Notes to a new teacher

Dear Fledgling New Teacher,

It doesn’t help you to know that all teachers were first year or new teachers, so let’s just get to it! Here’s some advice:

For your personal growth and well-being as an educator:
1.) Get a journal and write down the good things that happen in your classroom – even if you write sporadically. It is really nice to look at on those days when you wonder why the hell you thought you wanted to be a teacher anyway!
2.)Keep a folder of kudos; again this will cheer you when you are deep in despair. Place cards, notes, anything that applauds your hard work in it. It is nice validation. We all need to be validated once in a while. We tend to remember the crappy days and forget the really great days in education and life as well.
3.)Don’t listen to the negative things that go on in the lounge. It is really easy to get caught up in that mess. If you can’t rise above the negative, stay outta the lounge!

For your ability to be a good teacher:
Next, you must plan, plan and plan and then be really flexible. Over plan so that you always have something for your students to do. Down time only gets you and students in trouble!
Believe that everyone who comes through your door didn’t get there easily and they will HEAR and REMEMBER everything you say to them, so pretend you are being recorded every second of the day, because you probably are.

Next, you must let the child win or “save face.” This is the most important advice that you will ever hear! Let it go in class and deal one on one with students. Don’t overly reprimand a student in class unless he is a danger to others. Ask him to step out in the hall. Never get into a showdown because you will not win!

If you don’t like the classroom, get out and find a new job. You have to love your students… it isn’t a vocation; it isn’t a job; it is a LIFE.
Good Luck! And now you will be an excellent teacher! May the Force be with you!

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