Teaching can be a lonely profession. You are around students all day, but a lot of times you don't get to be around other professionals. This is one reason I blog and have a social media presence. I like the connection. It is also what made me think to write this post. I was thinking about all the new teachers who would be going back to work this week. I remembered the isolated feeling that was so intense when I first started teaching.
So, new teachers, here's your hug...and a few tips for starting the new semester.
1. Take the time to revisit your expectations.
Go over these things explicitly. Don't just remind the students. Reteach them. You will be able to tell if they remember what you expect. Be alert and if you notice them slacking, stop and reteach. It must be done. There is no way around this. If you don't do this, no learning will take place. Students will meet your expectations most of the time. However, you must be consistent, and you must ensure they understand what is expected.
2. Hang around the most positive teachers that you work with.
I mean this from the bottom of my heart. If you hang around with downers, you will get down yourself. Find people with passion. These people will be collaborators, innovators, smilers. They won't keep their teaching tricks to themselves. They will share their wisdom with you and be tickled when you and your students are successful. These people do not speak ill of students either. They love and respect their students and the families in the school community. They don't bad mouth them. However, they do identify problems and seek to solve them. This is vital to a successful teaching career.
3. Get to know your students as human beings.
Talk to them. Show interest in them. Respect them. It is just better for everyone if you do this.
4. Make sure you give your students opportunities to be creative, active, and social.
We crave these things as human beings. We aren't robots. Use Arts Integration. Take active brain breaks. Build conversation via analytical discussion into your lessons.
5. SANITIZE SANITIZE SANITIZE, GERMX, GERMX, GERMX, WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!!!!!!!!
Did I make that point clear?
Fake it til you make it if you have to...but smile. You might be the only smiling adult that your students see all day.