1. You want to have plans everyday for every subject, but you have to remember that things will not always work out the way you planned. No time for that writing project today? No worries, it can be done tomorrow or moved to a different time of the day.
2. It’s hard to stay out of the drama. Everyone seems to get sucked into it. When you see it, just head the other way. You don’t need to be wrapped up in that.
3. Make extra copies because you never know when a new student will show up, or when you will need to model something more than once, or if you know you have that one child that has to have a new paper or he will melt down because he made a hole on his assignment with his eraser. (Happened to me this year for the first time.) It’s also good to keep a copy of everything you do for your files. I don’t know how many times I threw out, or destroyed, an original copy and didn’t have that master to make copies for the next year.
4. It’s easy to get stuck in our ways. Don’t let it happen to you! Try new things. Share ideas and collaborate with colleagues. So many times I saw someone do something that I NEVER thought would work for me just to find that it worked marvelously with my kids.
5. Reflect daily. Try taking pictures and recording thoughts of the day. Write how a lesson went on the back of a lesson plan. The kids going kind of crazy, you feeling really tired, or really stressed? Write it down. After a few years you will start seeing patterns and it will help you get prepared before that crazy, tired, or stressful part of the year comes around.
Oh and one last thing…try to leave on time! It’s so hard to do but you must try to do it. My first year, I often stayed till 7pm and sometimes up till 11pm. All that did was make me tired for the next day. A tired teacher = a crabby unfocussed teacher. No fun! You need to rest, relax and enjoy your life too.
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