What is the secret sauce to having the most successful first year as a teacher?
After spending time on social media, you might think it is about how your classroom looks? Or the way you feel each day (spoiler alert: there will be good days and bad days). Or how much your students and parents gush at the end of the school year. But none of these are true.
We love ourselves a social media pick me up, but the reality is, that teaching at its core isn’t about any fancy classroom decor or student love letters.
The classroom you get might be dark and have stinky carpet - been there!
You might have some students that test your limits - absolutely!
At the end of the year, maybe many students (and parents) don’t show their appreciation in the way you would like - yep, this is familiar too!
But all of these things we can’t control.
So, let’s look at the things we can control and focus on so you can be one step closer to having your best first year ever!
Our secrets to success:
Focus on Relationships
Building relationships is so important. With your colleagues it will provide you with support and help. With students it will build trust and assist you when it comes to classroom management and dealing with challenging behaviours, as well making connections with students to get the best out of them.
Your life as a teacher may not look exactly as you imagined and that is okay. In fact it is very normal. Be flexible with your plans and realistic with your expectations. Working with kids requires flexibility!
Hold onto your pennies
You don’t need to spend a fortune at kmart to create a great learning environment for your students. Decorations can be homemade and displays can be created by the students themselves. Don’t go spending all you’ve got on the trending teacher fads (save it for your Friday night cocktails or a pair of shoes instead).
Make time for YOU
It is important that you make time for yourself during your first few years of teaching. You will be better, stronger and healthier because of it. Leadership is often prioritising students, so you need to take charge and set boundaries for yourself. Self care and a life outside of school is definitely an ingredient for longevity in this career.
Authenticity makes you human
Humans make mistakes, humans don’t know it all, humans have emotions - and it is okay for you to as well. Just remember you are not the first teacher to cry in front of a class or in the staffroom. Be vulnerable, be authentic and be okay with not knowing it all yet.
Teaching is like no other job: it is tough, it is rewarding and it can be so much fun!!!! Remember if you are dedicated and doing your best then the kids are lucky to have you.
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