How do you show you really care about your students? There
are many ways but one main way is through setting high expectations! If I don’t
care about you, I don’t necessarily set high expectations. My attitude is “oh,
bless their heart, they’ll never amount to much anyway, why bother?” No ma’am,
Regardless of their accommodations, past records, past
behavior and mistakes, race, background, and more…welcome to my class. You are capable, your past is not welcome here unless you learn from
it, and you will learn today. Check
out these tips.
Tip #1: Don’t let them
get away with the bare minimum:
A number of years ago, I had a student named Demarcus (not real name). Demarcus was very intelligent but dyslexic. I had compassion for Demarcus but I did not pity him…I had a coworker who pitied him in every way. That was dangerous. Demarcus got away with everything including poor work quality. She doted on him and expected little. I knew Demarcus could do WAY better. Pity was her way of trying to compensate for not really being able to identify with him.
He got away with so much in his other class, he resented me…because I expected his best. I was fully aware of his dyslexia accommodations and followed them, however, I knew what he was capable of. When he halfway completed an assignment and turned it in with a Cheshire cat grin, I just as joyfully handed him the paper back. “No, sir, this is not acceptable in my class and you can do better.”
He looked at me like a rat that fell from the ceiling tile. Why? In his other class, writing his name, and writing a few half-written sentences was acceptable and deserved a back pat. No, that’s unacceptable…and I’m not budging.
Do not let your students do the bare minimum. Why? This
sounds extreme but if you do, you are setting them up for failure. Demarcus was
bright and I could see Demarcus becoming a doctor or engineer. His other
teacher saw a poor kid who was just a victim of his surroundings and would
probably end up in the prison system or something else not pleasant.
To me…”Calling Dr. Demarcus!” I expect your best in all you
do in this classroom from behavior to grades. You will grow and make mistakes
and that’s okay but I am not here to play. I truly believe the best in you.”
Tip #2 YOU set the
Do not set high expectations without setting an example. You
can’t have a chaotic classroom, lack of classroom management, fake admiration
for your kids and expect them to rise to the occasion. They won’t and I won’t
blame them one bit.
NO teacher is perfect…not one. I am always learning, but at
some point, I need you to understand that you will need to rise to the
occasion. Either this is a calling or a paycheck.
If it’s the latter, you need to peacefully rethink your
career or rethink your teaching approach. I don’t know how many teachers who
almost gave up after a horrible year then ended becoming really good teachers.
Many times, many of my students rose to the occasion because they sensed my sincere passion for their achievement and wellbeing. They saw my Word Wall being updated (most weeks). They saw the setup of the room. They saw me put positive comments on their essays and the board.They saw me stay late and come early. They saw the way I demanded respect AND the respect I gave back to them. They saw me mess up a lesson. They saw my honest effort. Kids can smell fake and lazy a mile away. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.
If you strive in excellence, it is easy to set high
expectations. Believe the best in your students no matter what and shoot for
the moon. You and your kids just might fall amongst the stars.
Write below ways you set high expectations in your class!
You can know all of the content, write the best lessons, and have access to the best trainings, activities, and units–none of it will ever reach those students’ minds if you do not know how to relate to them and keep a disciplined classroom.
Relating to your students.
If I traveled to Bangkok to teach, at the onset of my arrival it would appear as if my students and I did not have anything in common. I was brought up differently from them. They were brought up differently than me. The language and cuisine is different (but delicious). The attire is different.
The scenery is different…BUT after stepping out to relate to my students, we would find we had more in common than not in common. Bangkok has tremendous pollution. So do many areas in the U.S. They have markets, we have markets. They shop, I shop. We have beautiful landmarks, they have beautiful landmarks. I might even ask the students to suggest to me places to visit. You get the point.
I had someone cry because as she was aging, she was finding she could not relate to her students. Here’s the surprise–she could. Had she searched out what her and her students had in common, and highlighted those similarities, she wouldn’t have stayed so miserable the rest of the year.
She could have also shown interest in things they liked. I have students who are in love with Fortnite. It holds no interest for me whatsoever (still in love with Mario Bros.) They, however, love it. So what did I do last year? I started researching it. I went back to class that next week and started discussing the detailed aspects of the game character. Low and behold, they got excited and thought it was cool I took the time to look it up. Now when kids bring it up, I light up…just a tad.
Relating simply takes a little research and understanding the value of relating to your kids. You may have been born in different neighborhoods, time zones etc., but the love is still there…if you try.
