Today's topic is all about sharing advise with new teachers. Well since I'm pretty much still a newbie, I'm not sure how much stock you want to take in my advice. But I think I learned a WHOLE LOT at the crazy town I called work last year. So here it goes...
6. Coffee & Diet Coke & Chocolate &Sweets in your top drawer are your lifesavers. Coffee in the morning, Diet Coke for your afternoon. Candy for a quick pick me up whenever you need it. Tylenol &Advil work too :)
5. Be prepared! (I could definitely take this advice too) No matter how perfect you think your lesson is, plan more. Something always happens that throws a curve into your day and you don't want to be left standing in front of a bunch of little ones scratching your head wondering what magic trick you can do to keep your kids focused and working for those 20 minutes that you didn't plan on having.
4. Have a mentor. Now, I can't say that this was an entirely positive experience for me since my mentor was out on disability for about 4 months during the school year, but when she was there it was nice to be able to bug her and ask advice. If your school assigns you a mentor, usually they take pride in the fact that the mentor they chose is a well-(classroom)-educated teacher. Use them for that! If you don't know something, ASK. I promise you will look more silly if you do something wrong instead of swallowing your ego and just asking for help!
3. Make friends with the secretarys, janitors, lunch monitors, nurse, gym teachers, music teachers, art teachers, reading specialists. Seriously be friendly to all the people that you don't see as often. They are the ones that run the school, especially the secretarys and janitors. Once you have them on your side, it makes for a smooth year. I'm not saying you should bake them cookies, that might seem like you are trying to hard...but definitely go out of your way to say hi to them and actually ask about their lives. Don't just worry about the teachers on your team either, yes it's important to have them as allies but it's the other faculty that you want on your side in case you ever need a favor.
2. This is still a job. I am a teacher because I have a passion for kiddos & a passion for filling them with knowledge. But I also have a passion to be the best Godly wife I can be & be active in my church & spend time with my little sisters & eventually start a family & etc. etc. Somedays you have to just leave work at work. The only way to stay healthy, (physically, mentally, & emotionally) you need to spend time with your support system and do things you enjoy. (Now don't you all tell me that you ONLY enjoy doing teacher things, because I know it's not true. Reading is considered a non-teacher activity when you read something other than Daily 5 or classroom management related :)) It was super hard for me to follow this bit of advice last year. I wanted to make such an impression that I ended up staying until 8 or 9 at night sometimes and ya know what, the only people that knew that were the janitors and my hubby (who neglected to eat dinner those nights) Try managing your prep times better so that within an hour of school ending, you can be on your way home to enjoy time with your family. It's extremely important!
1. Always remember your students don't have a clue what is going on in your life outside their 4 walls of the classroom. Last year I went through some pretty terrible stuff & the day it all started I had to teach my firsties for 2 hours after I learned I wouldn't have a job. There were fresh tears in my eyes and I was a literal mess. It made my little ones worried, it stressed them out that I was upset. I did not like that. You have to pick yourself up and realize that for most of your students you are that safe place, the one place they feel loved and protected so if you let your problems spill into the classroom, they won't feel safe and loved anymore...they will feel stressed. After my horrible day, I added a new duty to my personal assistant. They became the smile monitor...whenever I needed a pick me up, I would say "time for a smile break" and everyone would stop what they were doing, turn to a friend, & smile their biggest smiles. Seriously, it works. It completely changes your mood to see your "babies" smiling away with no cares in the world. They had no clue that they were really helping emotional Mrs. Edwards change her attitude, they simply thought it was time to make happy faces!
Now it's your turn to hop on over & link up your fabulous teacher advice!