I am so excited to link up with Chandra at Teaching with Crayons and Curls to give advice about your first year (or first few years) of teaching! I remember walking into my classroom the first day of becoming an educator and being filled with excitement and nervousness. Here are some tid-bits of how I not only survived, but ROCKED my first year of teaching.
HAVE STRONG MANAGEMENT
Classroom management will make or break your year, every year. Consistency in your classroom management will allow students to know your expectations. Practice, practice, practice. Allows students the chance to practice classroom routines and procedures such as lining up, sitting at the carpet, turning a paper in, etc. In general, students want to please you, and you need to give them the opportunity to learn your expectations. If something is not working with your management, don't be afraid to try something new. Each class you have will be different, what worked for one class may not work the next class.
EVERYTHING! I am a list writer but this was not enough the first year. Be sure to find your own unique way to organize your classroom so it fits your needs. I used a lot of baskets and containers to organize my work items, student items, and classroom items. Everything has a place in the classroom so it is easy to find, use, and put away.
Even organize the way you arrange your classroom. Be sure tools and supplies are accessible for all students. When organizing a seating arrangements, there are things to consider. You can check out my post about seating arrangements here.
It is amazing how a well organized classroom helps classroom management.
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
You will make mistakes. It is okay. Take your mistakes as learning experiences and as a way to improve your skill at being an educator.
With anything, it is easy to over-work yourself and become exhausted, especially as a teacher. Do not let this happen. Your students need your creative energy.
It is easy to stay after school for three hours, bring work home during the week, or even go into your classroom on weekends. Don't. Instead, create a routine for yourself of when to get work done. There is endless work to be done in the classroom, I could spend all my time there, and still have more work to do. I set reasonable goals of things that need to be done at certain times. Don't get me wrong, I am still guilty of bringing work home and maybe spending extra time in the classroom, just not everyday.
Take time to yourself, enjoy your evenings at home, and do something for yourself on weekends. A good balance of work and personal life in important to maintain your creative energy that you bring to your students everyday.
|My amazing kitty that I have had since I was 13!!|
|View of Mt. Hood, my new home!|
|Weekend camping trip.|
HAVE A BAD ATTITUDE
This will get you nowhere. You will soon realize there is a lot to complain about being a teacher, and you will experience the long list of complaints teachers have. Don't get sucked in. Becoming a great teacher is hard work and will require you to spend more than the average forty hours per week. This is not changing. Go to work with a positive attitude, collaborate positively with colleagues, and bring a positive energy to your students each and every day.
If there are issues you are unhappy about, be proactive. Talk to the people responsible, contact your legislature, collaborate with others that agree with you; do not sit back with a bad attitude and complain. Again, this will get you nowhere and you will hate what you do.
Moving forward, believe in yourself and what you do. It takes a special person to become an educator, and you chose it for a reason.
You chose to become an educator for a reason. Don't forget that reason. During your first year (and really each year,) your motivational drive will be tested. Don't let outside pressures win. Yes,education is a stressful field to be part of, but at the same time, it is also one of the most rewarding. Focus on the the reasons you love educating and the reasons you became a teacher. You are a great educator, believe in yourself, and never give up.
Be sure to check out other great tips on how to rock your first year of teaching over at Teaching with Crayons and Curls!
Happy First Year of Teaching!!