November is Reader Appreciation Month at So You Want To Teach? This year’s focus is First Year Teaching Tips. There’s still room if you want to participate! Contact me and let me know your answer to this question:
What are some things you wish you had known before you started your first year of teaching?
Today’s response is from Scribbler, the author of Scribbler’s Den.
This has been a great exercise. I have so much to write about now!
- A school’s focus on student results and grades is not necessarily a focus on their education. You should focus on their education.
- The structure of the school year into units, terms and semesters mean the years will pass by more swiftly than you can believe possible. I feel like my first year of teaching ended just yesterday.
- School can be an opportunity to pursue your hobbies (in my case, technology and writing). The passion you have for your hobbies can power your teaching.
- Students for all their moaning about lack of freedom love structure and routine.
- That new literacy initiative is the same as the literacy initiative introduced 15 years ago only it has a different name. Get a senior teacher’s perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of the program.
- Students are more forgiving than teachers are. Teachers can be like elephants (they never forget).
- Believe that students can teach you to be a better teacher: not just other teachers. You get to see their reactions first hand and they can be brutally honest when presented the chance to give feedback.
- Teaching experience may be important but the energy, initiative and attitude of a first year teacher are powerful teaching tools as well. I try to team up with first year teachers wherever possible. Their enthusiasm is contagious.
- Playground duty is an opportunity to network and build rapport, not a chore.
- You shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel; borrow, beg and ‘steal’ resources from your colleagues, the internet etc. And remember to share what you find.
- Some school initiatives are CV initiatives. Learn how to say no politely but firmly if student interests aren’t the focus or your schedule can’t take the load.
Yeah I know there are eleven things listed. I couldn’t help it. :)