Sunday, August 13, 2017

First Year Teachers...You're Going to be Fine!

Hi All!
So with all the back to school stuff going on, I figured I would write a blog post for those First Year teachers who are starting out this year.
Two years ago, August 2015, I was starting my first year as a teacher.  Not only was it going to be my first year in the classroom but coming from a non-education background, it was my first year facing lesson plans, standards, data, and everything else.  Needless to say, my first week of RTO (returning teacher orientation) as my school called it, I was FREAKING out more and more by the minute. "What were these standards?", "What am I going to plan for the first week?", "How am I going to plan for the year?!"...this was the ONLY thing running through my mind for the first couple of days.
I'm sure most first year teachers feel the same way, so I am here to tell you to take a deep breath because it's going to be FINE!

Here are a few suggestions that I wish I would have known before I started.
1) Take the first day as a chance to get to know your students.  It will not be perfect and your students will be talkative.  You will repeat yourself until you are blue in the face but in the end, your ultimate goal is to start building a relationship with your students and to get them to build relationships with each other.

2)  Don't worry if some of your activities don't go as planned.  That is 100% normal and to be perfectly honest, it will happen plenty of times throughout the year. 😉  Just go with the flow of the day and everything will work out.

3)  I will say it again, your students WILL talk.  You might even have trouble getting their attention.  Take those moments to mentally or even physically jot down what is working, what isn't, and which students you can move around.  It took me a couple of days to realize that I would have to move students around just to keep myself sane...and that's OKAY!👌

4)  Plan on reviewing procedures in the class over and over.  I did this for the whole first week of school.  We reviewed everything from how to close glue sticks to what to do during any and all emergency drills.  This will take time which is why I say...don't worry if you don't get to finish all of your planned activities.  Eventually they will get done and if they don't that's fine too.

5)  Go to your colleagues when you need to.  Ask for help, tips, or information on anything you're struggling with.  If you have a colleague who has been teaching for one year or ten years...remember that they HAVE been in your shoes.  They might have some tips or tricks that may help your first day, first week, or first year run just a little bit smoother.  Working with your colleagues or grade level team will help a lot.  Trust me!

Finally, keep reminding yourself that it is just the first day of school and you have an entire school year to work with your students.  Take it one day at a time and NEVER compare yourself to a veteran teacher.  You WILL get there in your own time.  All that matters is that your students are learning from someone who loves teaching.  Don't forget to put on a smile everyday because you are their role model and YOU will be the reason why your students LOVE LEARNING!

I hope this post has helped you calm your nerves, just a little bit.  You are going to have a GREAT school year!
-Erika-Genevieve
Designs to Grow Minds

P.S. Here's a quote that helped me and I hope it helps you.😊