If you are a new educator entering the field, pay close attention to this article. You will find a few tips that will make your first year go by much smoother. If you are a parent and your child has a first-year teacher, go ahead and send that person a link to this. They will appreciate it! For in here, they will find advice that could help keep their sanity as the months go by.
You Don’t Have to Listen to All the Veteran Advice
First thing first, don’t listen to everything. Everyone and their brother will want to give you advice for your first year of being in the classroom. There is no unwritten rule that you have to follow or listen to it all. In fact, you will quickly feel overwhelmed if you do listen to everything thrown at you. Choose the advice that you feel will work with your teaching style and file it away in your brain to use later on. I have taught in three different school districts for more than a decade and each time I have started somewhere new, there was always a line of teachers offering up their knowledge. I was always grateful for the advice, but in reality, you will have to learn to sink or swim on your own at some point!
Don’t Let “Those” Parents Walk All Over You
Let me preface this by saying 90 percent of parents are great to work with. However, there is that 10 percent that you won’t ever be able to make happy. If their child is misbehaving and you have to discipline them, do it. If a child earns a poor grade on an assignment, it may not feel good inside, but give them that less than spectacular grade. Don’t let troublesome parents hold you back from doing your job.
Keep Quiet Until You Understand the Lay of the Land
Don’t let being a teacher and working in a professional setting fool you. There are politics behind the scenes in your new place of employment. Before you mention something casually off the cuff that can be taken the wrong way, think twice to who you are talking to. There are some people in your new place of work that will want to always stir up the drama. It is always a good idea to lay low for the first half of the school year before you start letting your voice be heard.
Follow the Curriculum Map
If you aren’t sure what you are supposed to be teaching at the grade level you are hired for, study the curriculum map and it will lead the way. You can take it from there. If you don’t want to teach out of the textbook as much as other teachers, that is entirely up to you. There is no set way to educate students. Once you understand what the students are scheduled to learn, you can create the lessons any way you want.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
You entered the teaching field to make a difference in your students’ lives. Don’t forget this. It will keep you centered throughout your entire career. All the other stuff that happens really does not matter in the long run. You are there for the kids. If you can make some good friends and develop relationships with those you work with in the process, then even better.
Pay Attention During Professional Development Workshops
There are some professional development workshops that have been an eye-opening experience for me as a teacher. Don’t treat these days as just a time to sit back and relax. Pay attention and you may just come away with some great things you can use in your classroom. In fact, iAchieve offers several professional development workshops that offer ideas you can use in your classroom the very next day. Keep your eyes and ears open and you should be able to stockpile items that will make teaching a piece of cake!
Written by: Ryan Crawley