Thanks everyone for the responses. That was a lot of good information. We do have the tanks that you can dip the photos into but we never got a demo on how to do that so I want to stick with tray developing for now. Thanks for the advice about the chemicals. I wasn't aware that just coming into contact with them could be bad. I'll be sure to use a little bit more developer than I need.
On that note - should I start off with D-76 or HC-110? I've heard that the Arista stuff comes out pretty nice with D-76 and I also heard that if I was to use HC-110, then it should be diluted to a weaker dilution to lengthen development time since it's very quick for Arista.
What kind of gloves should I be using? Latex?
As for agitation and scratches and number of photos - For a beginner at this, would it be better to develop one at a time in a tray or do multiples in one tray? If I'm doing multiples, then should I do the shuffle method instead of rocking the tray? And if I'm doing a single sheet, the agitation would either be rocking the tray or just lifting the negative out and putting it back in, correct? Can't really shuffle with just one photograph. Lastly, the emulsion side should be face up? Seems like it would get less scratched that way.
I'll definitely look into the slosher trays - maybe we have some of those in the lab.