Thursday, October 18, 2012

Teacher Insight Thursday: First Year Teaching

If you have been following my blog, you will know that I am a pre school teacher.  This year happens to be my first year teaching and let me tell you, it is stressful! If you are a first year teacher like I am, then you are probably stressed as well.  Therefore, I would like to share with you some things I have learned already in my 2 months of teaching:

  1. Lean on your principal, teaching assistant if you have one, and fellow teachers.  In my experience, these people are great resources for when you don't know what to teach or you find yourself in a stressful situation.  I am fortunate enough to have extremely supportive coworkers. For example, I had a conflict I needed to resolve the other day with a parent and I found myself feeling extremely stressed out about the situation. For confidentiality reasons, I will not go into specifics about the conflict. I will say this, however, after talking to my assistant principal, I felt much better. She gave me advice on how to handle the situation and I was able to alleviate the parent's concerns
  2. Don't wait until the last minute to get things done. I have never been an organized person and I am learning that this really holds me back.  There have been times where it seems everything is piling up on me. So here's a tip: don't wait until the last minute to do things because you will find you have too much on your plate
  3. Get to bed early. Being exhausted while teaching children is not a good combination. There have been days where I have to consume copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake
  4. Establish routines quickly and have an effective behavior plan in place. If your students can fall into a routine, the day will run much more smoothly. I am learning this the hard way.  Even in student teaching, my classroom management skills were lacking
  5. Be ready to make changes. This goes for lesson planning, behavior, and routines. Sometimes, my students will want to explore something else. I have found myself changing what we do during the day in order to promote student interest. I have also had to find alternative behavior plans for students so that they can be more successful in the classroom.  Finally, my classroom routine went through many changes before it got to where it is today. It's still changing to make up for disruptions in the day such as bad weather or an unexpected guest
  6. If you are fortunate enough to have a curriculum coach, use them. My curriculum coach is always giving me great constructive criticism about my teaching and ideas for lessons, routines, or behavior plans in my classroom
  7. Read books written for first year teachers. I recommend the following:
The First-Year Teacher's Survival Guide by Julia G. Thompson, $19.28 on Amazon
The First Days of School by Harry K. Wong, $18.51 on Amazon

Good Luck!

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