2. Establishing discipline in your class.
I am going to be honest. You have enough responsibility on you. Having a disrespectful, unruly class is a bitter fruit on top of a stress-filled sundae. An undisciplined class can almost make you bitter and feel like a failure…and make you resent your students.
Here is the key to a disciplined class…get ready…CONSISTENCY. You cannot implement a reward system or rules once then never revisit it. The first few weeks of school are exhausting because you are constantly reinforcing, correcting, and guiding students. Where I see teachers’ classes go haywire is when they get “tired” and “distracted” and start slipping on consistency. I’ve seen teachers (not currently) but in years past let students basically roast them.
I had a coworker a number of years ago who allowed the boys in his class to laugh at him quite often (Every blue moon when you all laugh together if fine, I’m talking about mocking you and being disrespectful). One day, they laughed at his head. When one of the boys walked out, one of them called him an expletive. Absolutely unacceptable.
The class was “somewhat” disciplined but this person allowed too much. By the end of the year, if he could have chartered a plane to land on the football field and take him away he would have. He was exhausted, angry and ready to go…and unfortunately, he did.
If you are struggling in this area, it’s okay. We’ve all been there. Just know that no matter how much content you know, how many cute ideas and fun activities you have lining a notebook, how clear your lesson plans are, how many cool apps you have downloaded for them, how much training you had, or how “cool” you are, if your class is not disciplined, nothing, I mean nothing, will work. Whether they admit or not, students respect and love discipline. Real talk.
Relating and discipline are two elements you need balanced to help you rise above the struggle of the classroom. Too many teachers are leaving and not enough are replacing them. I am no better than you, but I truly enjoyed my students. At the end of the year, I was so SAD to see them go. They were truly my babies by the end…no matter how old they were. The hard work of relating and discipline paid off. It will for you too…if you try and stay consistent.
The Super Bowl is behind us (I’m a little disappointed
football season is over). I decided to incorporate it into tomorrow’s lesson
for my students. It brings up good conversation and will hopefully get the kids
energized for tomorrow’s lesson.
We live in a world with events all around us. From local community happenings to international news that matters, sharing these events with our students help foster a sense of community and discussion. Many times, your quietest students will speak on real world events before they speak on anything else. Here are 2 tips for incorporating real world events in to any lesson!
1. Do not incorporate
any real world story or news story due to sensitivity.
Use your best teacher discretion, but recognize that some stories may be sensitive to some students. For example, if you have a student who just lost a family member, a local news story about a high school student who was killed or passed away may not be the best story to share with the class.
When I do share stories via YouTube or simply bringing up in discussion, I always screen the story first then make sure it is age appropriate and ties into our lesson or unit. When in doubt, always consult a trusted coworker or administrator.
2. If time permits,
allow students to discuss it as a class.
I believe in the effectiveness of pair-share then share out in whole group. This is especially effective for ELL students as well. Once kids share in pairs or a small group, they feel more confident sharing in front of the class. If they have a strong opinion about a particular story/topic, it is interesting if students have friendly debates etc. It makes the lesson meaningful if presented properly.
Here is an example of incorporating the Super Bowl into your
lesson regardless of content:
students summarize the game or halftime performance. Point out unnecessary
details and the flow of the summary.
Math– Have students find the mean winning score of the last 3 Super Bowls.
students analyze the speed of the fastest player.
the first Super Bowl to yesterday’s Super Bowl!
Keep it quick and fun.
Football season may be over for now, but engaging lessons
have just begun.
Stay In The Light—
What other ways are you incorporating real world events into your lesson? Comment below!
Being a new teacher isn’t easy. Sometimes, it downright scary, intimidating, and exhausting. Other times, it’s downright wonderful, rewarding, joyful, hilarious and nuturing. Welcome to education.
Beautiful advantages await those teachers who have insight and refuse to give up the work it takes for not only their students to grow but them to grow as well.
Being a new teacher allows you to stay open and stay teachable.
NEVER lose this characteristic. I still find all sorts of ideas and new things I can apply to education and my own personal life. Much of the reason why I have made it as long as I have in education and still have the audacity to still care about it is because I listened. I didn’t come in blazing and acting like I knew everything. The teachers who taught with me who were novices and acted like they knew everything ended up miserable, deeply humbled or got angry and eventually left the profession.
Those of us who accepted respectful correction with the right intentions and support in our first few years made it and survived. A number went on to be administrators, etc. Whether you want to be administrator or enjoy the beauty and adventure of the classroom is entirely up to you. Neither is better than the other.
