It’s the middle of July! It’s the time where you can no longer enjoy your favorite tv shows without being interrupted by the dreaded “back to school” commercial. What’s a teacher to do? As with all things that bring anxiety, the best way to combat it is to prepare for it. Here are some helpful tips that I have used in my 10 years of working in education:
1. Make A Resolution
When we think of the word, “resolution”, we usually think of the new year. We think of all types of ways that we will better ourselves as an improvement of the previous year. Why not apply that to the New “School” Year? Maybe you got some constructive criticism during your end of the year meeting with your principal last year. Now is the time to consider the suggestions given by your superior. Maybe you want to be more patient or smile more. Perhaps you want to spend more time getting to know your coworkers. Make a plan to do that now. Set yourself up for success this new year.
2. Don’t Compare This Year To Last Year
Some of you may have experienced your best year in the classroom last year. Others may have experienced their worst. Keep an open mind to the changes that are in store for the upcoming year. You will have new students, new coworkers, and new opportunities. Go in with a positive mindset and do your best to make this year better than the last.
3. Ask For Help
I don’t like doing it! You may be the same way. But there are people in your institution who have done this way longer than you have. They know how to appease parents, put out fires, and keep you out of the principal’s office. Don’t be afraid to approach these individuals when you need help. Look to them as mentors who can help you be the best teacher that you can be.
4. Don’t Ignore Your Mental Health
Let’s face it, teachers have one of the hardest jobs. You have to worry not only about the students, but pleasing their parents as well. You have to not only create tests, but also grade them. You have to work with other teachers, sit in professional development meetings, plan field trips, and make learning fun while maintaining a controlled learning space. It can be a little overwhelming at times. It is important to remember to stay healthy. School counselors are not only there for the students, but they love to take time out of their schedules to make sure that you guys are properly functioning as well. Utilize them when necessary. Your actions and attitudes affect the students that they work with. If you’re not ok, your students won’t be ok. And if you don’t feel comfortable talking to the school counselor, ask them for a referral. They will be more than willing to help.
5. Don’t Forget Why You Teach
I always believed that teaching isn’t just a job, but rather a calling. Not everyone can do what you do. Remember why you started teaching. Don’t forget about the years of school and hard work that you went through to get you to where you are now. Think back to the teachers that you remember when you were in school, both the good ones and the bad ones. Some of those people left such a positive impression in your life that you remember them to this day. They may be a part of the reason that you are a teacher in the first place. Don’t you think that your students deserve the same? You may be the only positive influence in your student’s lives. Be the teacher that they deserve.
Many of us live our lives looking for a hero. Your students are lucky to see one everyday! You got this and I speak for many when I say that we are so thankful for you!