|Topic: New Teacher Advice|
BUY - I highly recommend you invest in a laminator. We have a cold and hot laminator at school but the lamination from my own laminator is much much sturdier. Plus, having a laminator at home also allows me to work on putting things together on my own time and allows me to utilize my prep time and time after school for other classroom purposes. I also suggest getting a paper cutter too simply because it makes the whole process of cutting things for centers so much faster. :)
Below are links to the laminator and paper cutter I have. You can get them at Amazon or Costco for a relatively decent price.
ALWAYS - Make lesson plans and be prepared! No, it's not necessary to make super detailed plans like you probably had to do in your credential program. But you should know what your daily plan is before the week starts. As creative as teachers are, it's actually incredibly hard to come up with a lesson on the fly simply because it usually requires some sort of materials pre-prepped which is usually not the case! It is also a good idea to always have all the materials needed for the day prepared and ready before the day starts. Technically, it's an even better idea to have things for the week ready before the week starts but I haven't been able to accomplish that yet so just start with the day! :)
NEVER - doubt yourself. I'm not going to lie, first year teaching will be hard. What really makes it hard sort of depends on many different factors. You may have a really rough class which is hard to manage. You might have some difficult parents who doubt your skills as a newbie (which definitely happened with me). You might have a lesson that didn't go as planned. Believe me, there are plenty of things that you may feel is going wrong during your first year of teaching. But no matter what it is, never let it make you doubt yourself. I know that you chose this career to make a difference in young people's lives so keep doing it! Every challenge you face (and you will face them) will all be worth it when you reach the end of the school year and see how much your students grew under your guidance. It is all worth it in the end, I swear! :)
FIND - balance (in your work and personal life). This is one that I am still working on myself. I live by myself so it's very easy for me to have no reason to need to go home "early" which means I typically don't leave school until around 6pm. I used to also take work home with me and keep working (with the tv on, of course!) once I got home which meant I was basically working during all my waking hours. But I'm learning! I was able to stop bringing work home during my second year of teaching. I even managed to leave the classroom at around 5pm on most days! See! I'm getting better! :)
MAKE - This is an ABSOLUTE MUST. I have found that it is hard for anyone who is not a teacher to really understand what teachers do and go through. People don't understand how much time and effort we put into collecting supplies and organizing our classrooms. They definitely don't realize that our summer break is unpaid but we still spend a chunk of it preparing and getting ready for the school year. So it is VERY important that you make some teacher friends so that you will have someone who understands to talk to when you need to complain, vent, rant, or just get advice. I don't think I would've survived my second year of teaching if I had not become good friends with a colleague at work (we had a LOT of school drama going on that year).
BE - honest. When people ask for advice about teaching, the first thing I tell them is, the best way to develop a relationship with your students is to be honest with them. Maybe a better term is to be transparent? If you don't know the answer to a question, be honest and tell them. If something suddenly came up which changes your class schedule, be honest, and tell your students what happened not just that the schedule got changed. If you know you're going to be absent, be honest and tell your students ahead of time. If you made a mistake, be honest. Admit to your students that you made a mistake and apologize for it. When you are honest with your students and explain to them the reasons for whatever is going on, they will see that you are human too and understand when things don't always go the way they want. I don't think I really did a good job explaining this but seriously, give it a shot.
And the second linky...hosted by Fabulously First!
In loving wisdom, what advice would you give to a new teacher just starting out?
In addition to the advice given above...
Whew! Long post! And it is waaaay past my bedtime! That's all for now, folks! Be sure to link up and pass some of your teaching wisdom along to others! I can definitely use some advice as a third year teacher, too! :)