When I think back to the beginning of my teaching career, I can't believe it was so long ago. I've learned so many things over the years that have helped. I'd like to share some of them with you.
One of the first things that I was taught in college was to be nice to the
custodian. He or she is your best friend and literally holds the keys to the school. Remember to always say hello, and show your appreciation with a Small gift at the end of the year and/ or during Christmas. Your other good friend is the office staff who run the school.
Remember that the first year is the hardest. Everything is new, you are constantly being evaluated. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will make
mistakes, that’s how we all learn. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from
veteran teachers, they’ve been there and done that. Most are very happy to share their knowledge with you.
For the first weeks of school be friendly, but a bit distant, esp. for older children. Try not to smile much. Be stern, this is the time to mold your class, to teach them the rules, regulations, and what you expect of them. Believe me, from years of experience, I learned the hard way. Kids are cute, you want to smile and be easy on them. If you do, you’ll suffer for the rest of the year. Discipline is so important for learning to take place. After a few weeks, you can let down your guard a bit and show them that you have a sense of humor. If later during the year, they act up, you can remind them of what it was like at the beginning of the year. If you say, “Do you want me to treat you the way I did in August/September, I will.” Most will say no. They like a more relaxed atmosphere. This leads to my next tip.
Be human, don’t be afraid to joke with your class, to smile and to just enjoy them. Let them know that you make mistakes too, and tell them to let you know if you make a mistake, they love pointing this out to you. Make some errors on purpose to keep them on their toes. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself, we all do silly things once in a while. They will love you for it.
Do have group meetings, especially in the morning after announcements, and they’ve settled down. Children have so many things to tell you, and if you let them, they will get it out of their system, and be able to work for the rest of the day. Especially now-a-days, so many little ones come into school unhappy about their life situation, their parent’s may be divorced, they may be abused and the list goes on and on. If you give them time to let things out, you’ll be so happy you did. and so will they. When you have time during the day, call them to your desk, one at a time and just talk to them. This lets them know that you really care and you will have most of them eating out of your hands. Their parents too.
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Please be sure to read the tips from these veteran teachers who are members of our Sharing is Caring Teacher Blogging Collaborative. We’d love to hear from you, so please leave feedback.