Going into your first year of teaching can be hectic (especially during the middle of a pandemic). Even the most in-depth college education programs, might not prepare teachers for what their actual first year in the classroom may bring. First-year teachers can struggle with anything from lesson planning and classroom behavioral issues, to their own time management.
So, we’ve asked the best resource for first-year educators- our seasoned audience of teachers across the nation, to provide tips and advice to their new colleagues entering the field of education.
Here’s what they had to say.
- Stay Calm
– If something doesn’t go the way you planned, it may feel like the walls are closing in and you have chosen the wrong profession, but it’s not. Getting into a new routine and feeling comfortable takes time (yes, even with teaching). You’ve got this!
- Set Boundaries for Yourself
– Remember teaching is your job, not your whole life, try not to let a few late nights turn into months and years. Don’t feel guilty for separating yourself and your home life from your work life.
- A Gallon of Coffee a Day
– Keeps the doctor away, right?
- Brush up on Technology (especially Google classroom)
– Even if you are starting your first year in the classroom, it would be a good idea to get familiar with the technology your school is using for virtual learning- just in case. Plans change quickly and often, this way you will always be prepared.
- Take Time for Yourself Every Day
– Moments of peace and quiet are few and far between. Find time in your day for yourself; whether that be before school, during your planning period, or when you get home at night.
- Learn that it is Okay to Ask for Help
– You won’t have the solution to every problem and that’s okay. If you are struggling with something (even if it’s just the copier) learn that asking for advice from your peers is completely normal and usually encouraged.
- Playing Can Be Learning
– If you have a class that reacts more to hands-on or interactive activities, don’t be afraid to adjust your lesson plans to help incorporate more activities like this. Learning can be fun!
- Listen to Music in the Classroom
– It is YOUR classroom and you decide how it will be run. If you discover having your kids sit on exercise balls and listen to calming tunes while they’re working is conducive to their learning experience- then do it!
And the fan-favorite….
- Stock up on Alcohol
– This one speaks for itself! However, if you’re solely a black coffee and water-only drinker, the important point here is that you should find a way (that works for you) to unwind and relax when you get home from school.
When that first day of school rolls around, don’t stress out. We’ve all been there! And if you’re having doubts, just remember why you went into the education field in the first place.
You can do this! Have a great first year.
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