I only have 2 years of teaching under my belt. But my first year I took in every little bit of advice I could get. Some was good. Some didn't work for me. But I still craved it all.
My first year was the hardest. I came home from work physically drained and could barely make myself get off the couch once I sat down. I expected every year to be like that. When my second one wasn't, it took a while to realize what was different. I had stopped internalizing every bad thing that happened, especially student behavior. I was able to laugh about it later and tried to start every day fresh. The faster that happens, the easier life goes. Here are some other things I do to get through the day.
- Make friends with the teachers you work with. School is so much better when you can laugh at the end of the day. That said, try to stay away from negative ninnies. They will corrupt your year.
- It is okay to cry!
- It is okay to make mistakes, just learn from them.
- You will not be perfect. Do not try to do everything perfectly the first year, or any year really. Focus on a few things to perfect every year and build your teacher toolbox year by year.
- Try your own thing. What works for teachers who have been doing it for 20 years, may not work for you or even be the best way to do it. Don't reinvent the wheel for every lesson, but don't let anyone make you feel guilty for wanting to be different.
- Have high expectations for your students. It does make a difference in what they are willing to do for you.
Finally, remember why you became a teacher. It is easy to forget in a world of 504s, IEPs, documentation, and the state tests.