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As this school year winds down, I began reflecting back to my first year of teaching. I asked myself:
– What sorts of things dominated my thoughts, actions, and teaching?
– What is the same?
– How have I grown?
– What would I change?
I decided to compile a list of advice.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll become better because of it.
Don’t be hard on yourself because of it.
Don’t isolate yourself. There are personal and professional opportunities when connecting and bonding with your colleagues.
Stick up for your time and talent, but don’t always be a naysayer. There may be unforeseen opportunities in your “yes’s.”
or at least knows what the education world is like. Every aspect of education can be hard and complicated at times. Not everyone knows or realizes this fact. Talk and problem-solve with someone to work towards relevant solutions.
Yes, long-term planning is great and all, but it’s overwhelming. Do what you can control and what needs to be done immediately.
I’m honestly still working on this piece of advice. Set limits and stick to them as best you can.
Always go back to your passion. Ask yourself if you are fulfilling your goals. If not, you may need to re-prioritize.
Capitalize on yourself and your talents. Your strengths, no matter how singular, can inform every part of your teaching day. If you’re efficient and organized it doesn’t just translate to your physical space. It also informs your teaching environment, interactions with colleagues and students, and curriculum. Your strengths will help you tackle your weaknesses.
There’s no sense in dwelling.
Take chances and challenge yourself. Like mistakes, you can only grow from them!
Seriously. Give yourself a break and have a little fun.
While these tips are great for first-year teachers, I find them to be great reminders for myself now as well! If you want even more advice, in addition to the guidance above, be sure to check out these great articles:
What do you wish you knew your first year of teaching? How have you changed?
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received about teaching?