Advice for New Teachers- Pt II

What I wanted for myself, as a brand new teacher.

I wrote down some advice for new teachers. At the same time I was writing this, I asked my PLN for their thoughts. You can always count on your Twitter friends for interesting thoughts. Consider this part II of advice for new teachers, or perhaps a bonus EP worth of material.

I stumbled. I fell. If you’re honest about it, so did you. Learn from it. Get up. Get back at it. Tomorrow always comes.

We are in a caring profession, but sometimes we forget to care for ourselves. I know I did. It took years to get back. Know your own self. Take care of yourself. There’s nobody else to do it for you!

Sometimes it’s all too much to handle. There will be moments where you are completely overwhelmed by it all. After the flood of tears- find something to make yourself feel better.

There will always be new trends, buzzwords, philosophies, and frameworks. You must carefully consider them all, and make up your own mind. Question the words of consultants or resource teachers like me. Write huge question marks beside things you find questionable when you are given a reading. Please, make up your own mind, it’s what professionals must do.

Absorb like the world’s most absorbent sponge. Take every scrap you can from every PD session. Attend PD. Attend edcamps, Twitter chats, conferences, after school sessions. Find sessions outside your own school board. Above all- read, read widely. Make your own PD.

Drop everything and dance. Sing along to (today’s pop hit). Better yet, teach your kids some taste by playing them something like the Ramones.

When I had to say “I don’t know”, I always made it a point to find out, and get back to the kid. I learned lots of great things for myself by doing that. Why does pi not end anyway? I needed to be able to explain that. I needed to learn it first.

Some of us in our rookie season are not very good at all. I was all nerves and ideas. But know that you will get better, every day, every hour, every period.

Assessment is a deeply human act. Learn how you feel about subjective and objective assessments. Observe. Watch, observe, and listen. Always listen.

Be kind. Always.

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