I’m getting ready to go into my second year of teaching, and I’ve been reflecting on what I learned last year. I thought writing it out might be helpful. Here it is, in a top ten tips. #Educhums, please add to this!
- Don’t worry, you’ve got this. I know, I know! Your final internship was ages…
These are some AWESOME pieces of advice. I’m gonna add a few of my own. Please add and keep the list growing for future teachers!!
11. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help: This was probably the hardest thing for me to do because I did not want anyone to think I didn’t know what I was doing. I was not given a mentor teacher this past year because I taught out of district so I had no one I felt comfortable asking questions with (at first!). Instead I wrote things down and googled the hell out of them later. Don’t do this - just ask! Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something! You’re new, your coworkers expect you to ask questions and understand that college and grad school doesn’t teach you everything.
12. Be Careful of What You and to Who: Hate to say it, but it needs to be said, be careful of what personal things or thoughts you tell other people. You never know who is going to repeat what you said to the wrong person. Also stay out of the watercooler gossip as much as possible!
13. You’re Going to Mess Up and its OKAY!: You will mess up because every teacher who has ever stood in front of a classroom has messed up. It’s okay, it’s not the end of the world. Honestly, the kids will most likely forget before the end of the day. It’s no big deal. BREATHE.
14. Proof Read Your Presentations: This is something that I really need to work on and it’s very ironic since I am the English teacher. It’s embarrassing and not proof reading is setting a poor example for your students.
15. It’s Okay to Take a “Mental Health Day” (just don’t make it a habit): I only took off 4 days this school year that were not related to Professional Development and one was for “Mental Health”. A senior teacher saw I was getting burnt out around February and suggested I take a “Mental Health Day” to recharge. It was the best advice I was given because having that one day off in the middle of the week where I absolutely did nothing related to work was the most amazing day. If you really need it, take it. Teaching is stressful and scary and downright draining. Just don’t make a habit of it.
16. Praise Your Students Often: I tried at least once a week to really focus on what they were working hard on and wrote them a little personalized note on their papers or tests telling them how proud I was of their work. Use that word “proud”. You’d be surprised how little some students hear it from others. Do this for ALL students and not just the struggling ones.
17. Pack Up the Night Before: This was already added before but for the love of God pick out your outfit and pack up the night before. It’s seriously the best thing you can do for yourself. If you can pick out your outfits for the week, you’ll be even happier!
18. Organize Yourself: Figure out an organization system and STICK TO IT! Live It! Breathe It! Become one with your system! Not only will this help you and your students, it’s looks really good for you professionally. My principal always tells administration how organized I am and I have offered organizational tips to other teachers and administration. It’s a lot of work in the beginning and you might have some trial and error, but it’s totally worth it and will get you noticed! (Hint: Use the internet! Don’t recreate the wheel!)
19. Try New Things: Remember that really cool project you did in Grad School about differentiated learning? Do it. Just be careful about using group websites where students have to join. When in doubt as your principal or mentor.
20. Keep Your College/Graduate School Books: I use mine all the time and chances are they have more up to date information than the ones other teachers have. I have a three set volume that I NEVER read in college and I use them all the time now. If you already sold or returned them, try and buy used versions. Email your old professors and ask what books they recommend and what they are using now.
Dear first (and second, and third?) year teachers,
This is the best advice ever. And it is far more eloquent than what I repeat to my new colleagues each year, which is “You can only do the best you can do right now.”
Print this out. Put it by your desk. And give yourself a break.
This is good advice for me… Thanks sor sharing!
I know these are getting old at this point and I was included on PPT’s original list, but nothing was purchased off of my wishlist as a result of that.
As many of you know, I had to wait tables three nights a week during my first year of teaching in order to make ends meet. I am currently making a decision about whether I am going to need to continue to do so in the coming year. With that in mind, every small purchase that my district expects me to do on my own is taking me one step closer to that possibility.
We go through a lot of consumables throughout the year due to our PBL projects and are expected to regularly solicit parents to donate items. When they fall through, I always end up having to go buy things on my own that quickly add up. I would really like to avoid that this year as much as possible due to my aforementioned financial situation.
If you have a few dollars to spare, please consider buying something for my students. I will personally send every person who donates a small thank you in the mail, no matter how small your donation.
So I seem to have had another big spike in new followers over the last week or two. And I’m just over here thinking, “Why? Who are you people? Who do you think I am (hint: I’m really not all that interesting IRL or here, so it’s kind of weird to me that people would willingly follow my tumblr)?” Really, though, if anyone wants to introduce themselves, I’d love to hear from you.
I am a student teacher to a kindergarten class this fall….
Burning the midnight oil…. Combatting urge to sleep…
Homework of course! What are you all up to?