Today I wish I had some ‘teaching advice’ but unfortunately today was a not so good day, in fact, it hasn’t been a good few weeks.
I started off this week with a slight cold, so you can imagine the headache that came with that as well as the body pain. Now imagine having all of these symptoms and having 34 children constantly talking, demanding your attention and humming( my absolute worse sound in a class, I’ve threatened with demerits).
But as bad as you feel, you keep going on. There’s this thing about teachers you should know, they would have to be dying before they leave their class to someone else. (Some people would call this ‘control issues’. I call it ‘being in control’.)
Anyway as bad as you feeling you still have to fill in all your papers, there are still due dates that have to be met and you still need to think about your planning for the following week. It’s a lot! I have a secret that helps me keep going.
Prayer. I’ve found that my prayers are answered every single day, even when the days are the hardest, I still find an answered prayer. God is faithful and if you are doing his will then He’s got you! He makes me the teacher I am. All the glory to Him!
It’s crazy to think that this is a year of firsts for me. Every single day is my first day, I’ve never been a teacher on the 3rd of May before. But today, I taught.
You can get as much advice from others as you possibly can(which is a good thing) but teaching is definitely trial and error. You can be as prepared as you want to be but at the end of the day, your amazing idea for an art activity that involves paint and leaves, will without a doubt flop. (In your first year of teaching, that is)
Let me tell you why this happens because we often have this perfect lesson plan in our heads for perfect children but guess what?? We don’t have perfect children, we wouldn’t be teaching if they were perfect children.
So even though art is very very exciting (for them), in my opinion start off with something a little less extravagant. Now don’t get me started on the glitter, glitter is for your own art not for the classroom (if you take anything away from this, take my advice on the GLITTER).
I got my class list a few days before I actually met my class. When I got it, I thought “how am I going to learn, never mind learn, say the names out loud???”
I said them out loud a couple of times (the way I thought they would be pronounced), and I made name tags to stick on their desks. I was ready for them. Or so I thought🙈.
I’m not joking a had to ask about 70% of my children,”how do you say your name?” for about 3-4weeks. (Seriously Beth, it’s not that hard!) Eventually they just started correcting me which helped so much, they say you learn from you students well mine taught me very well. Especially when I am a bit irritated and I have to shout out their names, now I do it with so much confidence.
So if you think learning to pronounce their names is hard. Try learning to distinguish between actual ‘problem children’ and just down right lazy children. It almost makes you feel silly, because you realize after 3 weeks that you’ve been giving your extra energy to a lazy child. Which got me feeling a bit frustrated with myself, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who has done this.
Because you don’t know these children, there’s no way you can possibly have them all sitting in the correct seats on the first day. So my advice on this is just seat them in alphabetical order and take it from there. After 2 hours on the first day you’ll have to move about 3 already. I’ve heard you’ll be moving children all year. An experienced teacher (Incredible Teacher Sue) told me, you don’t have to move them every term. In fact her exact words were “don’t make more work for yourself” (those words are true for every situation in teaching).
Just to give you some background I am teaching Grade 2 in a government school. I currently have 34 children in my classroom.
The purpose of this website is to document my journey as a first year teacher, I’m just going to start off by saying “only the brave teach.”
Now I used to read this saying often and think, “nah, it can’t be that bad. They’re just little children who need love.” Well, I’m telling you now, nothing, absolutely nothing could’ve prepared me for what was about to hit me on the first week of school this year. To be specific the term started on the 17th of January and before that date, I had already felt overwhelmed.
Now you’re thinking what could you possibly be overwhelmed with, you had no children in your class. Yessss, well I was overwhelmed by the load of papers I received, that all seemed to be really important but I had no idea why. I am not exaggerating when I say I received about 30 pieces of IMPORTANT papers that week. Seriously I should post a picture of it.
In my overwhelmed state, I started chatting to quite an experienced teacher and she said to me “I keep a file that is called ‘documents for viewing’ and anything and everything I receive, I’ll put it in there.” Now this advice is so worth taking! Take it from a first year teacher. This file is the first thing you’ll need in your classroom (other an a stapler).
Thanks for joining me, I hope you are ready to hear some of my stories. Watch this space!!
Teaching is a walk in the park….if that park is Jurassic Park..