I'm linking up with Deb from Fabulously First
I want to start this post off by saying I'm going into my second year of teaching (and am no where close to having it all together). I remember people telling me my first year would be the hardest. I would respond politely and think in my head. . . I just spent four years preparing for this I know it won't be a walk in the park but the hardest? PLEASE listen to them . Your first year will be the hardest. In my personal opinion if you get through your first year and still LOVE what you do you are CERTAINLY in the right profession. Let me also say I LOVE what I do.
I started off the year with a mentor teacher. Now I am spoiled because my mentor teacher has taught second grade for 30 years. I learn so much from her and would still be lost without her. I also love that we get all so good. Having her was HUGE. I mean I would go into her classroom just about everyday. (It's right across the hall.). She was/is so patient with me and all the questions I have. If you can, find an older, experienced, mentor teacher who is willing to share their knowledge with you. It is very helpful if they teach the same grade as you, even the same curriculum. Those first couple months I basically did whatever she did. It let me explore my teaching style and classroom management with the assurance that I was covering the standards. A note of encouragement the actually teaching part tends to be the easiest. The parents, paperwork, and miscellaneous stuff is the hardest.
The next biggest thing that helped me my first year was getting my act together and seriously organizing my classroom. It's still a work in progress and it will always be. That said, organize your room and LABEL everything. If you need a sub (and you will) everything is labeled and easy to find. Your students (remember it's their room to) will be able to find things easily. You will be able to find things easily. Finding things easily means you aren't wasting time finding things you placed in a pile on that table yesterday but can't seem to find anymore. See what I've done in my room HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE!
One more thing I just can't help but saying. Take the time in the first couple weeks to REALLY establish classroom rules, routines, and procedures. It is WORTH it.
All that in mind remember to LOVE what you do. Get to know your students and let them know you love them to. Here is another hint, when parents see you love their children they will love you! It works like a charm. When I allowed the parents to see me love and care for their child (and not be concerned about them judging me or thinking I'm childish) the response was amazing.
Now I need to go and read everyone's wisdom. I still need it ALL!
I have some freebies up my sleeve and I need to accept all the amazing awards I've been receiving. This week I was at my home in the Keys with my family. Next week I'm on my way to Debbie Diller's Summer Institute and am SUPER DUPER EXCITED!