I do personally recommend you teach at least 4 -5 years (4 years only if you are strong teacher) before you consider being a school administrator or leadership position on a campus etc. I know many district and other entities say 2 years, but I honestly believe that is NO where near enough experience to lead a campus, district or any other educational organization or department. You may have “potential” but there are certain things you just don’t get until you have taught at least 4 or more years. Stay teachable until then.
2. You tend to value students more and truly treasure their growth.
When I first taught, I marveled at everything they did that was kind, adorable and giving. Their answers made me laugh. When they cried to me about something that hurt them, it almost wanted to make me cry too. Don’t lose this either. As with anything, time can make anything redundant and almost irritating.
Also find new ways to refresh the rapport with your students. You are not their friend, make that clear in the beginning, but they always need to know you care and are proud of every success and growth. As a former, passionate colleague once told me– EVERY.child.has.value. Never forget it.
You, my friend, are at an advantage. Remember, the same fire within you when you taught on the first day of school your first year? Stoke the embers and keep the fire blazing. It will truly inspire you and your students for years to come.
I interrupted my scheduled blog post to discuss this. It is 7:22 am as I type this. Before prepping the blog, I was looking for something else unrelated to education in the news and stumbled across yet another headline of yet another student kicking an older female teacher…while she was down on the ground. I do not want to watch the video at this time. It’s too much and honestly, absolutely appalling and uncalled for.
We have a problem. Anyone who does not think we do is…naïve. I love students. Kids have kept me in this profession for 15 years. Is society changing? Yes. For the better? Not necessarily. Do we standby and tolerate any violence against teachers let alone students in our schools? I don’t even think so.
Teachers are leaving the profession. Fewer and fewer people want to be teachers. Sadly many will say it is not because of the students. They are right. Unfavorable income and benefits, working 1-2 additional jobs to make ends meet with rising costs of living, being blamed for everything wrong in education with little to no support…I understand all too well.
Students Attacking Teachers
I will say this right now. I will not pretend to have all the answers to every ill of modern society but one thing that is making some students believe they can get away with this is lack of discipline…at home and from school system authority. Never in my mind, as a child or teenager, did it cross my mind to willfully stand up, push a teacher on the ground then attack, cuss them out in front of the class then try to punch them or crawl on the teacher’s desk in front of the class, stand over my teacher and taunt him by pretending to kick his face with my foot…you have to be out of your mind (this was a real incident by the way I saw recently online). Any child standing by laughing and pointing is just as guilty.
This stems first from a lack of parenting at home. In my career, I have had wonderful parents with beautiful children. I have also had students making it in spite of their parents. Parents are home (sometimes) but there is little parenting. When a child says or does something disrespectful or rude to a parent, there is little repercussion if any. What you allow at home magnifies at school. What you think is cute may not be cute to a teacher dealing with a classroom of 22-30 or students. It is that simple. It is further magnified with a negative peer group egging a student on.
I, for the most part do NOT blame the teacher in extremely violent attacks against the teacher. Some people will say “If that teacher had proper procedures and techniques in place from the beginning, that student would not have been compelled to act in that manner.” First, take a seat.
Every teacher should have a discipline policy in place. No, behavior should be chaos in a classroom. Teachers are responsible for most (not all) student behavior in class. I have had great teachers growing up—and I had bad ones as well. I also had passive substitutes that read magazines while we worked and yelled at the class. I also had substitutes that were excellent at what they did. Yes, we tried some of the substitutes (passing notes, snickering etc.) and sometimes even a classroom teacher, but it did not mean we shoved them to the ground and kicked them. There are people in life you are not going to like–what they say, the commands they give etc., and they won’t like you either. Welcome to something called “LIFE.” That doesn’t mean I need to start drop kicking you or punching you unconscious.
I stand in solidarity with educators in the U.S. and abroad, however different teachers have different experiences. Some teachers have bubbly classrooms and children (not saying they don’t have their own challenges)–having more freedom for creativity, support and implementing great procedural systems and the like.
That’s cute, but that’s not everybody’s story. Every teacher is not assigned to the sweet elementary or favorable academic middle school or high school on the nice side of town. Some teachers are in borderline war zones. All the dynamic discipline programs in creation can’t prepare them for what they deal with…but they teach and cope beautifully. When a student shouts expletives down the hall at you and a colleague, you don’t have time to remember 7 questions to build rapport with a troubled student. Honey, please.
