titles for all content to be for teacher voice

·         Delete front matter and replace with “How to Use this Book Effectively”

·         Revise PLAN pages to reduce redundancy

·         Delete New Teacher Needs pages in any chapters and just use Set Goals pages

·         Consolidate Create a Novice Teacher Support Group both pages to Part I (delete pages in months)

·         Delete Monthly Organizer page in each chapter

·         Introduce the topic of mindfulness in introduction

·         All other changes from Mentoring in Action book apply as this is a companion

·         Other videos from MIA website integrated as appropriate for novice teachers i.e. Design Alliance, Advice from Beginning Teachers, What students say effective teachers do etc.

·         Companion Website using CW mouse icon to indicate to go to website.

                  Journal sheets for writing,

                  Reflection bubble sheets,

                  Graphics – slides


               Downloadable forms from ACTs pages as appropriate.

                        Videos as indicated above

Sample Materials & Chapters



Select a Purchasing Option

Rent or Buy eBook
ISBN: 9781506345079

ISBN: 9781506345062