There are tons of blog posts for first-year teachers, and I’m adding another one to the pile! There are so many things I wish I known when I first started teaching. The tips that are below would have saved me so much money and time. Check out these tips and USE them! Trust me; you need them!
Set a budget
When I first started teaching, I went shopping monthly for my classroom. I was buying everything from decoration, rewards, resources, to last-minute science lab supplies. At the end of the month, I was left wondering where my already small paycheck had gone.
I used to spend around $60 a month. Honestly, it was probably more when I first started teaching. Now, I spend about $15 a month, and there are months I don’t spend a dime.
As a new teacher, it is easy to get caught up on what you think you need. Stores like Target found out that teachers love cute stuff, and now they have a whole area just for us. Teachers Pay Teachers is another place that will take all your coins. Most of us go there for convenience. Most of the things I’ve bought, I could’ve made. Before buying, ask yourself, is it a need or a want. Buying for convenience can be worth it sometimes, but too much can quickly add up. Be smart.
Set your schedule
After a few weeks in the classroom, you’ll notice that your to-do list is growing, and due dates are mounting. So, you’ll begin to come in early and start staying late. Some of you will even go in on the weekends. Working too many extra hours will lead you directly to burnout land.
As a new teacher, you’ll be tempted to get everything done; you’ll think giving up your personal time is the key. But it’s not. Seriously, your job will never be done, and the to-do lists will never go away. So, it is essential to create a schedule to protect your sanity.
I’m a morning person, so you’ll find me at work an hour before our start time and running out the door at dismissal. Others like to stay late. Pick what works for you and stick to it. Don’t overdo it. Try not to work on weekends. The first few years of teaching will be the hardest, and some teachers make it worse by spending too much of their personal time doing work that will go away.
If you don’t know something, ask for help. If you need help with something, ask for help. Asking questions not only makes you more knowledgeable, but it also helps prevent unnecessary mistakes. If you’re brand spanking new to the education world, there are so many tiny pieces that make the whole. Parts you didn’t learn in school or your alternative certification program. There’s a lot of on the job training that goes on in schools; be willing to ask for help when you don’t understand or need support.
Stay Away from Grumpy Veterans
We can be the worst teachers to be around. We no longer follow the rules. We are anti-authority. We complain like nobody’s business. Stay away from us. I am an extremely positive person, and even I sometimes am a Grumpy Veteran.
Find a vet who is pleasurable to be around most days. Lol, That’s the teacher who will give you the best advice and support. You’ll want to stay away from those who hate their job, those who gossip like an extreme sport, and the ones that flat out don’t care.
Their negativity will bleed into your mind. Your already rough year will be even tougher if you choose to hang around people who choose to be unhappy. Choose your company wisely.
Protect your wallet, time, sanity, and energy. Teaching is tough. Don’t make it harder on yourself. Follow these tips, and your road as a new teacher will be less bumpy.
If you still haven’t found your dream job, grab my How to Land Your Dream Job Workbook. I’ll show you how to find the perfect job that’s just for you!