Ask some teachers why they decided to become teachers, and you’re likely to hear plenty of different answers. Some may say that they wanted to make a difference in people’s lives; others enjoy working with the youth, while others are just excited about the three months vacation they receive every year.
There is a lot involved in being a teacher. There are the fun days, like bringing out river models for science class or going on extended field trips where it feels like you’ve been traveling non-stop for a century.
If you’re just starting your teaching journey, here are some crucial tips for your new career:
Rely on Fellow Teachers
Even though it may seem like everyone around you has got it all figured out, everyone was once in the same spot you were. Nervous, anxious, and maybe even a little scared about what lay ahead.
They may not show it out, but they all remember their first day, first week, and first year of teaching. That also means that they are going to be very likely to help you out. Ask them questions, solicit help, and try to make a few friends along the way. Having people you can lean on will only make the journey more comfortable!
Don’t be Afraid to be You
Throughout your schooling and practicums, you may have tried to follow the book and make sure everything was going perfectly according to plan.
After a while, you may have noticed that it’s impossible to follow the book. There is no perfect solution for every situation that may arise, and after a while, you need to develop your own teaching style. Try and match your teaching style to your personality. If you’re someone that jokes around, then joke around in the class. Embrace your style!
Work on Classroom Management Techniques
One of the most complicated things about being a teacher is finding the ideal management techniques. It’s something that takes a lot of time to develop properly. Plus, what may have worked when you were a student or even what veteran teachers say worked could not be a solution anymore. Education has evolved to a great extent over the past 50 years. Don’t be afraid to experiment at the beginning, but once you have something that works, make sure you’re sticking to it.
Go Outside of the Box
It’s natural in your first year to try and follow everything to a T. You’re new and don’t want to ruffle any feathers, so it may be best to play it safe. But once you get into your rhythm, why not try to go outside the box to teach your classes? Embrace cool science projects like a spewing volcano or bring in river models to teach your class.
There are limitless possibilities out there, and you can even look for some of your own to be developed and experimented with. If you mess up, that’s fine. No one is ever perfect. Even the grizzled teaching veteran who was teaching Benjamin Franklin has made a lot of mistakes. They probably also made some in the last 24 hours!
So don’t fret when you make a big mistake or completely flop on a presentation. It happens and can be part of a larger learning opportunity, even though you’re the one teaching everyone out there!