Post # 1
AHHHH! I have a final interview scheduled with the Assistant Superintendent of the district –which I take to be a formality from what my teacher buddies have told me.
I was “recommended for hire” by my top school choice for the position I wanted (8th grade U.S. History) . It is the school I student taught at and I will be collaborating with my “mentor teacher,” as she teaches the same subject. I am so, so excited–I can’t wait to get this last hurdle over with so that I can have my name on a contract!
BUT-I am also scared $hitless! I am going to be responsible for a bunch of students come August. It is WAY different than being the “cool student teacher.” I love being in the classroom, but I am so nervous. I hear horror stories from first year teachers all the time, and I am afraid I am going to be a miserable person to be around or something.
So–those of you who are teachers, please give me advice on how to survive my first year!
Post # 3
Make sure you are fair, consistent, firm, and knowledgable. If you do not know an answer, show your students how you would look it up — it’s okay not to know.
It will be hard, but it will be fun as well.
Remember what it was like to be in middle school…it will help you sympathize with the kids.
Don’t get into an argument with students.
Contact parents frequently for both good and bad things.
Schedule regular meetings with your mentor teacher so you get the most out of that.
Always ask for advice the minute you feel worried about something!
You will be fine!!
Post # 4
Have something to fall back on….
Teaching is NOT what it used to be!
Post # 5
Don’t try to do EVERYTHING! Especially your first year. You’ll probably always feel behind or like you have so much to do. That’s ok.
Whatever you do, do not get in a power struggle with a student.
Get super organized.
Be yourself. Kids can pick up on when you use that phony “teacher” voice and when you keep it real. I teach kindergarten and I keep it real with them. Talk to them. Tell them the truth. They understand so much more than you think.
Try to find a principal who you respect and stick with them. They make all the difference in the world.
You are only a first year teacher once. It gets SOOOO much better after your first year.
Post # 6
Oh, good luck.
In my area, they say not to smile until after Christmas break. That is a little much, but be tough in the beginning. It is easier to become nicer as you learn your class, but it is almost possible for the kids to take you seriously if you start off “nice”.
Post # 7
Commenting to keep this thread in mind for when I start teaching next year 🙂
Post # 8
It will be hard, but it is rewarding.
It is normal to have favorites. There is always going to be that one kid that just bugs you for no particular reason. It’s ok. Learn to manage those feelings but don’t beat yourself up over not loving each one of your kids.
Teamwork is so important. Be open to constructive criticism and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Make friends with your fellow teachers.
Be firm but kind. Don’t be afraid to be tough on them in the beginning. It’s important to have their respect from the beginning. It’s easier to lighten up later in the year than it is to become stricter.
Make sure you can respect your administrators. A good principal is invaluable. He/she doesn’t have to be someone you’d be friends with outside of work, but if she/he works hard, is fair, and has a good rapport with the parents, it makes your life so much easier.
Post # 9
best advice ever- don’t move to New York State! haha APPR, CCSS, state tests based off of modules (scripted teaching) that haven’t actually been released yet. LOL
best advice- PICK YOUR BATTLES- not only with students, but with your coworkers as well. Sometimes it is much more helpful to just say “ok” and move on.
As a special ed teacher I am advocating for my students on a daily basis with aged teachers who are set in their ways feel like my kids don’t belong in their classrooms (My school won “most senior staff”) in all of WNY! I will let some things go (that are trivial in my mind) so that they know that when I AM fighting for something for my kids I am serious about it.
Always have an extra seat work bin for when students finish things early or as morning/beginning of class work.
students with nothing to do = chaos!!!!!!!!
Post # 10
Thanks all! I appreciate all of your words of wisdom!!
@Tatertot2003: and oh, I know. I learned the chaos thing during student teaching. If I had extra time at the end of class, I would just question them about what we learned, have them ask questions, or tell them to answer some open-ended question in their journal. The most free time I EVER gave them was one minute..and even that was pushing it haha
Post # 11
I’m about to start my student teaching this fall and hopefully start a job next fall, I’m so excited!!! I keep hearing horror stories, but try to focus on the positives and the children, so it can go smooth hehe
@MissSooner: just curious, how’d the interview go?! any advice on how to handle such a big interview? 🙂
Post # 12
@MissSooner: I, too, am starting my first year. I’m a high school band director, so I’ve actually started meeting students already for summer activities. My advice, esp. if you are on the younger side, is to remember that the students aren’t your friends, they are your students. I have a lot in common, interest-wise, with my high schoolers (and I did with my middle schoolers when I was an associate last year) and it’s easy to slip into casual conversation. It doesn’t help that I look like a high schooler too!!! 🙂 Even though you want to be the “cool” teacher (everyone does!) remember that you need to be more authoritative towards the kids and keep a distinct line between being friendly and being friends.
Post # 13
@cherriesandcream: Sorry I am just getting back to you–I just got married and am just now getting back into reality. haha The interview with the Assistant Superintendent went great. He mostly asked OBVIOUS questions and I think he was a Social Studies guy, so that made building a rapport easy. Also, pretty sure he taught my mom haha.
The initial interview with the principal was nerve-wracking, but if you are yourself and stay relatively calm, you will do fine. Make it clear that you have a passion for what you do, have some idea of how to help students connect with material…and EXAMPLES, EXAMPLES, EXAMPLES. If they ask you a vague question, answer with a specific case that fits their question as best you can. Just try not to ever look blind-sided. haha You will have tons of examples and stories from student teaching.
@ms_margarita: Yes, I know. Luckily, they are junior high so there is SOME difference there. I agree with you, though. I want my students to like me–or at least not hate me–but I definitely value respect more. I think if I work hard to set up that line in the beginning, it will go much smoother the rest of the year.
Post # 14
I’m a teacher bee too! I teach a special education class. It is going to be exhausting and amazing and so worth it! Keep your head up, keep smiling and remember why you wanted to teach in the first place!
Post # 15
Don’t try to make them like you… it will come naturally. I find that once you are young (and dress nicely) they would like you.
Start off like one in authority or they would take you as one of them and eventually have no respect for you. After you let that be known thats when you can “be friends” with them.
Also, don’t accept rudeness especially in the beginning because they would look on you as an easy pushover.
I’m 24 and has been teaching since 2010. I’ve taught Spanish from kindergarten to the 11th grade.
Post # 16
@tiff-tiff-tiff: Thanks–I appreciate it. I am turning 24, so we are about the same age. That makes me feel better. I am always concerned that my age is going to be a detriment in the classroom, starting out.