What you realize as a first-year teacher:
1. Your kids are the priority -> Management skills are a must.
2. You thought you were organized until you became a teacher. That’s when you realized you had to level up 10x.
3. You wanted to create colorful, engaging resources that were all custom-made. Crunch time and 1st year burnout made you feel inadequate as you scrambled to borrow ideas and resources at all hours of the night just to put together a stringy, half-made lesson.
4. There are times where you feel like you’re drowning in the bureaucracy of paperwork as you navigate how to be an instructor, coach, counselor, manager, organizer, interior designer, lesson content creator, data analyst, and researcher…
5. You sucked at teaching because the teaching part was all you focused on. Teaching requires more learning about your students (your audience) than the actual teaching process.
6. Some kids will break your heart. Don’t give up on them.
These challenges don’t magically go away.
You just get better:
1. You get better at becoming selfless and putting your kids first.
2. You improve at organizing your thoughts, mind, and classroom space.
3. You develop a teacher’s eye in picking the right resources that suit the needs of your kids. Sometimes you even create resources of your own.
4. You become a better manager of time at being a jack-of-all-trades with a focus on mastering one skill at a time.
5. You learn to love your students for who they are and create lessons that are relevant to their lives. You don’t give up on them — you stay consistent in your high expectations — your love for them.
6. You learn to learn every day with your kids.
I promise you. It gets better.
This is my second year in the inner-city, mainstream classroom. My third in total.
As long as you make the conscience steps to move forward and focus on the journey: You WILL survive.
I was at level 1 with organizational skill last year. I’ve leveled up to at least a level 3. I’m I at the level I want to be?
But I won’t let that stop me from getting better.
Has burnout been a problem for me?
But the feelings of leaving teaching forever is nowhere near as prominent as it was from last year.
→ You will cry your first year.
→ You will feel like you’re so bad that you want to leave the profession altogether.
→ You will have students who test your patience, mock you, put you down, and maybe even cuss you out.
→ But you will also have students who adore you and show you how much they have learned every day. This is what will get you through the day. The spark: the seedling of hope that will empower you to keep trucking forward and become the best version of yourself.
The hustle struggle is real and applies to every profession.
I’m not giving up on learning, nor will I give up on teaching.
Eventually, I want to teach remotely— to have more autonomy to create resources for other teachers and build a freelance business while traveling.
But in this moment, I know I am exactly where I need to be. I need to hustle from where I am right now. You should, too.
Hone your hustle, my friends. If you can survive your first year, you can survive anything. Yesterday’s mistakes from history do not have to be repeated today. Start now.
New Teacher SOS: How to Get Help
- Seek help from a veteran teacher who has survived the first few years. Listen to their stories. Ask them questions on what worked and didn’t work in the classroom.
- Be proactive about asking for feedback from administration when they do observations of your class.
- Find a mentor.
Those Who Can, Learn
If you are fed up with feeling underappreciated in teaching, the profession might not be for you.
Teaching can be a noble profession — as any profession can be— but it is not always glamorous.
Demanding respect just because you are a teacher is not going to fly with your kids. Nor should you assume that people will instantly respect you because you are as a teacher. That’s pride talking. Don’t pride yourself in what you already know. Pride yourself in how far you’ve come, and how much more you have yet to learn.
If you have found this post helpful, stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on: “7 Teaching Resources That Will Fast-Track Your Way to Success”.
Next Project: 7 Teaching Resources that will Fast-Track Your Way to Success
Thank you for reading. 🙂