This is where common sense kicks in. This is where back up disciplinary school action kicks in but unfortunately, the lack thereof is failing our students and teachers. I too have seen it with my own eyes.
About 5 1/2 years ago, I was a team leader. My colleague across the hall had a student who cussed him OUT in class and in the hallway. Her mother thought she could do no wrong and that the school was picking on her child. No ma’am.
If I was able to hear her talking back to her teacher, I would step in to intervene. One day, my colleague had enough after she cussed him out. He sent to her to the office and she was sent back to class…30 minutes later. What did this communicate to the rest of that class when she was sent back? It communicated to that middle school class that it was just fine to attack this teacher and completely disrespect him whenever they got ready. That’s exactly what they did. It communicated to the girl that she could do whatever she wanted in front of the class and get a “wrist slap.”
He ended up walking out on his planning period several months later (after notifying the office) and never came back. He resigned that day. A human can only take so much. Not a professional, a human.
There are very good administrators and school support out there and schools that are being run beautifully… don’t get me wrong. Unfortunately, however, they are not widespread enough.
Social media is not the root of every ill of society. Social media can be very positive and I enjoy it myself if it is positive, humorous (without hurting someone), and informative. Animal videos are some of my favorites especially puppy videos (say “awwwww”). This unfortunately is not always the case. It has a dark side and guess who likes to venture on that side without supervision–our students.
Many students idolize fame not understanding the cost and downside of it all. They see fights, violence, videos and everything in between. They don’t understand that the stunt the YouTuber just pulled can literally get them kicked out of school, injured or even killed. Every YouTuber is not bad (I love a good makeup tutorial or opinion vlog), but some however, crave views and are really negative influences…especially to our kids.
To Carry Guns or Not to Carry Guns in School
I say NO. I have had students (secondary level) tell me they do not want to see some of their teachers carry guns…ouch. I didn’t tell them, but I completely agreed. Just because you are okay at teaching students background check and cleared a doesn’t mean you are stable enough to carry a weapon around students. Just saying. I have had past coworkers who have had opinions that were outright disturbing who really did not need to teach kids let alone walk around with a weapon in front of them or in the same classroom. Kids can see through that. They know who is fake and who is not, who pretends to like them and who really loves them.
You don’t fight violence with more violence. It destroys everyone. Tighten security? You betcha. There should be at least two security guards/officers on every campus at all times in addition to other vital safety measures. This could also help create more jobs. I don’t have time to worry if my pistol is loaded properly while trying to devise an innovative new way to teach figurative language in 45 minutes. Help us.
Student Violence Against Teachers? It is a multifaceted issue but one that surprisingly can be solved with common sense and intentional teacher-led and administrator-led school level reform with students at the heart. Our future depends on it.
First…Happy New Year!! I hope this will be your best year yet. 2019 is here!
Now, back to teacher reality. During holiday breaks, some teachers tend to significantly overwhelm themselves in preparation to go back to school. On the other hand, other teachers have the most well-meaning intentions to plan the best semester EVER upon their return– but end up distracted by life itself–thus the tote bag stays in the trunk.
Here is a list of what to DO and what NOT DO to make the most of these wonderful, well-deserved, holiday breaks!
Start planning every facet of your educational life between now and January 7th.
Don’t do it. Why? Everything is subject to change the moment you step back on campus or start the New Year. One thing I have had to personally learn is to not stress over constantly trying to figure everything out which is due to me being somewhat of a strategist BUT– I am so proud of my growth in this area!
Like life itself, in education there is a balance…with students…there will be times you will have no choice but to fly off the seat of your pants, however, CONSISTENTLY, you always need to have a plan in place.
2. Panic while researching every teacher idea known to mankind.
I cannot stress the adorable ideas out there from classrooms, lesson plans, activities and more! I always love to see the creativity and ideas other teachers share. It inspires me to be the best teacher I can be!
However, hear me out. Understand–their classroom and their experience is not your experience. Don’t let it make you feel inadequate. You do what is needed for your kids. When you peruse social media platforms, apps and websites for various ideas, set a timer and be specific about what you are looking for. Bookmark the ideas and activities you like, please follow the people you admire but remember, no teacher is a perfect teacher even if it looks that way.
People don’t ( and should never) post fights in the hall, a student returning from alternative school…and not happy about it, the team meeting that did not go well, the data packet the principal needs to have done in 2 days, the student who vomited all over the floor and wall, the parent who cussed out the exhausted assistant principal and is upset with the entire grade level team, the week’s lesson that tanked, the student who just got back from a mental hospital, the pressure because your educational entity said the school’s scores are not up to par, the once sweet class has had an attitude for the past 2 weeks and you don’t know why…you get it. Honey…it’s real in education.
