For young and passionate student teachers, diving into the teaching profession is an exciting whirlwind. We begin learning the ins and outs of the profession, and really feel as though we're in the trenches, learning all there is to know.
What we might not expect, however, are the lessons we learn very quickly about the classroom and what it means to be a great, 21st-century teacher. While some of these newfound lessons are comical at times, others are very serious.
Below are 15 things I've learned about the teaching profession in just 4 short weeks:
1. Even when you feel like you aren't making an impact, YOU ARE.
After a couple of rough days, you may feel like you aren't getting through to your students. Think again.
Remember, these students are still getting used to you and how you teach. Look for the small, and maybe even huge, signs that you are in fact making a difference.
2. You WILL make mistakes in front of your students.
Don't question your abilities for a single second. Instead, be the teacher who can admit a mistake was made. Laugh with your students and acknowledge them for helping you.
3. Coffee is more important than ever.
Like seriously. Ask for triple shots of espresso.
4. Collaboration goes beyond the four walls of your classroom.
We know this is true. People tell us it's true. You don't realize how true it is until you're knee deep in planning, organizing, teaching, and discussing solutions.
5. Or in other words, it takes a village.
Team work makes the dream work.
6. Papers will be EVERYWHERE.
Your students' papers. Your papers. Just accept it.
7. So, staying organized 24/7 isn't realistic.
I know. Its a hard pill to swallow. Especially for us Type-A, sticky note loving people.
Just breathe. We got this.
8. You will have nights when you lose sleep.
You might lose sleep over anticipation for the next day. You might lose sleep over all that needs to be done. And you'll definitely lose sleep over the things your students tell you and the situations they may be in. It just means you care.
9. Things will happen that no degree or textbook can help you with.
Scary things. Unique things. Funny things.
Try your best. Try to say the right thing. That's all you can do.
10. Standardized testing is INTENSE.
And the pressure is REAL.
11. Your cooperating teacher and grade level team will be your rocks.
Ask as many questions as you can.
12. Whatever you do, do NOT forget to use the bathroom at lunch.
You will regret it.
13. Routines and consistency are so important.
For you and your students.
14. Dedicate at least an hour a day to yourself.
You need it. In order to be the best you can be for those around you and your students the next day, give yourself at least an hour.
15. Believe in yourself 100%.
You can do this and you will do this.
You students need you and you need them.
These lessons are just a few that have come my way in four short weeks.
I know there will be many more!