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Monday, July 30, 2012

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was New to Teaching

Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6 is having a link-up for teachers to share their advice to new teachers.  She has some of the most wonderful advice in this post!

 Now, I am no veteran teacher (I'm only going into my fourth year), but I do remember how tough it can be.  So I feel like I still have some valuable information from that perspective.

  1. Use fabric for your bulletin boards and leave it up at the end of the year.  I've heard that some people use twin bed sheets, but you need to iron it before putting it up.  I bought 4 yards of fabric, tacked it up to make sure it was even, and then stapled it down.  It still looks fabulous a year later.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people, even if they are in another grade level.  Sit near them at staff meetings, lunch, and pep rallies.  Don't be afraid to politely excuse yourself if conversations become negative and you're not required to be there.
  3. Make 5 extra copies of class worksheets.  Someone will always lose one, and five is enough to cover that.
  4. Recycle those extra copies once you're done with them.  They usually end up as clutter if you don't.  Keep one copy for next year if you don't have a digital copy.  On that note...
  5. Try to make everything digital.  Then you won't have to worry about making extra copies because you can just print one out when you need one.      
  6. Force yourself to take a break.  You need at least one or two days a week on which you do nothing related to school after you leave school.  On those days, you need to leave at a reasonable time, too.  This might seem counter-productive, but your body and mind need a break to work at full capacity.  When you're tired and stressed, it will take you twice as long to get things done.
Now it's your turn to help pass on the good advice.  What do you wish you knew your first year?


Unknown said...

Love #3 and 4. Luckily my room is right by the copy room, other wise I have taken my entire class to the restroom so I can make a copy.

Megan said...

#6 is so true! Once you're burned out, you're no good to anybody! You, your family, or your students.


I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

Heather said...

Dawn: It seems so simple, but it's saved me many times!

Megan: This is the one that I still struggle with!

Courtney said...

You are totally right about being tired and stressed..and whatever you're trying to accomplish taking twice as long. That was me TODAY! :/ haha
Teaching in Paradise

~Stephanie said...

Taking a break is SO important! Thank you for reminding us of that. Thank you also for linking up!

Teaching in Room 6

Fancy Free in 4th said...

You have some great advice. I just switched to fabric this year. I am excited to see what it will look like. I am a fellow fourth grade teacher too! I love to connect with other upper grade teachers. I am your newest follower and I am about to go back and read some of your other posts to see what other good ideas you have!
I would love if you followed me back!

Fancy Free in Fourth

Amy said...

Take pictures of ideas you see from other teachers that you love, because you can't do everything at once. Follow blogs, and of course Pinterest, to get fresh ideas.

Anonymous said...

When using Fabric on your BB do you sew the edges so that they are "finished" or just put it up as is?

Ms. Cestra

Heather said...

Ms. Cestra: I tuck the edges under and staple. Then I staple border over the edges.