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What are some experiences I will have?

What is something that previous teachers have gone through that a new and upcoming teacher may want to know about? Is there something that you shouldn't do at first if you are a first year teacher?
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Ryan’s Answer

Blake,
Not sure what grade level you are at currently or the level you aspire to teach, but to address your question I suggest you work with a teacher who knows you & your interest in teaching and set up a few classroom observations. Perhaps volunteer as a classroom helper; if at the elementary level, perhaps as a volunteer listening to students do oral reading or if at secondary level helping in a lab. Your role, of course would be helping students but also partnering with a teacher as a mentor.
Some schools will actually help you do this.
Thank you comment icon I completely agree, take advantage of learning from experienced teachers!! They are your biggest resource. Maeve Cannon, Admin
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Dalphne’s Answer

Something incoming teachers should keep in mind when entering the classroom is classroom management. Taking classroom at university and the alternative certification programs have offer very little information about classroom and behavior management. One of the best books to read before your first year of teaching: The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher, Book by Harry Wong and Rosemary T. Wong

This book offers great advice and strategies to help first year and veteran teachers with classroom management and effective teaching and other resources. Some may find this book to be outdated, I however find the information useful today as it was 13 years ago. Give the book a read or two and extract the information that you deem helpful for your situation.

Dalphne recommends the following next steps:

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classroom. management
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Annika’s Answer

I think the biggest thing I had to learn is the lesson plans are just that…plans. Class doesn’t always go how you planned it and that’s okay! Sometimes it happens because the kids are enjoying the topics so much they have a billion questions…sometimes it happens because the kids had a big game the night before and are too tired to think…just remember, take each day at a time and don’t get too caught up in the day to day!
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Pamela’s Answer

Experiences are not always textbook for sure. I taught students with special needs. The staff was not always welcoming to them. I had to deal with a lot of various outlooks and not wanting them in their rooms for inclusion. Also, you will deal with many adult behaviors, not just those from the kids. Some are wonderful to work with on a team, others not so much. There is a huge range of ages and background knowledges out there. Don't think you know it all as many new teachers do. Respect those with experience and ask for advice as needed. The other thing I would mention are the families of the students. There is a wide range of those as well. Some are great, some hover and want to be in the know and control everything, others are lax and almost seem to not care. Some have had bad experiences in school as a youth. You get all kinds. Watch for the kids that are being pressured to always get A's and high ratings. At times it is a little much for them. Also watch for those who think they dont have to do anything. Teach them the importance of an education. Over the years I have seen many things but overall helping the students was worth it.
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Blake,

I think that the feedback here will be different based on who and what you will be teaching. My teaching experience has been around teaching adults. And the biggest challenge with teaching adults is that they think that they already know everything that they need to know. I am in training for people who are hired by my company. The training is often about how AT&T wants you to do a specific role. Adults have little tolerance in being taught something that they already know, so they will often push back. "I already know that since I was hired to do that job." Yet, with most companies, the how you do what you know if often different in small ways rather than big ways. Examples include stuff like dress code, cultural expectations, compliance, even the application of law since AT&T is a national and international company. As a trainer, I have the most problem with people who already think that they know and what they know is wrong or incomplete. Teaching someone who does not want to learn is my biggest challenge with adult learners.

Gloria
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Maeve’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Something valuable I learned my first year of teaching was to always stay on top of parent communication. I taught Kindergarten/first grade so I learned to always call/text parents about anything noteworthy that happened with their child in the classroom (maybe they bumped their head on the playground and needed an ice pack, maybe they passed their reading test and were really proud of themselves). Parents really appreciate being kept in the loop! This is especially important when report card season rolls around. You always want to keep parents aware of how their child is doing academically to make sure there are no surprises when you send home the report card. This is something I didn't do as well my first year teaching, and eventually learned how important it is to build the parent/teacher relationship. I always wanted to make sure parents trusted me!
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Hannah’s Answer

The first year of teaching can be uniquely challenging, as you're trying to find your footing in a new role. Something I'd recommend is to ask for help when you need it! Every other teacher in your school has been through their first year (or maybe they're going through it at the same time as you are). When you ask for help, try to be specific. This will help your colleagues provide the support you need. If you can throw a compliment in, all the better! For example, "Mr. Smith, I notice that students always seem really engaged in your room. Can you give me a little advice on how do to that?". Even if it's something that seems simple or silly, like figuring out how to use the copier or learning where to pick up your mail, just ask! It's absolutely okay not to know everything. In addition to the teachers on your team or in your hallway, wonderful people to get to know in your school include the front office staff and the maintenance staff. They've often been there a while and can help you with your more day-to-day questions.
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