One of my very favorite parts of blogging is getting to learn so much from other educators! There are so many amazing and incredible educators out there who enjoy sharing their tips, tricks, and advice. It's like having a library full of tips and tricks right at your fingertips! Today I am participating in a linky that allows teachers to share their advice for that slightly-daunting, incredibly exciting first year of teaching!
I am linking up with Teaching with Crayons and Curls and My Mommy Reads in order to bring you lots of advice for your first year in teaching! I would have LOVED to have something like this when I first started teaching! It is so great getting to be part of a community that shares their successes and celebrations as well as their trials and tribulations! With that being said, here's my advice for all you Newbs out there! :-)
1. Make friends with the support staff at your school! I can't stress how important it is to make friends with the office staff, custodians, and lunch room staff! These are the people who keep the school running, who knows where everything is located and how it works, and who are the first people you go to when you have a question about school. Trust me, you will need these people so much more than just once or twice throughout the school year! Make friends with them and keep them on your good side, and you will enjoy the benefits of those friendships all year long!!
2. Find someone in your school who knows not only how to work the copier and laminator, but who also know how to unjam the copier and replace the laminating film! You will use these machines A LOT during the school year, and once school gets started you may not be able to find someone to help you during the day. It is important to know the fundamentals of these pieces of technology so that you can problem solve yourself when you need to. Trust me, the copier will jam when you only have 5 minutes of planning or lunch left and the laminator will run out of film on the day the only person who knows how to change it is absent!
3. There are going to be many mornings during the year when you are running late. Maybe you overslept or the alarm didn't go off. There will be days when you run out of the house with barely enough time to get to school, and those are usually the days you forget to do things. Brush your teeth, put on deodorant, wear matching shoes... If you have some travel sized personal hygiene products kept in a drawer or a cabinet in your classroom, you can feel better about running out of the house and forgetting to do something!
1. Hopefully you are lucky enough to work on a team where you can plan together and share ideas. If you come across an awesome idea or activity, don't be stingy with it and only use it for the kiddos in your classroom. Good ideas should be shared so all can benefit from them. Plus, if you don't share with others no one is going to want to share with you! Your school life will go so much easier if you are willing to share with the other teachers in your building!
2. Every school has different rules about how you can hang things on your walls. Most schools follow a strict fire code that states exactly how much you are allowed to have on your walls as well as if you are able to hang things from your ceiling. Before you spend hours and hours setting up your classroom, make sure you have checked with other teachers in your building the correct way to hang things on the walls. If you use the wrong tape or pins or staples to put things into the walls and ruin the paint, you will be making your custodians very unhappy. And remember I said it was important to keep them happy?? It would be a shame if you spent days hanging things on your walls only to be told you had to take it down and redo it! A simple question asked can save you hours of extra work!!
The biggest piece of advice I can think to give is that you need to understand that your job is never, ever, ever over when the bell rings. You will be staying after school to put your classroom back in order after a hectic day. You'll find yourself coming to school early because you enjoy getting work done when it's so quiet in the building. You will lug home stacks of papers to grade and forms to fill out. You'll spend your weekends planning awesome activities, creating amazing lessons, and scouring Pinterest for new ideas. You may find yourself attending after school PTO meetings or a sporting event of one of your students. Even over the summer, your job's not done. You'll have PD sessions and courses to take in order to keep your certification. You'll find yourself on vacation and walking by a storefront window and getting inspiration for a lesson or activity. Your brain will always be on the hunt for the best ways to teach new concepts to your students, and that's a switch you'll find it very hard to turn off! Our jobs are not like office jobs, where whatever they were working on gets left on their desk at 5:00 and waits there till the next work day. We work every day, whether we're in the classroom or not. Oh, and don't forget that should you ever have to call out sick, you'll be doing more work for that day than you would if you actually went into school! It takes organization and patience to get through your first year, but you will get through it. And you'll become a better teacher for the following year because of everything you went through!!
I can't wish you enough luck for your first year of teaching! You will laugh, cry, yell, and pull your hair out. However, you will never find another job as rewarding and fulfilling as being a teacher! There is so much more wonderful advice out there for getting through your first year of teaching, make sure you head back over to Teaching With Crayons and Curls or My Mommy Reads to see who else has linked up!
Don't forget to come over and link up for Spotlight Saturday! I can't wait to read the products, activities, resources, and ideas you showcase! This week I am Spotlighting Mrs. Garcia's Super Scholars! Come read all about it and link up to share your Spotlight!!