Welcome friends! It's Dianna here with you today from Sassy, Savvy, Simple Teaching!
I'm here with you today to share a few tips I wish I was told from the veteran colleagues during my First Year Teaching!
First of all, if you are a beginning teacher reading this, you probably don't have much time! So let's get right to it! As a mentor teacher, this is some of the advice I'm sure to tell beginning teachers each year.
#1: Ask & Take the help!
There are a variety of "resource" teachers and mentors in the building that are wanting and needing homeroom teachers on their schedules. Take the help! Ask them when they are available so you can book time! Things to ask for can be anything from bulletin boards, organization, room arrangement, curriculum, forms, county tools, etc... To specific instructional questions! Let them model for you or co-teach with you. Trust me, two adults in the room working together will relieve the mental, emotional and physical stress you are trying to hide. You are human and you are new, don't do it alone!
#2: Use Your Time Wisely!
What I mean by this, is if you have a planning period to yourself or lunch to yourself, knock out small tasks then. This 30-60 minutes of time is precious, so prioritize! Know what you can and cannot get done in this amount of time first, then keep a basket or note near your working area to do so. This will allow you to bring less home with you or have less to do after the kids leave. Most of all it will allow you to focus on the large tasks that take more time. On the other hand, don't be a hermit. You need to socialize a little and have adult conversations or you will go nuts! Just don't do that the whole time every day. It's just all about being organized with tasks, to do lists and time.
This is coming from two important reasons. First, your principal will back you up with evidence. So document all parent conversations via phone or face to face. Document discipline data and document all academic data. Over the years you will experience different ways to do this efficiently, but you'll get the hang of it. Second, is for instructional purposes. Nobody can crack your head open to get the details, so document student interventions, student conferences, small group instruction, informal and formal assessments, classwork, etc... You will want assistance with planning so let your team members and mentors help you with specific instructional goals to meet all learners.
#4 Be the best to...
If there is anyone in your building that can help you and get you help quickly it is your custodians and office staff! Treat them well, be extra sparkly and kind to them, and always ask them any questions about your campus and day to day operations!
#5 Be Selective on Non-Negotiable Procedures!
Meaning you should teach all procedures and routines thoroughly to be enforced. BUT... what are the 3 that are ABSOLUTE! As a beginning teacher know that your classroom management techniques will grow and become natural over time. So for now, choose 3 that you have to have in your room for you to co-exist with your students. For example, a few that have to open a specific way for me are: transitions, desk/supply organization, movement for bathroom/pencils during instruction, etc...
#6 Recharge and Reboot!
You will hear this often, yes it's serious! We are 10 month employees [most of us] who work literally it feels like 2 years in the 10 months. You need to write in your planner YOU TIME! Meaning: salon, gym, dinner out, date night, plans with friends, pool, beach, movies, TV rituals, reading, etc... DO IT! Or you will drain yourself emotionally, physically and mentally on the job!