As a new teacher, you’re going to get tons of advice. It will be hard to figure out what you should listen to and what you shouldn’t. In this post, I’m keeping it super simple, and sharing three easy tips that will help you survive your first year or two. Let’s get straight to it.
Don’t Take Work Home…Regularly
It is tempting. I think most of us more experienced teachers have done it. Taking work home is something I would have done less of when I first started teaching. I was that teacher that took a bag full of work home. Papers to grade, lesson plans to create, and paperwork to complete. I’ve done it all!
I felt so accomplished, and I felt like I was on top of it!. But, by November, I was exhausted. By March, I was utterly drained and didn’t know if teaching was for me. It was because I was always working. Even on the weekends, you could find me in my room getting stuff done. I’m not saying don’t do it, do it in moderation. Teaching can be crazy, so there will be times when you have to take work home, just don’t make it a habit.
Go Into Work Early Or Stay Late, Don’t Do Both
Going into work early or staying after school, will help prevent you from taking work home. I am a morning person so; you can find me in my classroom bright and early. By the end of the day, I’m exhausted and ready to go home.
If you’re not sure what works best for you, try them both out! Then, decide during which time do you get the most work done. Some of you may know that you’re not a morning person, so staying late might be your thing.
Remember, don’t do both!
You’re not going to be great at a lot of things your first year. Don’t compare yourself to the other new teacher down the hall or the veteran teacher next door. If you walk in the door having it all together, how can you possibly grow?
The first couple of years will be hard. There’s no getting around it. You won’t know what you’re doing until year 4 or 5. Teaching is hard work. Some people enter it thinking that got it and soon realize that they don’t. It’s okay because, to become an excellent teacher, you have to make mistakes.
Set goals and work on one thing at a time. By taking your time and learning things one by one you’ll retain information better and be more successful.
I recommend you pick something that you’re interested in and learn everything you can about it so that you can become the campus expert. For example, at one point, I was really into technology integration. I attended a Google Education event, attended multiple technology training’s, became a Google Educator, and found different ways to implement technology in my classroom. Over time I became the go-to tech person on my campus. Once I found what I was really good at, it helped build my confidence, and made it easier to learn new things.
Being a new teacher is going to be challenging. Just remember that your work is never done and you need to make sure you are making time for yourself. You will make plenty of mistakes, and you won’t be a rock-star teacher after your first year. You will be much better than you started if you’re patient and willing to learn from your mistakes. Don’t worry about being an expert. Each year you’ll grow and become a stronger educator. Be even more prepared for the new school year and grab my Free Back to School Guide. Remember, you’ve got this!