In just a few short days, thousands of brand new teachers will be entering the classroom for the very first time. Although it has been more years than I care to admit, I remember what it was like the summer before my first class and many of you probably do as well. The excitement and nervousness made it almost impossible to sleep some nights. I wanted to do a little something to help new teachers get their year started on the right foot. I have chosen my top three words of wisdom to share with new teachers and I would like to invite other bloggers to link up and do the same. Here is my top three...
My number one piece of advice would be to focus on the child in front of you. You will be constantly bombarded with tasks, requests, and agendas that will consume your life if you let them. I would encourage new teachers to take just five seconds every morning and look directly into the eyes of one of their children and let them remind you of the reason that you are there. Although important, you did not become a teacher to write lesson plans, attend staff developments, track data, or raise test scores. You became a teacher to make a difference in a child's future and I encourage you to never loose sight of your focus.
Teaching is an extremely hard and demanding profession. It is easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged which can lead to a negative attitude and outlook on your entire year if you let it. Around mid-October, you might notice that the teachers' lounge or other hangout has become inundated with negativity. If you find this to be the case on your campus, I encourage you to remove yourself from the negativity. Find a positive mentor who can talk you through the difficult moments. Sometime a nice, brisk walk outside during your lunch break will be all you need to refocus. When all else fails, refer to #1 and look into the eyes of one of your children and remember although it is hard...it is worth it!
My final tip was the hardest for me to implement as a new teacher. You can not allow yourself to become a prisoner to your classroom. It is a proven fact that no matter how late you stay, you will NEVER finish your "to-do" list. There will always be more papers to grade, copies to make, laminating to cut out, or anchor charts to make. Don't let your family, friends, children, health, etc. suffer because you won't take time for yourself. I would encourage you to set limits for yourself...rather it be only one hour after school, only to stay late 1-2 nights a week, or whatever works best for you. Once your limit has been reached, then LEAVE....go home and make dinner for your family, play with your children, or get in a little exercise. By setting limits and sticking to them, you allow yourself time to refresh and rejuvenate which will allow you to be a more energized and effective teacher when you are with your students.
Bloggers, I invite you to share your words of wisdom. Just grab the sign above and include it in your post so that new teachers will be able to quickly identify your post. Feel free to grab the numbers as well to help organize your thoughts, if you would like. Then, link up your post below....I can't wait to see what everyone has to share with the new teachers!