Top ten things I would tell a teacher candidate
10. While student teaching, pay close attention to how your teacher disciplines. Ask if you can listen in when they talk one on one with a student, when the call parents, or any other situations where a teacher has to handle a student’s decision one-on-one.
9. Decide early on how you are going to reward/punish individually and as a group. Finding this balance will make your room run smoothly.
8. Don’t be afraid to change things mid-year. Communicate with your students that they are a part of their flexible class, and that you all will learn and adjust together.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your principal, especially as a first year teacher, they are their to help you.
6. Trust me that you are not a miracle worker. You can give your 110% everyday, and you will still have students that are not motivated to learn. This is not your fault. Don’t let it eat you alive.
5. Don’t try to grade everything. There are ways to assess without looking at EVERY SINGLE answer on each page. Be creative in your assignments to give the students variety AND make it easier on you.
4. Implement a no tattling rule the first day. Unless they are injured or in danger have another way for them to “tell”.
3. Start each day new with each student. This is tricky, but if you can leave each day with the mindset that tomorrow is new, your frustration level with each student will be less.
2. Find a stress-outlet. I write my “teaching happenings” in a blog and have three teacher friends that I vent to. No one is perfect, the key is releasing the hardships of teaching in a healthy manner. I try not to take it home to my husband because he doesn’t understand.
1. Keep parents on your team! Do what it takes. I try to make each parent that walks in my classroom feel like his or her student is the most important child in my classroom! People often tell me I’m too full of energy. This does not come naturally, but if I can win those parents over with my first impression, my year will be easier. Get to know each of the students and add those little tid-bits in to the conversation. If the parents can see you really know their child, they will bend over backwards to help you!