Experience tells us this. I am not a perfect teacher. Those with experience continually learn. I am already thinking of a number of workshops I want to go to inspire me and help put more tools in my toolbox!
You can’t give anything out of an empty wheel barrow. I hope you are making room for fun, movies, catching up with loved ones and dear friends and even a little after Christmas sale shopping. For the “exquisite,” (ha,ha) maybe even a little massage or facial. Don’t just do this during a holiday break but whenever you get the chance!
Teachers are prone to germs, colds etc. not just from being around so many people but due to extreme stress. You are an adult. Take care of yourself. There is only one you. If you really believe kids are that important, take care of yourself. They need you.
2. Plan and Pace Yourself
What you plan to do with your holiday break is up to you. If you, like me, will still try to catch up on planning, work etc., read below!
Pace Yourself: Commit to 4 hours later this week.
9 am or 1pm–
Reflect–what went well and not so well? How do you want to approach it?
This blog post has great ideas for welcoming kids back the effective way! This is a NEW beginning for you and your students…especially after Christmas/New Year’s break.
11 am or 3 pm–
Research activities, ideas, etc. Remember what I mentioned earlier in this post. Don’t get overwhelmed. Get inspired, and learn from some great teachers.
12 pm or 4 pm–
Continue wrapping up from any category (grading if you need too). For more simple, step by step information, download my ebook Plan Your First Year available in the resource store for only $7.00! This ebook will help you spend those 4 hours planning wisely and it helps you get on the journey to become the best teacher you can be. Also enjoy the other free resources as well.
Do’s and Don’ts are simply clear boundaries that you need to set for yourself to increase your longevity as a teacher. This is critical.
Happy New Year 2019 and know I am rooting for you all the way!
I have been on social media this past week looking at hilarious teacher memes highlighting the exhausting plight of teachers everywhere as they head into the last week of school before the Christmas break. The memes, though humorous, are all too real.
It’s December 14th, so why can’t we just call it a week and dance into the New Year?
As a teacher you are tired and so are your students. Class disruptions and misbehavior tend to worsen before a break. In the case of Christmas break, the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” has never rang more true. You need a break and so do the kids.
Here are a few tips help:
1. Keep lesson plans structured and engaging.
This is not time to go to the copy room and xerox a packet for the next week, plop it on the kids desks and sit at your desk. Keep it simple, relevant and student-centered.
For example, in math, create review stations (can be handouts) and have each station be a day of Christmas from The Twelve Days of Christmas. Mon- Days 1-4, Tuesday-Days 5-8 Wednesday-Days 8-12. If student groups successfully complete the review, they can have a reward on Friday!
In ELA- Create an escape room for Santa’s elves to be released from the Grinch’s grasp! Students must successfully complete grammar practice or vocabulary to advance to the next level!
In History- Have students research various Christmas/holiday customs around the world as well as New Year’s. Have groups fill out an outline then present their findings to the class on Wednesday.
As with any idea, cater to your students’ needs and grade level!
Keep it simple and fun.
2. Your school may already have Christmas activities planned!
You ALREADY probably have this figured out. If you are in elementary, you are probably already helping direct a Winter program etc. Make sure you take this into consideration when writing lesson plans! Middle schools and High Schools may have programs as well in addition to midterms (many schools now have midterms/semester close in mid January).
3. Your attitude may be waning as well.
Yes. YOU. Hang in there. Vent to a trusted coworker after school (never do it in front of the kids) to keep your sanity. Do not “go off” on the kids all week. Keep your eye on the goal and your attitude straight. Don’t fall into community negativity. This too shall pass.
4. Do one thing for yourself during the break.
Get a massage, nails done or even a new hairdo to help start your New Year off right!
5. Do not wait until January 2 or whenever your school reopens to start planning for the New Year.
Start making a list THIS week of what needs to be done upon your return. Have your lesson plans ready and copies made. I never liked to come back to chaos. Also, straighten the room and allow the kids to help you pack up Christmas decorations if time permits at the end of the week. You want to start 2019 off right!
You CAN survive this week. I have and many before you have. Fun, structured and engaging lessons help curb misbehavior and you just may have fun in the process as well!
