Confessions of a First Year Teacher

Going into my first year of teaching, I thought I was ready. I went to the top teaching school in MS - Go Eagles! I had student taught & interned longer than the normal. 

For the first time in my life, I can accept the truth - I didn't know what the heck I was doing. It wasn't that I didn't know the content. Education programs make sure you have that part, but classroom management 😩 On top of that, I was in an inner city school!!

This post is for those first year teachers who might be nervous as all get out or confident as ever.

•You must start out strong. 

On the first day of school, teachers of course want to get to know their student. And yes, they should do so! However, it's about balance. Set your rules and expectations early on, while also showing them your unconditional love. Guess what?! You can smile at your students, but let them know you mean business! Within the first five days, have your students practice routines and procedures to perfection. How you start is most times how you will finish. 

•You have to organize every detail of your classroom. 

Be organized. Give your students as much consistency as possible. How do they start their day? Do they know? Could they run the class without you? That's something to think about. Try to be so clear with your students that there is no room for error. 

•You should practice how you are going to teach every single procedure and routine.

It's not enough to know what your routines and procedures are. You must know how you will teach them. For example, let's say you have a morning routine to teach. Here's how detailed it should be: 

(Upper Elementary Specific)

•Walk in silently to your desk •Take out your homework and notes from home  •Hang your bag on the back of your seat •Turn in homework in the orange bin on the teacher's desk  •Turn in notes from home in the yellow bin on the teacher's desk •Select what you would like for lunch by placing your clip on your choice •Copy down your homework in your planner  •Pick up your makeup work if you were absent  •Begin Morning Work silently

This will take time to get right. The key is to be consistent every single day. 

•You will fail. 

I know. Fresh out of college you think the world is yours. You can do anything and not experience failure. Lies. You might completely bomb a lesson or ten lol Give yourself mercy. Forgive & move on. If you never failed, that means you never tried. 

•You must accept that you have more to learn. 

There's so much to learn in the teaching world. Accept that you don't know it. But don't use that as a crutch for not doing your best. Research. Ask questions. Seek out a mentor. You have to be hungry for growth. 

•You have to take care of yourself. 

Take care of you. Teaching is ministry. It's a giving profession. You cannot give what you don't have. 

•You should go out to have fun. 

It's all about balance. Yes, you should take your profession seriously, but you have to have fun. Let it be your version of fun. My fun requires vacations, reading, or eat my "bad food". Do what makes you happy. 

Best wishes first year teachers!! 

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