This, my friends, was me as a first year teacher. I can't believe that was 9 years ago! I learned so much that year and in the many years that followed. That's why, when I heard about a link up that My Mommy Reads & Teaching with Crayons and Curls were hosting, I knew I HAD to participate.
So here it goes:
1. Be Knowledgable. Familiarize yourself with the school district, school buildings, and school faculty. My first job was in a city I was not familiar with. I commuted 60 miles to work one way. So, in the summer prior to starting my job, I spent as much time as possible learning about the new city and new school district. But even if you aren't traveling to a new city for work, you should work to learn about the new school. Utilize the school district's website, the school website, and the individual teachers' websites.
2. Say No. This, in a nutshell, is where I failed during my first year of teaching. I wanted everyone to like me. Every child. Every parent. EVERYONE. Of course everyone wants to be liked, but what is more important is to be respected. With my students, I had to learn to set limits. With parents, I had to learn to be confident in my abilities.
3. Ask Questions. If you don't know something, ask! If you aren't sure about a procedure, ask! If you are having problems with a student, ask! If you aren't sure about curriculum, ask! You will be surrounded by professionals who have been where you are. They are a wealth of knowledge. You should have a mentor teacher. She is paid to answer your questions, so ask away! :)
1. Don't go it alone! Find a support group and lean on them. No one understands teachers like another teacher. Your support group could include other first year teachers, your mentor, your fellow grade level teachers, and/or even teacher friends you've met online. My teacher bffs have seen me through the toughest challenges in my life (inside and outside the classroom.)
2. Don't rush out and buy the whole teacher supply store! I know it all looks cute and color coordinated; it makes your little teacher heart sing! BUT, don't break the bank. You can find lots of materials inexpensively. Look at yard sales or tag sales. Look on Facebook Groups. Check out Dollar Tree and the Target Dollar Spot! MAKE YOUR OWN! I spent one whole summer going to our local teacher's co-op one day a week. It was so great!
1. Don't be too hard on yourself! You will make mistakes. You will feel overwhelmed. You will cry. It's okay. The best advice my mentor teacher gave me was to tackle one task at a time. Celebrate your successes! Keep your head above water and cut yourself some slack. I promise you, your second year WILL BE BETTER!