My first year of teaching feels like it was eons ago! Looking back now it is all a blur. All I can remember is this overwhelming feeling of terror, confusion, and eagerness all rolled into one. Despite my feelings, my first year of teaching was a roller coaster ride of ups and downs that I will never forget. There are so many lessons I learned during my first year of teaching that helped shape the teacher I eventually became. With this in mind, I thought I would share my top 5 lessons learned during that first year with all of the “soon to be” teachers out there. Here it goes…
1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others!
This is something that we all do. However, as a first-year teacher, this can be tragic! You are brand new and have a lot to learn. Comparing yourself to a teacher that has been around and has his or her classroom running like a well-oiled machine is only going to have a negative impact on you as a professional. This is especially true with Social Media. You can’t go on Instagram without seeing a classroom that looks like it belongs in a catalog. Don’t compare yourself to that, just don’t! My advice? Go into your first year of teaching with the intention of learning from everyone around you. Learn what to do and what not to do. Don’t worry about if you are “Keeping up with Ms. Jones”. Just do the best YOU can do! That is enough.
2. It’s Okay to Make Mistakes (because you will…)
3. Just Say NO!
4. GO HOME
5. Simplify What You Can
One system I quickly learned to simplify was my homework system. At first, I was assigning random workbook pages, textbook problems, and worksheets I had printed from the internet. My students would forget what I had assigned and it was a headache to keep up with. Finally, I started using a homework system that was more consistent and was easy for EVERYONE to keep track of.If you want to learn more about my simple homework system, click here.
You can also check out my Math Homework blog post for more details!