This year I am in the position to be able to work relatively closely with two first-year teachers and a second-year teacher. I also am working full time with a third-year teacher. One of my primary objectives this year is to be able to talk through some of their challenges and hopefully offer some suggestions for how they can better grow as teachers through the process. I see them making a lot of the mistakes that I used to make. In my discussions with some of the more experienced folks around me, I hear them refer to these as rookie mistakes.
We all make mistakes in our jobs on a daily basis. Some mistakes that we make are more normal than others. As I spend more time in the education field (I am now in my ninth year of teaching), I find that some of these “rookie mistakes” are pretty common for the younger teachers. Some of them are things I’ve even advocated on this blog in its early days.
It’s interesting to see how the light switch has slowly been flipped in my mind and how my approach this year is drastically different from anything I’ve done in the past. I started to see the shift early last school year but didn’t fully experience it until the beginning of summer band this July. WOW, is all I can say!
Needless to say, I have been staying busy with these new folks and marching band and doing everything else that is involved in my little band director world, but over the next few weeks/months, I plan on walking through my evolution of the first nine years of teaching. From pushover to dictator to bully to facilitator to inspiration. Or at least something like that…
So what are some of these rookie mistakes?
- Being boring
- Too much energy
- Trying to be too nice
- Trying to be too mean
- Spending too much time on one concept
- Not realizing when the students are completely lost
- Busy work
- Empty Threats
What are some others that I’ve left off the list? How are some of the ways you have addressed these and other common rookie mistakes?