Dear New Teacher,
How is it going? So many of us enter our classrooms for the first time with excitement and energy and ideas about what we will do . . . and a little bit of anxiety.
What if I don’t know the answer?
What if I can’t manage my students?
What if I just can’t reach one of the kids?
What the heck am I doing?
First off, hang in there. You are not the only new teacher to get overwhelmed or wonder if they made a mistake going into teaching. You aren’t the only one wishing they had somebody to answer their questions or show them the ropes. You aren’t the only one who thinks maybe they are in over their heads.
You aren’t alone.
Not only are you not alone in feeling this way. You aren’t alone as a teacher, even if your classroom is in a temporary outbuilding (been there) with no other teachers nearby.
You aren’t alone if you have a tough class and administration just tells you that you’re doing fine (even as you flounder and ask for more support).
You aren’t alone when you realize your uni education was a lot more theory than real life classroom management. You aren’t alone when you realize you never really learned how to teach kids to read.
You aren’t alone when you need to find the right math activity to help a particular student or when you know your kids need more than constant drilling to learn things.
You aren’t alone.
Connecting with other teachers saved me in my first year. I’ve been teaching for a while now and I feel a lot more confident. I’ve learned a lot about literacy and math. I’ve created tools that I can use again and again, and I’ve found resources that make my life as a teacher easier.
You too will gain experience and learn from those tough moments. You’ll build your toolbox of resources so that you’ll know just what to do for a particular unit or when a certain situation arises. And as you develop both experience and resources, you’ll face new situations with more confidence.
But what about right now? I remember just how hard that first year was, and I don’t want it to be so hard for you. My blog is dedicated to helping teachers, new and experienced, find new ideas and resources on literacy, math, time and classroom management and even taking care of themselves (yes, teachers need self care).
One of the best things you can do for yourself is find a tribe that can support you. If you have a good teacher mentoring program in your school, use it. If you have other teachers who you can collaborate and commiserate with, connect. And if you need something more, check out the New Teacher Support Program — it’s a practical way to make your life easier in your first year of teaching.
You’ll connect with other new teachers, get support from me and have access to a library of done for you resources and useful videos. I wish I had had this when I was a new teacher.
What are you struggling with the most as a new teacher? And if you’re more experienced, what tip do you have for new teachers?