Walking into that classroom on the first day, knowing you have about 30 new children for which you are now responsible. Not only for shaping their education, but for being a counselor, nurse, parent figure and behavioral manager, things can get pretty daunting pretty quickly.
Here are some tips that greatly helped my rollercoaster journey through my first year of teaching.
- Empathize with your children: Get to know your kids and let them know you. You are a HUGE part of their lives as they are of yours.
- Be flexible: So many things can change within a week, always have a back up plan or activities under your sleeve.
- Find a mentor: Super important to have an experienced person to help you through communication with parent emails, disputes and issues, and also someone to help sympathize with a long day.
- Classroom management: Be firm and set clear boundaries. Children will push these as far as they can. Follow through with consequences fairly and always keep promises.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help: People make mistakes, do as you teach, learn from them.
- Don’t let work over shadow your personal life: Please have a break, you don’t have to answer those late emails from parents, make a choice!
- Respect is earnt: Children can pick up on vibes of people so easily and can notice when a person is grumpy, doesn’t like them etc.
- Aim to have a decent conversation with at least 10 children per day: Sometimes classes can have 2-3 children who over shadow others in terms of need. Make sure you reach those quiet ones.
- My best question was always “Why are we learning this?” : What purpose does your lesson have to the children? Is it relevant to them? Can they use this information?
- The best piece of advice I can give, “If you can reach and change the behavior/ abilities of at least 2 children you have had a very successful year.”