If you weren’t already aware, the online teaching community is amazing! I set out last week on a little project to assist 1st year teachers; my goal was to answer questions, ease nerves, and give some encouragement. To do so, I reached out to the online teaching community through Instagram and was truly overwhelmed by the response! So many teachers stepped up without hesitation to offer assistance, answer questions, and give encouragement. I cannot say thank you enough to those that jumped at the opportunity to help. This project has turned into so much more that I originally thought it could be and I am beyond excited to share it with all of you.
Before we dive into it I want to thank all of the teachers that participated and let you know where to find them in this online teaching community. All of their responses to the given questions will be posted anonymously throughout this series; however, I want you to know where and how to find them online so that you can connect and collaborate with them.
Thank you to all of these lovely ladies for contributing….
Elementary Teacher Instagram Accounts:
Teaching with Behavior – Special education teacher of students with Autism.
Elementary Teacher Blogs:
Middle School Teacher Instagram Accounts:
Middle School Teacher Blogs:
High School Teacher:
Teacher Talk: Advice for Teachers from Teachers
This is the first post in a series of posts. When I asked teachers to assist in this project I asked them three questions: What is the best teaching advice you’ve ever been given? What would you love to go back and tell yourself before your first year of teaching? & What other advice would you like to pass on to a first year teacher? The first week of this series will feature posts that include the answers to those questions.
For the second phase of my project, I collected questions from future first year teachers and sent them to experienced teachers to get answers to those questions from various experience levels and perspectives. These answers will be organized and shared during the second week of this series.
Now to share the wealth. This advice is fabulous and reading through it as I collected it has been such an encouragement. While collected with first year teachers in mind, this advice is a wealth of information for all teachers. Enjoy!
What is the best teaching advice you’ve ever been given?
- Have fun!
- Be flexible!
- At the end of the day, they all just need to be loved.
- Even though I don’t always follow it- leave work at work and try not to take stuff home. That’s how you burn yourself out and engulf your life in only teaching and leave no time for other things in your life.
- It takes you at least 3 years to feel like you know what you’re doing, it takes 5 years to feel like you’re good at this teaching thing, and it will take your entire career to become a great teacher. Never stop learning, from your students, from your colleagues, from yourself.
- Stay passionate.
- To answer the question “why do you want to be a teacher?” and keep it some place easily accessible. Anytime I am having a rough day I go back and read why and it puts me back in the mindset I need to be in.
- Don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and soon you’ll be doing the impossible!
- It seriously doesn’t matter what it looks like…it matters what the outcome looks like.
- “Do it for the students.” Everything that you plan, implement, teach, get rid of, etc. should be 100% for your students. Get to know them and your life as a teacher will be 10 times easier!
- If students aren’t meeting your behavioral expectations, stop the lesson until they are.
- Take it one day at a time!
- Relationships are the foundation on which a classroom is built.
- Never stop learning.
- Accept failure and use it as a learning tool, don’t ever give up!
- Give yourself room to grow and learn. Be open and honest about your journey because you are not alone! Be open to receiving constructive feedback and actually try to implement the feedback given. You will never know if you don’t try!
- Listen to advice but always do what you think is best for your students.
- The best advice I have been given is to not jump on the bandwagon! You don’t have to implement and do everything you see other teachers doing.But do what’s best for you and your students!
- It only gets better from here! (Given to me on my fist day of school!)
- Emulate those you respect; smile politely at those you don’t.
- The first six weeks of school are the most important for establishing routines, procedures, and relationships.
- The key to everything is classroom management. Before you begin the year create procedures for EVERYTHING. Take the time the first few weeks to teach and practice those procedures. Focus on structure, positive reinforcement, and keeping your room an environment in which learning and children thrive!
- If they are laughing at you, they are learning from you. (Usually LOL)
- Prepare thoroughly, but be able to adapt and be flexible because things rarely go according to plan.
- “Smile, nod, then close the door and do what’s best for your kids.” A teacher at my school told me this during my first year and I’ve heard variations of it since then. I interpreted this to mean that you should ALWAYS focus on what’s best for the kids, regardless of what your administration, curriculum, or other teachers say. You know your kids best (not better than their parents, but you catch my drift) and you know what they need to learn best.
- One of the best pieces of advice is to set a timer my first year teaching and LEAVE the building at that time. There will ALWAYS be work left to do. So many first year teachers get burned out because they try to do it all. There will be work to do…always…so balance out the work with having a life outside of the classroom.
- To plan ahead, but be flexible and willing to change and readjust when needed.
- Focus on the kids and how you’re giving them access to the best education, and not the school politics.
- One of the best pieces of teaching advice I ever received came from my cooperating teacher during my student teaching experience. She told me that there will always be papers to grade, bulletin boards to do, and lessons to prepare– but that I need to take time out for myself. After having taught for a few years I now see that taking time for myself is not selfish or wrong and it actually energizes me to get that work done quicker when I do get to it!
- Always remember you are there for the kiddos! When all else fails, they are still there for you too.
- Make sure you leave time for yourself and reward yourself!
- First day advice: make your kids feel welcome, get them fed, and get them home. Breathe. You will love those kids like you’ve never loved anyone/anything before. Smile. 🙂
First year teachers, I am so excited for you to start this journey into the field of education. Your first year will be a roller coaster. There will be good days and bad days but remember why you decided to be a teacher and cherish the good days. Know that you have an entire online community cheering for you and ready to come to your assistance should you need it.