This school year will mark my 16th year in the field of teaching. However, I’m moving up a grade which means lots of changes. I’ve successfully moved my classroom, and now it’s time to start looking at curriculum changes. The last time I taught a few classes of 8th grade ELA the Common Core Standards had not been put into place. These standards have caused a major shift in the world of educating. I’ve paid attention to where my 7th graders needed to go, but now I’ll be teaching them at that place. With different standards come different units and different stories and new colleagues to work with daily. It’s like starting back at year one. Thinking back to my actual first years, which I deemed to be the white hot coals of hell, there was a lot of transition taking place in my life. New state, new friends, new job, new apartment, new city (a big city for a small town girl), and even though it was a hard year it was a great year, too.
If I could go back in time to tell myself a few things I’ve learned along the way here is what I would want to share:
This advice is probably great for all of us to be reminded of as the new school year approaches. With high-stakes testing at our heels it can be a daunting task to feel successful. Remember that we teach kids, not subjects.
What first year advice do you wish you could have told yourself back then? First year teachers, share what advice you hear the most, or what’s the most unique tidbit a teacher has shared? Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for a teacher freebie!