First year teachers

  1. Please don’t make teaching your whole personality. It’s honestly something I’m still working on. You will eventually slip up, you will eventually have that one student who hates you no matter what. Subconsciously, you will take these things to heart, and when your whole identity is “a teacher” you will hate yourself as a person for these unavoidable mistakes.

  2. I'm finishing up my 9th year teaching. If I do my best and teach and a kid fails because they dont pay attention, dont do assignments, etc. I lose 0 sleep over it. Honestly, if a kid fails a test and they did their best I just reteach some to them and let them retake it!

  3. Just had a lesson fail terribly and its been on my mind this long weekend when i should be relaxing. I needed the reminder that its just a lesson. Its all good. I really appreciate this post, thank you.

  4. “My teacher friends lose sleep over saying the wrong thing to a kid, having a failed lesson, or having ever kid do poorly on a test. It’s all they can think about it for the week.“

  5. I think this is great advice! I’ve been told throughout my certification program to set boundaries and keep school and home life separated… when you go home, do your best to leave the job at work. I can totally understand how a teacher would let the profession take over their life and become who they are. I will definitely try my best to not let that happen.

  6. I cried a lot. I was suicidal. I was scared (shooter at school turned out to be false alarm but EVERYTHING fell apart). Another teacher committed suicide. I was left to figure it out by my department (I did not have a degree in education only in chemistry).

  7. The absolute best advice I can give is classroom management. If you don't set expectations from day one, and even more important, keep them, you're in for a year of hardships. Coming in strong and relaxing as the year goes by as needed is immensely easier than being relaxed at first and trying to reign them in later.

  8. Ironically, my first year was easier than my second. I started last year, during the 2020-2021 school year. The standards that year were so low, and we were basically all virtual and I didn’t have to deal with classroom management.

  9. It is exhausting. The work never ends. There were days I wanted to quit. Why do I stay? I love what I do. I love my kids. I enjoy getting hugs everyday from my students and I enjoy most of the people I work with. It won't be easy but it is rewarding.

  10. I believe it will be rewarding as well. I’ve been subbing and have absolutely loved it! I came home completely exhausted every day but to me, it’s worth it

  11. First year in upper elementary. You will find out you know absolutely nothing! They will fly through an assignment you’ve planned to cover over three days, and drag a 15 minute lesson out for a few eternities with inattention and confusion. You’ll start every Monday morning so excited for all you’ll be teaching them this week, reach Friday afternoon ready to become a stockbroker or a CPA or any job where a child will never darken your doorstep, and by Monday morning you will be excited all over again as you open up your classroom for the week. Take your time from the start teaching routines, expectations and procedures and do not waiver! You will spend most of your waking hours trying to figure out how to entice your student with untreated ADHD to make it through a lesson, how to arrange effective reading groups, how to make the dull math curriculum even slightly engaging. You will laugh, scold, cry (NOT in front of them until the last day!) and come to love them unconditionally. I loved my first year. I’m old and wish I’d started years ago so I’d have a lifetime to do this. Good luck!

  12. I’m coming into the profession older as well! I honestly think that’s a good thing. I have way more patience now than I did when I was in my 20’s! I believe that comes with age and children lol.

  13. I was hired to do a general Ed job, then pressured by my admin to get my sped credential. I was non-renewed “because of the budget” after I told them I was pregnant. It was a miserable and stressful year but I’m not moving on to a different teaching job and I love the admin so far and I’m really looking forward to working in a new district!

  14. CTE. Overwhelming at some points. I had a decent mentor, but they didn't really have anything set up for one subject and liked to be a "team" player by using our classes as a catch all for random students. I've posted about it on here before, first time dealing with nested classes. This community I'm in is not my cup of tea as well. I'm under 2 year contract, just waiting to finish it up next year and I'm probably saying deuces go teaching for now. Actually found that I do enjoy comp sci through teaching students so I'm gonna go back to school and actually get a degree in it. I will say my admin did acknowledge they screwed me this year and my next year's schedule is somewhat better than this year's, but I'm not holding my breath.

