Wohooo!!! It has been a rollercoaster ride for my first year of teaching. Not sure whether this happened to every new teacher or it’s only me. But I am pretty sure that most of the new teacher might face the same difficulties that I’ve been through in my first year.
As a corporate person, then took a loooong beautiful break, and then suddenly come to another new world that I have never prepared myself for, I am struggling so bad in my first term. Adjusting from my everyday holiday and get back to the routine of 9-5, which in this case 7.45 – 3.45 and another bump with the style in school compare to the corporate life that I used to have before.
No, I am not going to nag about all of that difficulties that I personally had, but I am going to share on what’s the things that makes me survive this first year of teaching. So let’s begin!!
Make friends and Join the Club! Leaving your old place and entering a new place, there is only one secret to survive. Adapt! Introduce yourself, use the training, the meeting schedule, and break time, for you to get to know your new colleagues. Learned from them, simply ask if you get confuse about something, and find your mentor. Another thing that I realised, that as a teacher, your life in school will be about looking after the children, and it happens most of the time. During your breakfast break, students will come to talk to you about something. During your lunch, your students will be there eating together with you, and you know what, you will have to put your eyes on them, whether they are eating their lunch or not. So, no special break for you during that hours in school. So what? Adapt! Adapt eating with lots of noises, adapt having to share the toilet with the younger kids who are still in their transition in learning on how to be responsible, adapt that there are very less adult that you can talk to during your working hours, adapt that you have to be very careful with your words spoken and so on.. Join the club!!
It’s OK to be different. Every teacher has their own style of teaching. Of course, we are a different person, different personality, using a different approach, different way of elaborating the lessons and different background from different country. Some of you might be in love with cute young adorable kids, but some of you even finding it hard to communicate with them. So, let us just be honest to the management. Tell them your inspiration, let them know what you are good at, and in which position you can give your best. You can give a try, but don’t force yourself . That is why I said, it’s ok to be different, teachers are human anyway.
Give yourself a break. Preparing the lesson plan, ensuring that the scheme of work is on track, students are getting the idea and well understand about the lessons, marking homework, preparing worksheet, preparing quizzes, giving extra lessons, submitting the attendance, marking exam papers, giving motivational talk, preparing assembly, and lots and lots daily to do list sometimes makes us overwhelmed. That’s why, sometimes, give yourself a break. Forget about marking, use your 40 minutes empty credit hour to rest, read the book you like, write your own blog, draw things, finishing your embroidery project, anything non work related and be happy! You will feel totally refresh after that, and trust me, the next lesson after that break, will be a happy class.
Enjoy the rhythm. Just liked I said, corporate life is totally different with school style. During my time as a banker, working hour is very flexible, as long as I can get my work done in time, then, no one will fuss. But in school it’s different, being a teacher means you have to follow the schedule that the school already designed. Some corporate has a very dynamic working style, but not in my previous one, changes is predictable. In school? None is predictable, being a very well plan person, one of biggest struggle at first is to adjust the plan that I have in mind, with the changes of plan in school. Understand that school might be the most dynamic working place. Simple example is, I am planning to have my lunch break and after that, I will copy some worksheet for my next week class. What happen during the break? One of your younger students, suddenly feel home sick, wanting to go home just because someone told her that, on that very minute she doesn’t wants to be her friend anymore 😅. Say bye-bye to your copying plan, and say hello to a motivational talk.
Read a lot. Whether it is a book, articles, blogs, youtube or any kind of sources on how to teach. Sometimes we can get very stuck in a particular topic and your mentor, or your colleague is nowhere to be found, use the educational websites, Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers, and many other good educational sources to find the ideas, or a new interesting way to teach that lesson. So yes, get along with all the sources, and what’s the harm of reading anyway?
As the conclusion, we are teacher, we are human, we are not perfect. There will always be ups and downs along the road. But there is one key that we have to keep hold on to is to strive for the best. Progress is much more important than perfection.