We are returning from a major holiday break. As I said in my Instagram description, “New Teachers: you don’t know what you don’t know.” This statement can never be proven more true then preparing to welcome our students back from a holiday break!
When your students have been gone for a significant length of time, they have to be “reintroduced” to your classroom environment, rules, and procedures. Also note that every student’s home is not pleasant–no matter if they are in a shelter or live in a mansion. The holidays can also be very painful time for some students and adults alike. Whether the holidays were gloomy or absolutely joyous for your students, you need to be prepared. Check out these 4 ways to welcome back your students…and keep your sanity and classroom
#1-TREAT THE FIRST DAY BACK LIKE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.
I’m not kidding at all. In fact, this is a great time to reintroduce rules and procedures in addition to introducing new ones as well! A nice slideshow presentation is nice as well (I especially have done this upon returning from Christmas Break) especially in grades 6-12. Be loving but firm. They’ve been relaxing and without rules for one or more weeks. Bring them back in with structure.
#2-BRIEFLY OUTLINE WHAT YOU DID BEFORE THE BREAK AND DISCUSS GOALS.
Your students have no idea what you all worked on before the break. To be honest, you may not either. That’s alright, but for their sake and yours, you all need a brief recap with the lesson or content.
Also, discuss goals and having students create their own is a great way to help motivate them and set them in motion before the next break. The goals are up to you. They can be personal, class, grade average, assessment goals, and the list goes on.
#3–BE PREPARED TO WELCOME NEW STUDENTS.
Holiday breaks are popular times for families to move. Almost everyone is off of work or at least sparingly. Additionally, students are home from school as well…to help! Therefore, you may get a few more students after a holiday break. Schedule changes are predominantly done after a break to give some students the feel of a new start. This is why it is so beneficial and almost critical to treat it like a mini first day of school. This helps orientate new students and helps them know what to expect from you.
#4-BE WELCOMING BUT FIRM.
I am not saying roll your eyes, and breathe “humph” then march away! Treat your students with respect and Firmness. This is not the time to be everyone’s best friend. Kids need a teacher’s stability and structure. Friends come within their own age peers. Let them know you mean business. This is not time to play.
I always thought it was “pretty cool” when websites were updating and working behind the scenes. Well I suppose now it’s our turn! The Educator’s Light is getting a few changes to it’s site. So please excuse the little mess you see as it is only temporary (very temporary). Good things are happening behind the scenes. Regardless, everything will continue as usual! A new blog post is coming very soon but in the meantime, check out last week’s blog “2 Serious Reasons Why You Should Cherish a Good Teaching Team!” The Educator’s Light is also on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as we are updating those as well. Have a restful weekend and Stay In the Light.
If you are a new teacher whether in public school, private school, home school cohort, or any other innovative educational outlet, you should cherish your team especially if you are blessed with a good one. Here are 2 reasons why!
#1. If you have a good team, it is good to know someone has your back and you have theirs.
As a new teacher, your first year can be extremely overwhelming and confusing. Having a good team can not only help you, but at times they can literally “carry” you when you need it most. This is not to say you need to be a “moocher” and expect them to do everything for you. That is not their job and behaving that way will make you look like you are not capable of the job. You are grown and need to understand, either you can handle teaching or not. It really is that simple to some degree. They have their own classes and responsibilities to deal with. I am not saying get in a corner and not seek help, but use common sense.
You cannot rely on your team to save you from everything and watch you sulk day in and day out as with any career. You are an independent professional, however, to have a supportive team your first year is golden.
If they have had your back especially more than once, you have a good team and make sure you show your appreciation and on a number of occasions, try to return the favor.
Hint: Most teachers/teams love sweet notes or chocolate/treats…especially given out spontaneously at their tables… during grueling trainings or staff meetings. Also, offering to make copies for them always cheers up someone’s day.
#2. If you work with a good team long enough, it will help make you a stronger teacher down the road.
If you have a strong team, you will reap the benefits of being around effective teachers…you eventually become one of them. There is nothing wrong with asking a trusted, experienced teacher if you can sit in on a class or two and observe or schedule a good time for them to sit with before or after school and get tips, ideas or general support.
Alternative certification and even student teaching are not the end-all-be-all of learning to teach. They are important starts and I am not knocking any of these pathways to becoming a teacher, but I have seen too many teachers either think they know everything or are severely desperate of constant support or everywhere in between.
Cherish your team if you have a good one. If you are not endowed with a good team then walk this out and get the support you need as best as you can. You can DO this. Stay professional, be you, and most importantly, Stay In The Light.