It’s Back to School time!!! I am pulling out my list of things to get done before school starts and here is the first thing I put on my To-Do list!!!
Whether you are a brand new teacher entering your first classroom or a veteran teacher, there are always mistakes made, that if you aren’t careful, will have you wondering if you chose the right career!!! Read on…
Mistake 1. “I will be a friend to my students.” Yeeeeaaaah, no! If you think they will obey you and give you no problems because you are a “friend”, you are setting yourself up for all kinds of trouble. Students already have their friends and they need a teacher, not another friend. You will find yourself being disappointed, like I was, as my students still didn’t turn in homework or follow the classroom rules for me, their friend. You may see yourself as your students’ friend, but the feeling isn’t mutual.
Mistake 2. Believing what veteran teachers tell you about “that” or “those” students!!!! Speaking as a former “helpful” teacher” (I broke myself of this terrible habit by hanging with positive colleagues.) I thought I doing a good thing by “warning” new teachers about their students. I’m shaking my head looking back at my actions. Not meaning to, I was setting up both students and their teachers for problems. Students should enter the new classroom with a clean slate, just like us!!!
Mistake 3. “I can just tweak the lessons from last year” or “I ‘ll just use the lessons my grade level chairperson just gave me.” Seems like a reasonable plan, doesn’t it. Time is saved…no harm, no foul, right? Just one problem…What worked for the class last year won’t always work for this group of students. Why?”, you ask It’s a biggie. Lean close and listen…THESE ARE DIFFERENT STUDENTS!!! Your lessons must be geared to the students you have now…not last year’s kids. I REALLY learned this the hard way…save your sanity and LOADS of misbehavior and gear your lessons to the class you have this year.
Mistake 4. You react to every grumble, mumble, or groan that is made in your classroom. Deep breath, within reason, let it go!!! Our students are kids and often what we are asking them to do is new, hard, or boring. It happens and that’s OK. Not every lesson will be scintillating and action packed. Not every student will be engaged in your fabulous lesson. Think about staff meetings…are they scintillating and action packed? Are they engaging? Of course not…we, as adults, have just learned to keep our grumbles, mumbles, or groans to ourselves. Let it go, unless the noise totally disrupts your lesson and then take whatever action must be taken.
I could go on and on…I tell my kids, that’s half the reason I became a teacher…I like to talk and write. I made LOTS of mistakes. I’m hoping you all can learn from my mistakes!
If you have any advice that will help save other teachers from mistakes, please share it!