  15. In my experience many of my coworkers have only worked part time jobs during college and the transition to teaching is overwhelming for them. I find most teachers that have transitioned from other lines of work adapt quickly or it could be they just already have a tolerance for bullshit haha

  16. I’ve had some pretty high stress jobs myself. I have worked as a 911 dispatcher and I’ve also worked as a debt collector for almost 4 years. I’ve been subbing for almost 2 months and I have loved it! I have found working with kids daily, even on bad days, to be rewarding. I’m not a teacher that is getting into the profession bc I have a passion for teaching a certain subject… it really boils down to having a passion for working with kids and being apart of their journey!

  17. “I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."

  18. It wasn't awful, but wasn't great. My students were awesome, and I love my grade level team. I had a "mentor" that I talked to maybe 4 times, so I got screwed over there. I definitely learned to be more consistent/strict at the beginning of the year, as student's behavior is much better that way. My second year I realized how much I didn't do my first year lul. My admin is ass but luckily 2 of 3 are leaving this year. Just have realistic expectations and you'll be fine.

  19. I lost a lot of hair around my hairline in the front. I’m a woman. I left school most days the first half with a headache and not being able to turn my head.

  20. I just finished my first year. I made it an absolute point to not burn myself out. I loved it and I can't wait for next year. But also I learned to keep my head down and not stick my neck out.

  21. 1st year= crippling anxiety, started seeing a therapist for the first time, started anxiety medication. I tried my best but only kind of knew what I was doing.

  22. Mine was absolutely brutal. The worst year of my life. The only good that came out of it is I was able to trauma-bond with some of the other first years. That being said, I’m still teaching and that was twenty years ago. 🤷‍♂️

  23. I have worked many jobs prior to becoming a teacher ,warehouse worker, food industry , retail , accounting even did 12 years in the military.. In comparison this has been the easiest and most rewarding job I have ever had and the pay is great (80k +) first year ( M.S and 2 Bachelors)..This is my first year things can change but plan is to shift to admin or even private Ed tech sector after year 3.

  24. I'm ending my second year. The first year was challenging. I spent a lot of time making materials. I had a lot of late nights and worked weekends to stay afloat. This year has been a lot better, I hardly ever stay after contract time and never go in on the weekend.

  25. My first year was... not good. Second year, not much better. Then I moved to a new school and it was much better. I just finished my 16th year at that school, 18th total.

  26. Pretty well, all things considered. It's a stressful, time-consuming, frustrating job, but it actually turned out how I always imagined it turned out. I know a lot of people build up in their mind what they think teaching will be and are then crushed by reality in their first year, but that wasn't my experience. No idea if I'm the norm, or if a miserable first year is the norm.

  27. So this isn’t the best place to ask teachers how things are going…nobody has anything good to say. Your experience might be very different - don’t listen to anyone here unless you want to carry everyone else’s anxiety.

  28. I don’t know if it counts because I teach art and taught preschool for 4 years before that… but it’s my first year in a district. Preschool didn’t feel like a “real” school because the admin team was a fucking mess and staff were treated like children… but my first year in a “real” school has been great overall. The hardest thing for me has been trying to be social with the adults. I’m trusted more than at preschool - don’t have to turn in lesson plans, am not micromanaged… But again - I teach art, so my experience is different than a classroom teacher. They work harder on lesson plans, parent contact, meetings for just classroom teachers that I don’t have to go to… I see the work they do and don’t think I’d want to do anything but teach art now that I’ve experienced how much more I enjoy it and how much less work it is most of the time.

  29. One thing I can say as a teacher also going into my first year is, if you can, accept the job where the interview process was warm, welcoming, and positive! The interview for the job I accepted was so relaxed, and everyone on the panel from admin to teachers made sure to smile a lot and give me lots of positive reinforcement about my responses, and when they offered me the job they seemed just as excited to hire me as I was to be hired. I haven’t started working with them yet, so who knows they could do a 180 and be totally unsupportive, but I feel much better about them than I would have about admin and teachers who were cold during the hiring process.

