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I am starting in a classroom next week for my first teaching job. Any suggestions on how to be successful? I've reread First Days of School again, but any other reading suggestions or experiences I can learn from? I'm transitioning from a Classified Position.

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Haha, welcome aboard the wonderful, crazy train. Honey, even Harry Wong didn’t see THESE first days coming. We’re all kind of in the same boat as you this year. New everything. The best experience to learn from is... well, experience. I’m in this 15 years and I still get nervous the week before. When you see their faces, hear their voices, it will all feel better. Have fun. Bond with them. Focus on growth. Do what feels instinctual, see if it works. We only learn from understanding our mistakes, and you’re all going to make plenty. After a week of remote teaching I saw like 8 things I could have done better if I had a time machine. That’s the job. Just keep learning and keep them learning. If there’s something or a result you’re not happy with, just look into what it could be. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s them, maybe it’s both, maybe it’s the pandemic. This is not the year to best yourself up. Laugh, forgive yourself, don’t be afraid to try new things. Maybe keep a journal (so you can see patterns and note things to try next year). One of the quickest paths to feeling like a good teacher is forming relationships. I recommend giving a survey, get to know them, pets, how they l’ve liked the subject/where it lost them, what song is their summer bop, etc. And get one-on-one time if you can, for extra help or getting to know you conference or whatever. Even if it’s 5 to 10 minutes. A bond with even ONE student makes all the difference when teaching a class. Ask for advice from educators you respect (we love giving advice - we think we know everything) — and then remember, YOU get to decide if you want to take that advice. Teaching is personal. Yes, there are SOME universal rules (like, never EVER threaten kids with a consequence you’re not going to follow through on) but teaching has to be an expression of your heart, who you are and what journey you want to take them on. How do you want them to relate to the content? To learning? To growth? To obstacles? To each other? To themselves? As long as you love them up and do what makes YOU proud, you’ll be absolutely fine. Come back to this post to let us know how it’s going! ♥️

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Best advice I have ever gotten or given is not to smile until after Christmas. Since you're starting after Christmas, don't smile until after spring break. Middle schoolers are piranhas & a smiling teacher is like fresh killed meat floating in the water - they will eat you alive. But have fun!

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So true

I like with everyone on here has said. The first couple of years are really tough and you may want to quit, but don’t. You definitely need to cultivate respect in your classroom and set some firm rules with consequences and be consistent about it. I teach high school and I have been at the same school since 2001. We still practice the rules and talk about the consequences and sometimes even have a classroom rule quiz just to make sure they understand my expectations. Sometimes I will have students secretly break the rules and then we talk about what rules were broken and what the consequences should be.You have to be consistent with everyone even if one of your top, best students to break the rule. I mean, you don’t have to be super strict about them, but you do need to be consistent. The one thing I noticed about new teachers that come into my department , and there have been a lot over the years, is classroom management. They may try to take advantage of you since you are new depending on the type of school you are in.M, but you can’t let them get to you. Use teachers in your school and your department or team as sounding boards and for advice and do not be afraid to ask for help. It is very overwhelming and there may be days where you cry and don’t want to go back but you just have to push through it. Looking at the type of kid I have now and the type of kids I had when I first started at the school where I am m, those kids were angels, and I cried a lot. It’s definitely a challenging job, but just stick with it. I always take some time to get to know my students with various games and activities.. Remember you are there to teach them and to help them grow as human beings so they can be successful when they leave school so don’t try to be at their level and be their buddies, you can still have a good rapport in relationship with him but if you’re too easy when you first start out they will just continue to take advantage of you.. I would definitely suggest to get a planner or use www.planbook.com which I love and set goals or make a to do list for every day so you can stay organized. My classroom is very organized and each class period is color-coded so it makes it impossible to lose papers although right now everything is online. I’ll be glad to share more about that as well as some getting to know your activities if you would like. best wishes! Keep your chin up and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

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It’s really important to set up class rules and routines from the beginning. My one “rule” is respect. That includes people, their space, their belongings...I always tell my students the plan for each class, and I write a to-do list on the board. Hope that helps. 😉

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Good luck, I start with my student teaching in the fall 2021, I’m wishing you the best of luck and congratulations!!!

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Take it for what it’s worth, but here’s my penny’s worth: 1. Cultivate relationships. This will do more to help a kid than you may ever know. 2. Learn to pat them on the back while kicking them in the butt at the same time. It’s an art and a skill, but the combination will conquer even the toughest kids. 3. Be tough, but always be fair. The hardest kids will respect you, and the others will learn that they won’t get coddled. 4. Set the bar high, and then bust your butt to help them jump over it. 5. Tell them they CAN do it. It’s not a matter of “I can’t do it because...” it’s a matter of “I could do it if...” and make them articulate the “if.” Many times it’s “...if I could read” or “...if I understood how to do it.” And now you’re off and running. 6. Let them get to know you. There’s always a line, of course, but if they know you as a person, they will often do amazing things for you. 7. Be on the lookout for opportunities to praise and laugh. 8. Know where your line in the sand is, let them know where that line is, hand out appropriate consequences for the first and every time that line is crossed. Be consistent and fair. 9. It’s okay to say “I don’t know. What a great question!” You can follow it up with things like, “Two points of extra credit if you email me the answer and your source by 6 p.m.!” or “Let’s find out as a class.” or “Who wants to find the answer and report to the class?” Be creative. But don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know. 10. Put the kids first, second, and third. If you have anything left, dole it out to parents and then to admin. Amid all this, never forget to take care of yourself and your own relationships. “You is kind; you is smart; you is important.” 😁

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Do your best. The first few months are the hardest part of the job (sorry). But just try your best, there will be things that you will fail at and things you will excel at (try and fix the things you fail at and try to make the things you excel at even better). This is true even for veteran teachers. I will try things after 23 years that will fail. Just knock the dust off and keep going. I don't like the adage of not smiling until Christmas because you have to smile and have a great time in class otherwise you or your students will not have an enjoyable experience. Get to know your kiddos and let them know you care about them and their future. If they know you care, they will hopefully care as well. Good luck and never stop asking questions!!!!!!

Cultivate empathy, ignore attention seeking behavior, redirect those who want your attention to taking on leadership roles so their needs and yours are met. Assign a rota of classroom jobs even for middle and high school. Get some type of classroom pet. I wouldn’t suggest a tarantula or snake due to common phobias, but an aquatic frog, beta fish, or toad are cool and low maintenance.

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