Today I am linking up with one of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6. She is a 5th grade blogger who I have been following for quite some time.
1.) Find a supportive mentor. Seriously. This was a life saver for me. If I wouldn’t have had someone to lean on, someone to talk to, someone to just pop in my room and ask me how I was, or ask if I wanted to go out to lunch on a given day, I don’t know if I would have survived. My mentor came to me on my very first day and established a relationship with me that I will never forget. I had been thrown into my classroom with one week to prepare, and not only was she asking me to hang out and go to lunch to chat, she was throwing ideas at me and literally helping me set up my classroom. To know I had someone to lean on in this new, big, scary world was invaluable. If you can find someone at your school to be your mentor or someone to simply lean on when times are tough, do it. The beauty of the teacher blog world is that now you can go to places like Proteacher.com forums, Pinterest, and these amazing blogs for support, too!
2.) TEACH YOUR CLASSROOM PROCEDURES! Ha! I am not yelling that…ok, maybe I am. No one told me me that you had to TEACH your kids how to do things like sharpen a pencil. What? Sharpen a pencil? They know how to sharpen a pencil! Well…not always. Teach those procedures from day one and don’t stop teaching them all year long until your kids have it down. Also, consistency is key. You are NOT the mean teacher when you enforce rules and consequences. Surprisingly, you become the respected one. If you bend the rules, they will test you. Stay firm on your plan and you will have an AWESOME year!
3.) Enjoy it and take care of yourself. It is easy to get swallowed up by the grading, the cute bulletin boards, the meetings, the extra duties you have signed up for, offering to tutor after school, and MORE! Don’t overdo it. You are fresh with vigor and excitement and you don’t want to burn out. Take time to relax, read some non-teaching magazines and books, have a hobby outside of school, and go get a mani and a pedi a couple times a month ;). You deserve it!
4.) Remember that teaching can be hard. It can be really, really hard. Students may come to you with tough home lives, they may test your patience, it may be tough to stay on top of grading and teaching every single little detail of every lesson. But while it’s hard, it can be 3,000 times as rewarding. When you come in after a hard day and one of your sweeties has written you a note to tell you how awesome you are and how much they love you….*insert happy tears*, when a student from three years ago visits your class and says he wishes you could be his teacher every year, *more happy tears*, when a student comes to you and says thank you for believing in me?! hello!?! That’s pretty amazing. That is what we are here for. It will get hard. It will probably get really, really, really hard. But for every hard day we get those amazing ones to remember why we are here doing this hard work. Not everyone can do it, and trust me it gets easier with each year under your belt.
I could go on forever and ever with more advice, but those would be my top. I love meeting new teachers who are going into the profession! I love their excitement and energy, as often times I feel like I still have that same first year energy and enthusiasm! Good luck to all you newbies who may read this. You rock! Enjoy your first year and be PROUD of what you do!
Click HERE to check out Stephanie’s blog, and link up to share your awesome ideas!!!