I'm Linking up with Latoya again for her weekly Get Acquainted linky party! This week it's all about advice for new teachers! So, here's mine:
I know, I know there is SO much out there to buy.
There are SO many cute things.
There are SO many practical things.
I have spent the last 9 years teaching. I've had to get rid of another teacher's career's worth of crap that she left behind and it's taken me the last 8 years to finally have *most* everything in my classroom be things I USE and not crap (mine or hers). I feel like I work with a bunch of hoarders and have become one. (I know that sounds mean, but we all have SO much crap! Me included.)
You don't need it.
You don't have to spend it.
Just stop yourself even HALF the time from buying STUFF and I promise, you'll thank me in 10 years!
You will NEED the secretary and custodian, more often than anyone else in the building, to do things for you. Know their favorite candy bar, candle scent, or just be willing to HELP them out while they do you a favor. I've been known to file papers while my secretary finds me a certain form or report or pick up garbage bags while my custodian adjusts desks in my classroom. Cookies also help!
Complacency is a downfall of every teacher. No two children are the same, no two classes are the same, no two lessons will accomplish the exact same thing or work in the exact same way. You have to know your kids, what they need and PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Complacency is when kids get lost in the "but it has always been this way".
Even after 9 years in the classroom, I still have teachers in my building I look up to and go to for advice. You HAVE to have a mentor. You also have to find someone in the building to have mutual trust with whom you can confide in, vent with, and commiserate with. There are going to bad moments and even some bad days. You'll need someone to talk with who can keep your frustration between the two of you, but also allow you not to take it home.
You will spend more time in your classroom then at home for a better part of the year. You need your classroom to be a place you LOVE to be. Fill it with things that make you happy. Make it comfy, keep your favorite snacks hidden somewhere, and have a space that is all your own in it.
I cannot tell you how many times a day something will change with your schedule, with your assignments, with your students. You MUST be flexible. Learn to roll with it and not let it frazzle you. That will be the number 1 way you will get stressed is when you can't just roll with it.