Well today’s blog post is dedicated to providing advice to all of you new teachers. This is the 2nd day of school in my district, and I’m sure that new teachers all over my district are feeling overwhelmed and that’s OK! We all feel that way sometimes and it is a SUPER busy time for everyone at the beginning of the year :). So…here is my top 5 list of advice for new teachers:
1. Make sure to take the time to teach your procedures, rules and routines at the beginning of the year! It is SO important and truly sets the tone for your classroom. I highly recommend Harry Wong’s book about the First Days of School. There is some good stuff in that book that can be used all year long!
2. Be flexible…I feel like this should be my motto teaching my special little darlings! Sometimes you might have planned out the most awesome and wonderful lesson but there might be a student meltdown, classroom interruptions, fire drill, etc (who knows with teaching little ones right ;)) that prevent you from completing what you planned on doing with your students that day. Hey, things happen, and you don’t need to sweat the small stuff! There is always tomorrow, or a plan B right :).
3. Be organized…being a new special education teacher can be overwhelming at times. Not only do you have the job of teaching, but you often have the responsibility of being the case manager for many of your student’s IEP’s. All of the paperwork involved can be overwhelming, so it is important to come up with an organizational system. Plan ahead and map out your meetings, etc at the beginning of the school year.
4. Get lots of rest…you’ll need it to boost up your immune system! Oh my goodness! My first year teaching I think that I was sick almost the entire year from beginning to end! Take your vitamins, get lots of rest and most importantly take the time for yourself! Balance in your life is important and don’t lose perspective about the things that matter :).
5. Communication is the key to success! I know that it can be scary, but it is sooooo important to communicate effectively with your parents and colleagues. I also know that this can be a challenge at times, but try to provide multiple opportunities to inform your families about what is going on in their child’s classroom. Also, take the time to get to know your staff and become involved in your school. Remember, you are part of a team of awesome educators that are there to support you along the way.
Ok–I know that I said I would only post five things, but then I started thinking, well “duh!” I forgot one of the most important things! Have fun! I hope that everyone has a fantastic school year!