I recently made a post (linked here if you missed it!) about my first week back in the school year and goals for the school year in which I recounted among other ideas, the importance of your mindset in dealing with change and personal growth. Teachers everywhere must be flexible daily and at all times whether something last minute changes a lessons plans or your prep suddenly becomes a coverage because another teacher is sick and you’re the only one free. Whatever the case may be, teachers must constantly deal with change, grow from it and remain positive and grounded of why they do what they do in the first place – for the kids.
As I begin my fourth year of teaching, even I wonder at the changes I’ve made over the years since I first walked into my classroom those years ago. I feel more confident, my mind and outlook has matured and became more realistic with expectations yet I remain optimistic and I feel way more comfortable in the classroom than I did at first. First-year teacher me was anxious, took things too personally, struggled with classroom management and thought at times if it was all worth it. Of course I received sage advice at the time and perhaps as you read this, you’ll encounter some of the same but it is said for a reason.
Many, if not all, teachers have felt and thought what you’re feeling right now. Whether you feel overwhelmed as the responsibility of educating young America’s minds or you feel fairly adept and can take on anything, it will all get better. Those moments of doubt or mastery will improve and it’s perfectly fine and necessary to ask for help. In fact, please do ask for help. Reflect. Vent. Journal. Take a walk or a nap. Recharge. Whatever you need to do until you feel better in your craft, do it. Your students, your body and your mind will thank you in the long run.
Also, if I can only stress this enough, please don’t take this too personally and do the best you can at any given moment. This was something I struggled with in the beginning but it does you no favors. You can only do what you think is right at the time and learn from it for the future. I know this may seem like more of the same advice but as the year progresses do keep these in mind and above all, remember your reason for becoming a teacher in the first place.
Have a great year educators. This will be a transformative year in your profession and as a person so learn and enjoy every single moment of it, and it will truly be a great year!