If you’re a first or second year teacher, this post is for you. I wanted to take a minute to check in with you to see how you’re doing.
How has your school year gone so far?
How are you doing emotionally?
How many weeks until summer break? (Kidding…mostly!)
From a former first year teacher, I know what a roller coaster that year can be. Of course it’s wonderful in so many ways (Just think – you got your first job!), but it can also difficult in some ways, too. Today, I have five tips for you if you are a new teacher who is struggling.
I feel like I had two first years of teaching because I spent a couple years in a special education teacher role, then switched gears to a kindergarten classroom position in a new building for my third year of teaching. It was what I wanted – my dream job, even – but it really did make me feel like a first year teacher all over again.
When I say “struggling”, I mean a variety of different things and, to be honest, I don’t even like using that word. Maybe your struggle is an internal battle with confidence or anxiety. Or perhaps you have a class with kiddos who struggle academically or behaviorally. Sometimes, sustaining the energy you need to push on and meet all the needs of your 20+ students is almost too much to bear.
I put together five tips that you can try tomorrow. I hope that at least one of these tips will help you!
Tip 1: Ask to observe another teacher.
If there’s an area where you lack confidence or something you’re just needing ideas for, ask your administrator if you can observe another teacher.
Especially if there’s a skill area you think your principal might bring up at observation time, act now! Most principals will admire you if you come to them and say, “I’m looking for some ideas for my center rotations and I know _____ really has this going well in her room. Would it be possible for me to observe her sometime in the next couple weeks?” You’ll feel better for acknowledging an area for potential growth before your evaluation instead of waiting for your administrator to bring it up.
Tip 2: Think about the teachers you had growing up.
Tip 3: Try to simplify your teaching life.
- How are learning centers going? Are you spending too much time planning or making what the other students will be doing while you’re with a group? Consider ways you could simplify the planning process, such as reusing a previous activities as re-teaching tools, especially anything you’ve done as a whole class, or purchasing pre-planned centers from TpT.
- How are your mornings going? Are you spending too much time planning morning work? Are you and your students struggling with the routine or lack thereof? Is it chaotic? Could your students work on morning tubs to ease into the day?
- How is your prep time going? Is it over before it begins? Can you create a better template for your lessons? Can you and another teacher on your team work together on making copies for each week? Can you share lesson plans or ideas and then change up things where necessary for your students?