Oh hey! We haven’t posted in a while but came across this great post for new teachers on Mashable. Check it out below!
When you’re facing a whole room full of bright-eyed students whose future is in your hands, it’s an empowering and totally terrifying feeling. Like any practice, it takes time and experience to learn your way around the classroom. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a few words of wisdom from experienced colleagues.
A few seasoned teachers at Math for America provided tips that first-time educators should know. But even seasoned teachers could benefit from these pieces of advice.
1. Be yourself.
Be a well organized, fiercely boundaried, teacher-shaped version of you, but be yourself. They can smell a faker a mile away.
2. Keep a teacher journal and write down all the great things that happen in your classroom.
Because some days you are going to feel like the worst teacher on the planet. Some days that kid is going to get to you and you’re going to fly off the handle. Some days you are going to want to walk out the door and not come back into your classroom. Ever.
You are going to need to look at those moments that made you laugh, made you smile, made you so proud of them you felt like your heart was going to burst, and made you remember why you signed up to do this amazing, exhausting, fantastic job in the first place.
3. Don’t yell.
Seriously, don’t. Because that one time the whole year, where you actually need to yell to communicate emphasis, it needs to count.
4. Work it out.
Lesson planning will drain your mental energy. Students will drain your emotional energy. You’ll have to channel your physical energy somewhere. Take up running on the weekends or cycling in the afternoons. Yoga also works well, but taking up boxing may be more efficient.
5. Say their names.
One strategy to learn all of your students’ names is to use their names often in the first few days of class. The more you use their names, the easier it will be to memorize them all. After class, you can use a seating chart and rehearse which students sit at which tables/desks so that you will associate a desk with a name and a face. Teaching becomes easier when students feel comfortable in your classroom. (Obviously don’t make them too comfortable.)
Establish good sleep habits. There will always be something left undone at the end of a day. Make a list for the next day and let it go for the night. If you don’t sleep well, you will have the same amount of work the next day but it will be a lot more overwhelming.
7. Assemble a think tank.
You will need people to bounce ideas off of and to engage in meaningful discussion about pedagogy and classroom management with like-minded people in your situation. It has a few effects: a. It lets you know you are not alone, b. others can see what you cannot, c. collaboration is stimulating and d. someone else might pay for beer.
8. Stick to routines.
Nervous about the first day? That’s normal. First impressions are important, but what’s more valuable is how you reinforce your routines during the first few weeks (and months) of school. Choose routines that are short and easy to do. You’ll forget how to execute long routines when you are managing a room full of children.
9. Remember how hard it is to learn something new.
Learning isn’t instant. Teach students that deep, meaningful learning takes time and effort. Tell them how long it took you to learn something like swimming, skiing, cooking, spear fishing, etc. Students often think that if they don’t learn something right away that they’re not “smart” enough.
10. Forget about yesterday.
Some students may test your nerves today. Don’t hold grudges; tomorrow those same students may be amazing in class. Though they made you angry yesterday, show them your smiles today. Smiling makes us all happier anywhere – it’s scientifically proven.
For the link to the full posting check out Mashable