02 July 2015

How to Rock Your First Year Teaching

It wasn't that long ago that I received a phone call telling me I'd gotten a job as a teacher, and would I accept! Ummm, duh!!!! It was definitely one of the moments in which I had to keep my composure on the phone and as soon as we hung up, I was jumping around and screaming like crazy. And then...I had to figure out what the heck I was doing (and before Pinterest, GASP)!

Fortunately, I had some really awesome friends and colleagues who helped me through my first year teaching! I'm excited to be linking up with Chandra from Teaching with Crayons and Curls and Lyssa from My Mommy Reads to bring you some advice on rocking your first year!
Be nice! I know that this seems like a no-brainer, but apparently not everyone understands the importance of being nice to everyone. As a first-year teacher, and a newbie at your school, it's important to be nice and make friends. The first people on your list should be the front office staff and the custodians! You will need their help quite often, and making sure you start out on the right foot will ensure you get the help you need.

Relax! Your first year (and basically every year after) is pretty crazy! There's always something that needs to get done, and new things will arise throughout the year at a moment's notice, but remember to take the time you need to relax.

My very first year teaching I got a pedicure every.single.week. Thursdays to be exact. It wasn't much (and I certainly don't get them that often anymore - heck, I'm lucky if I make it once a month), but it allowed me to just take some time for myself and relax.

Be Reflective! I learned so much in my first year teaching (and still do, actually)! I highly recommend keeping some sort of notebook or journal in which you can write down what's working, what's not, and what you'd like to change for the next year. What would you do differently? What would you keep the same? Being able to look back at classroom management ideas, lessons/units, classroom arrangement, etc...will be really helpful! This is actually something I STILL do!
Don't Try to Do Everything! This is actually something I still have to remind myself about. There will always be a million and one ideas, thoughts, and projects that you want to do, need to do, or are just floating around in your mind, but you absolutely cannot do them all. And trying to do them all is a sure way to make yourself go crazy! In your first year, I'd recommend really focusing on your classroom management. And that's pretty much it.

After your first year, think of one or two things you'd like to work on for that school year, and then make them happen. My goals for this year are more class/team building activities and more differentiation. I can tell you from experience (and it typically happens every year), that I try to start too many new things, and I just can't keep up. But I usually manage to keep up with 1 or 2 new things...why I don't just keep it at those 2, I don't know.

Don't Get Discouraged! Being a teacher is hard. It's emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. There will be kids that break your heart. There will be parents that make you feel like the scum of the earth (fortunately, they are few and far between). There will be other teachers who are always negative, and administrators you can't please.
At the end of the day (maybe the beginning of the day, too), take a deep breath, and remember why you became a teacher.

I love Walt Disney's quote, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible" because, sometimes, it does feel impossible...but you're doing it every.single.day! I made these posters as a reminder. You can grab your own copy by clicking on either of the pictures below! Enjoy, and {ROCK} your first year!
Be sure to check out more tips and advice from Rock Your First Year Teaching!

For more great ideas, tips, and tricks from True Life I’m a Teacher, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Bloglovin’ and Teachers Pay Teachers.

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