Starting a new job is tough for all but for teachers, it can be particularly overwhelming. Along with the ever-changing environment, there’s also students, their parents and your own boss that you have to worry about. You are constantly surrounded but like every job, there are ways to make your first year less painful and we’ve listed them just for you:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – Firstly you have to remember that everyone has been in your shoes! Receiving advice from those around you is the right step towards a successful year (and thereon) of teaching. You can adopt similar teaching styles in your classroom and see whether they work for you. Your first few months will no doubt be trial and error so practice different methods until you find the perfect one for you.
Good communication is essential – Communicate with your students and there parents. Tell both what you expect through the year and keep the contact up to show that you care.
Organise yourself – As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail! Keep up to date with lesson plans and be sure to get creative and switch it up every now and then so students don’t getting bored with repetitive material. Do all photocopying the night before in order to avoid any disasters and make to-do lists. This is a great way to ensure you are always up to date and it may seem like a pain once you start but you’ll thank yourself in the long-run (we promise!).
Develop a relationship with every pupil – Build their trust but also learn to say no. This is important so the student knows they can come to you but also so they develop respect for you and understand they cannot take advantage. At the end of the day, you’re doing it all for them, so getting to know them on a personal level will ensure for a better environment and an easier teaching life!
Keep things positive – Positivity brings out the best outcome in any situation! A way to do this is by having a clear rewards policy. Focus on what went well during the lesson rather than what went bad to prevents students becoming demotivated. If the bad outweighs the good then focus on what they can do to change the bad and guide them rather than lecture them.
Write and reflect – Keep a diary, write down what went well, what didn’t go so well and how you can change it. This helps you keep track of how your students are doing and allows you to focus on what they find difficult and what they don’t. Keeping note of what activities they couldn’t engage with and the ones they could will give you a better understanding of how to interact with them but remember, what works for one class won’t always work for another. Change it up! As age, ability and stage in the year all make a difference on how students learn.
Don’t burn yourself out – Schedule time for yourself. You won’t enjoy the job if you’re overworked and this will reflect in your teaching. Developing a steady work life balance will not only ensure you shine every day but it is essential for positive mental health, so stick to social plans and remember to relax.