Congratulations! After four (or more) long years you have finally achieved what sometimes felt unachievable – a job in your dream career! But now what? Where do you even begin in becoming the teacher you always dreamt you’d be?
Your first teaching job is a milestone moment, and we’ve put together some helpful hints to get your journey off to a smooth start. There’s also some advice at the end of this post from our beloved Top Teacher Tribe to you!
We cannot stress how important it is to build those relationships from the get-go. A simple good morning, fist bump or quick conversation as they get settled for the day is all it takes to make your students feel welcome and important. Building these relationships from the beginning will reward you tenfold throughout the year as you manage classroom behaviour. We all behave better, work harder and enjoy being around people who we have a genuine relationship with. Your students are no different!
This may be other new teachers who are walking the same path as you and can relate like no one else. Or a mentor teacher who can help guide you along the way (keep you from volunteering for extra committees etc) and stop you from sweating the small stuff. Try to visit the staffroom for either recess or lunch each day, not only is it great to get out of your classroom it’s a fantastic way to build those relationships.
You do not have to do all the things. Finishing uni these days means graduating into a world of Pinterest worthy, colour coordinated classrooms, not to mention the Instagram teacher community which is awesome but also overwhelming. Use these tools to gather ideas and inspiration, but be realistic not only about what is necessary but also achievable.
Create new student packs when you are prepping at the start of the year (spare name tags, book covers, desk mats, welcome information notes) put it all in a ziplock bag ready to be pulled out when a new student is presented to you 5 minutes before the bell rings!
It is so important to take time out to keep in touch with friends, keep up to date with your favourite tv series or attend your pilates class. Work life balance will look different person to person, do what works for you! It may mean staying back at school to complete work so that it doesn’t come home, working a couple of nights a week to free your weekend up or leaving work at a reasonable time each day but setting aside time on the weekend to work.
💗 There will be good days and not so good days but tomorrow is always a new day.
🧡 You don't have to buy all of your one resources straight away, you don't have to have a ponterest worthy classroom to be a good teacher!!!
💛 Don’t rewrite the will, people are more than happy to share ideas and resources most of the time!
💚 You will cry a lot but don't be embarrassed everyone does. It just means you care.
💙 Don't stress if you can't fit everything in. Nobody can, it's not just you.
💜 You will make mistakes! Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Even the most experienced teachers make mistakes - we’re all human and it’s how we grow as educators! Good luck & enjoy the fun and frivolity!!!
💗Forming a relationship with your students should be the number one thing on your “To Do” list.
🧡 Pinterest never shows you the after photo. Students will always mess up your hard work within seconds.
💛 Ask questions and seek advice if you’re unsure or don’t know. EVERYONE has been a graduate, so they have gone through the same feelings you have.
💚 Also, don’t feel pressured to buy or make the latest teacher/classroom ‘it’ things. You need to figure out what is going to work for you, your kids, and your classroom.
💙 Trust that you are doing the best you can at that given time. Don't compare your Chapter 1 with someone else's Chapter 50!!