I bet you were beyond excited once you finally graduated from college with your education degree.
Student teaching was a bit tough on you, but you were ready to move on to having an actual classroom of your own without someone peering over your shoulder the entire time.
Plus, it helps that a paycheck will soon be involved in your career choice.
However, for those of you in your first years of teaching, you are coming to the conclusion that the education degree that you received did not quite prepare you for everything. Below are some tips to help you survive having a career in education.
These are things that maybe they did not teach you in college, but you wish they had.
Don’t Take Things Personally
I remember Patrick Swayze handing out this same advice in the film Roadhouse. Teaching will put you in circumstances where people will second guess your decisions. It is the Monday morning quarterback syndrome. Just remember that you’re doing what you believe is best for the students and the school. Your education and life experience have prepared you for these moments.
Save Money from Your Paycheck
Most teachers are expected to decorate their classrooms and buy their supplies with their own money. First-year teachers are often so excited about having their first teaching job that they go a bit overboard with their spending for their classroom. Approach administration about being compensated for the money you spent to spruce up your classroom. They will often have funds set aside for this for first-year teachers. However, I have learned first hand that sometimes they forget to inform the new teacher about these funds. Be sure to ask!
You’re the New Kid
Remember when you used to be a student in school and the new kid would show up and all eyes would be on them? This is going to be you for your first five years of teaching. When veteran teachers start offering you unsolicited advice, they are trying to help guide you with their years of wisdom.
In addition, it is difficult to know exactly what to take grades on and what to just review in the classroom. One of the toughest lessons to learn is that not everything deserves a grade. Luckily, iAchieve offers essential teaching practices Professional Development Programs for administrators, teachers, and staff. It can be designed for elementary school through high school.
Be Friendly with Administration
Go out of your way in the beginning to become friends with your administrators. They are the ones that will hopefully have your back when you need it. They might tell you early on that you can come to them with any concerns that you might have. However, they do not actually mean this because they have the weight of the school district on their shoulders. They don’t always have time for the little things. They would rather you solved most of your problems on your own or by asking advice from another teacher. Just become friendly with the administration and then if something major does turn up down the line, you can ask for their advice or help.
Being a teacher in our society is not always as highly regarded as it should be. If kids are misbehaving or their test scores are low, it all falls on us. Teaching is truly a calling, and if you believe this is your path in life, don’t back down when it gets a bit difficult. It may seem all you are doing is grading papers and answering parent emails, but you are changing lives for the better. Your students will remember you with fondness for the rest of their lives when everything is said and done.
Written by Ryan Crawley
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