Wow, just typing that title was exciting. Although many questions fill my head about how you (I?) are doing, what the future looks like, where you are reading this from right now, and so many more, I wonder mostly about what life in the classroom looks like. I wonder about the pandemic (pleeeease say it’s over) and how schools are responding to it, I wonder what grade I chose to teach, and how it is all going inside the classroom. I do know, however, that wherever you landed, you are enjoying it and you are killing it.
I am loving college and these moments I have right now but I am equally as excited to begin working in the classroom. I feel eager to just jump in and start, partly because we do not get to be in a classroom right now for field experience and I miss that, but also because some of my best memories were working at the pre-school! I really miss that environment and those kiddos, and I feel like that affirms that this is the right job for me. Although I only taught for one year, there are a few really valuable things that I learned that I wish I heard more while I was a teacher.
- It is so okay – and NECESSARY – to ask for help!
So often I found myself not knowing how to support all of my students best, where to find resources and supplies, and overall navigating the crazy life of teaching. Being a first-year teacher is tough. On the bright side, you technically already did it! I know that it is going to be super overwhelming jumping into a new school, having a whole new set of coworkers, and practicing all of your personal beliefs. Remember, you would not have gotten hired if they did not believe in you and think that you would be a good fit for the school and your kiddos! Give yourself credit – you are smart and deserving of where you are. Also, ask for help. There is already so much expected of you, do not make life harder than it needs to be! It is going to be a stressful transition, but asking for help from people who have been in your shoes before will be so relieving.
Also, it is okay if you do not have an aesthetically pleasing classroom like this or your day doesn’t seem to go as smoothly as this. Tik tok teachers have bad days too, they just rarely show it! (p.s., same goes with your teacher friends!)
2. Actively practice teaching with gratitude!
There are going to be toughhhh days. I am sure you remember those days and might have already experienced a few by now. But, you can do it. You are equipped to handle the outbursts, the heartbreaks, and the days that just feel impossible. When you need a reminder of why you are doing what you do, find a quiet space for even just a minute and pick out one good thing that happened today. It might be hard, but there is joy and laughter in every day! Here are some examples if it is hard to think of some: you are blessed to have a job, transportation, the kiddos who made you laugh today, and an amazing support system!
3. Take a break!
There is always going to be more to do. It will never end! I am sure that as you are reading this you have something to prep, something to cut, something to blah blah blah! You will not be able to give if you do not give to yourself! Practice self-care, do what you love to do, and do not overthink everything! Stay organized, prioritize what you need to do, and everything will fall into place. Your 6-year-old students will not notice whether or not you created your own activity or borrowed something from online – promise.
You got this. I know, because:
(this letter in no way condones listening to all advice from Kim Kardashian)
Remember all the people who love you and believe in you, especially your students. You can do this!