  30. A lot of difficulty up front, thanks to shitty practices, but it gets easier over time. Admin expect teachers to be perfect whether they're in their first or fortieth year because the state doesn't care. A kid can't be denied a quality education because a teacher is figuring it out, so the pressure is on from the start. It's why a lot of teachers feel the burnout that's 100% going to be mentioned in responses. After you've been in it, you figure out what you need to do, what's extra, and what's simply useful for yourself or not.

  31. Don't let senior teachers bully you!! As a first year teacher I noticed a split between some teachers being really welcoming and helpful and other teachers who would blame me (and the other first year teachers) for literally every student problem.

  32. There are gonna be a few moments each year that you’ve got to treasure. My first year, I started a folder with stuff my students gave it. It could be a thank you, a doodle, anything they gave me that they made. This helped me on my toughest days bc I knew I was making a difference for at least one kid. I just finished my 9th year and the vast majority of my graduating seniors wept (so did I!!) on the last day and/or at graduation. I had a student from 2 years ago who came for his sister’s graduation give me a solid 2 minute bear hug.

  33. It’s so exciting, but it consumes every part of me. I didn’t see my friends for MONTHS. I saw my partner only on weekends. There is just always always always something to do. I learned a lot through the journey.

  34. Believe people when they say it will get easier and better. I struggled hard for the first half of the school year (so far as getting a therapist because of it) and have come around to really enjoying it in the end.

  35. It was better than I expected honestly, but it was 10 years ago so it is all a blur now. I didn’t quit, so thats something. Hopefully you get in a school with decent admin and colleagues; they do make the experience much better and will be there to answer your questions and advise you. You will find healthy outlets (hobbies, exercise, therapy, talking to friends who aren’t teachers) and to just always remember being a good/bad teacher has nothing to do with your worth as a human. I know this this sounds obvious, but it helped me through some hard times.

  36. Let yourself go back to being a regular person again at the end of the day. Compartmentalize. I couldn’t compartmentalize for the first few months and I had night terrors every night!

  37. It’s fucking awful. My advice: 1) don’t give too much of a shit if you mess up. Fix mistakes, do your job, move on. 2) leave the job at the job. Do as little at home as possible. Take at least one day a week for self care. 3) recognize that it’s just about survival. 4) it’s ok to not be ok. If you have to leave, you have to leave. The job is not worth your health or well being. 5) find teachers you can reach out to and rely on, steal materials from online shamelessly, use teachers pay teachers whenever you’re in a bind. Do so with confidence. Kids are stupid, they won’t know that you put shit together five minutes before the bell rang. Good luck stranger!

  38. Finishing up my first year. Loved it! Great year, great kids, staff, admin. Sure took a few tweaks, advice from my master teacher when needed, but overall every day was great and I couldn’t be happier. Love my job

  39. For me it was kinda rough classroom management wise. I was soft on discipline, behaviors and grades. Because of this, kids adapted and took advantage.

  40. My first year is coming to an end and I'd say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I've worked jobs that were way more demanding in their own ways so I really prefer teaching. That's not to say it's easy at all but you will get through it. My biggest advice is to set strict boundaries. The first few months were overwhelming for me because of everything I didn't know. That's hard to embrace but it doesn't last long. My biggest coping mechanism was to clock out at contract time and leave my "teaching persona" at the door. I made endless to-do lists and prioritized what needed to be done on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. Whatever didn't get done at the end of the day today will get done tomorrow. Don't sign up for anything and everything such as clubs, after school activities, fundraisers, etc (unless the compensation is worth it). You'll have plenty of years ahead to help with those events. Remember that it's just a job. Be professional, be yourself, be present in the moment, and try to enjoy all of the growth.

  41. For the first 9 weeks, I rarely left school before 8 p.m. (13-hour days). I also learned after the fact that some teachers refer to October as “suck-tober.” With PT conferences, report cards due, and just generally figuring everything out, I had my first and only panic attack of my life and some suicidal thoughts. I learned quickly that teachers are just expected to know how to do everything without being trained or taught.

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