I'm continuing to participate in Teacher Week over at the new Blog Hoppin' Blog. Today is Teacher Talk: Advice for New Teachers.
So--to all my new teacher friends:
We were all in your shoes once...anxiously preparing for our very first day in our very own classroom...filled with a mixture of giddy excitement and pure terror. Shoot--I've been doing this for a decade now, and here I am the night before school starts and I still have butterflies in my stomach. (Really huge, possibly extra-terrestrial butterflies).
Did I remember everything? Do I have enough planned? Do I have too much planned? Will the kids like me? Will they listen to me? The best advice that I can give you is to take a deep breath and have courage. Everything will be OK.
- Take time these first few weeks to teach the kids your expectations for every single routine you can think of. Be explicit--do not make any assumptions! It will feel like you are not teaching any academics at all, but the investment now will pay off in spades, later!
- Take time to really get to know your kids. Talk with them (not just at them) everyday. These days, we get so caught up in rigor and academic achievement and high expectations, we sometimes overlook how smart and funny and kind our kids are.
- Don't beat yourself up. You're going to have bad moments. You're going to have bad days. You're going to plan out the perfect lesson and it will all fall apart--possibly at the exact moment that your principal decides to do a walk-through. It gets easier--I promise.
- Take time for yourself. I know you're excited, and there's nothing I can say to keep you from spending ridiculous amounts of time in your classroom or from bringing home huge tote bags full of work. Trust me--there will always be just one more thing to do. So step away from the teacher stuff and go see a movie, or get a pedicure, or reconnect with some non-teacher friends (and you are not allowed to talk about school!)
- HAVE FUN!!!
I'll leave you with one of my favorite songs--I Have Confidence from The Sound of Music. Please--7 children. Maria, honey, you've got nothing on us. We can handle 20+ kids from all different backgrounds and of all different ability levels. We can tie a shoe and wipe a nose and band-aid a scraped knee all while teaching a differentiated lesson on the five senses! (OK--so maybe we don't have Nazi's--but we're still pretty amazing!)
Have a great year!
And be sure to check out the great advice of other teachers over at Blog Hoppin: