10 Things I Wish Someone Had Explained Before My First Teaching Job New Teachers by Joel Wagner - January 8, 2011June 5, 20162 I participatedÂ in the Reform Symposium recently and hosted a session entitledÂ 10 Things I Wish Someone Had Explained Before My First Teaching Job. Go to the link here. A lot of these things are topics I’ve covered before, but here is what looks to be the outline for now. Professional Sanity Get a handle on classroom management early Practice selective ignorance Donâ€™t argue with students The phone is your friend Learn from the experience of other teachers Ask questions When someone offers you advice, try to implement the suggestions; if they donâ€™t work, figure out why not and try again Learn to listen Have fun Kids feed off of whatever energy you transfer One of the top ways to fight burnout is to enjoy what you do Be careful not to go overboard and be the fun pushover Personal Sanity Read nonfiction The average millionaire in North America reads 1-2 nonfiction books a month; even though we donâ€™t necessarily aspire to great wealth, the key is to continue learning If you pick one topic and read three books on it, you have probably already become the expert in your circle of friends Allow your students to use Wikipedia, but challenge them to find supporting evidence for its claims Start a blog now! Get involved with other blog and find solutions to your problems Figure out what areas you are an expert, and share with the world (or just your cat) what works for you As you brainstorm ideas, you will start to see how ridiculous some of them are, but also how much potential others of them have Establish a small circle of teacher friends More experienced and less experienced/equally experienced teachers Talk about common problems and creative solutions Donâ€™t be afraid to ask questions Don’t buy more than you can afford One of the most common mistakes new teachers make (especially in the United States) is thinking that their first paycheck is an entitlement to go out and buy a fancy car or upgrade their lifestyle; resist that urge Psychological Sanity Don’t allow work to take over your life Grading homework is important (from what Iâ€™ve heard), but it isnâ€™t the most important thing Remember the teacher who made you grade your neighborâ€™s homework and actually trusted you? Did you think they were lazy, or cool? Leave your work at work (especially your work problems) Avoid stress and burnout like the plague Avoid toxic people and toxic conversations (and toxic teachersâ€™ lounges) Donâ€™t take things personally Listen to John Spencerâ€™s presentation from this morning Set aside personal time Prioritize Exercise Socialize Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.