I’m excited that I’ve officially got my first first day under my belt as a new teacher. Huzzah!
It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks, and man, am I tired….
Last week was pre-planning, which essentially means that for the majority of each day I was sitting in meetings that could have been scheduled after the start of school, dealt with via e-mail, or included a more exclusive population of the faculty (i.e. I didn’t get much out of them, but someone might have.). I was warned this was how it would be, but I was also hopeful that I would be able to get more class planning done than I did. Instead I did a lot of work in the evenings…
Tuesday was the first day of school in my district. High school starts at the lovely hour of 7:30 a.m. This means I’m getting up at the wee hour of 5:45 a.m. to wake up, get some coffee in me, and look somewhat presentable to impressionable high schoolers. Getting back into the early hours coupled with the physical-ness of being on my feet for nearly 8 hours straight has been taking its toll. I’ve been exhausted at the end of the day.
My feet have also been quite sore, so I’m rethinking my shoes. They seemed comfortable, but after being up and walking around all day long I’m not so sure.
I’m getting excellent lessons in going with the flow, because my classes still haven’t evened out. Right now I have 49 students on my roster for my last period for tomorrow. But Wednesday it was 54, so progress is being made!
But I’ve been keeping my head up. It’s been a good week, and I’m really looking forward to working with my students.
What advice would I give to new teachers starting out? Here’s my top 5:
- Join your union!!! Do it for solidarity. Do it for protection. Do it to lend your voice to issues that are important to you (e.g. raises, benefits, pro-education legislation, etc…). Do it for discounts through your parent unions. Find your site representative and join your union.
- Just breathe. Whatever they throw at you, however many kids you have scheduled in your room, however often they change your schedule: just breathe. Considering that the scheduling wasn’t this disorganized when I started my job in January, it all seems to work out in the end.
- Get some damn comfortable shoes. Pay the extra money! Get the ones with the cushy insoles. I Googled comfy shoes, and my shoes still might not be comfy enough… Must go for “extreme comfy shoes” next time.
- Get involved. While being on a committee does take extra time, it also helps you understand the inner workings of your school. It gives you the opportunity to make connections outside of your department. It also helps develop empathy for the administrators and other teachers. Plus, you’ll get a direct say in how your school runs. You can’t complain if you aren’t involved, so get involved!
- Have fun! I’ve been tired. I’ve been frustrated from too many meetings. But it’s all worth it when I get to interact with the students. They impress me. They make me laugh. They make me think. Teaching is incredibly fun. It’s a lot of work too, but it’s really fun.
I wish all of the teachers everywhere, newbies and veterans alike, a fantastic school year!