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Amelyia
 
 
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28 years in education- survival tips for newbies
Old 06-02-2018, 08:11 AM
 
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I retire in 2 years-yeah! 30 years

Some of these tips may be obvious to some but not others.
Some might not be doable for some.

Tips
1-have different certifications, sometimes things get better when you teach something different
2-move schools if your health or career are in jeopardy. I have driven an hour each way in order to get out of bad administrative
3-move counties if need be, although sometimes this worked and one time backfired..awful year
4-dont over stimulate students with fun projects unfortunately they go off the wall easily these days and ultimately class management comes first, although most admin love to claim they like busy noisy classes
5-although most districts push rigor, most student won't work or will copy if it's too challenging, so teach at what they tolerate. Luckily I teach mostly electives and see how this isn't doable for tested classes
6-teach electives or classes not tested, but be ready for larger class size
7-dont talk to anyone at school, even so called friends about problems, vent at home, diary at home or seek a counselor
8-always smile - yes admin judges you just by the look on your face. Don't show you are stressed tired angry. Think of something funny or your quitting plans
9-better to quit them And pick choose your situation than put your fate in their hands
10-have stress reduction things you do at home, faith, meditate, stretch, exercise, watch funny movies
11-study on side and change careers which is what I'm doing after the first retirement


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Old 06-02-2018, 10:30 AM
 
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Great ideas. Iíd also add:
1) donít reinvent the wheel
2) please donít feel like you have to compete with others. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Do what works for you and your class. Not every room needs to be a Pinterest room.
3) not everything needs to be graded.
4) pick and choose your battles...with kids, colleagues, parents and admin.
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I laughed at GG's
Old 06-02-2018, 11:39 AM
 
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Don't reinvent the wheel. I'd reword it to: Every time they reinvent the wheel, shut your door, and keep teaching the way you know works!
Still keep learning, but if the newest or recycled fad doesn't work, learn just enough of it to be able speak using the buzz words and do any part of the new/recycled program that seems to work and is easily incorporated.
( Most programs have something that works. You just may know it under another name. Change your name for it.
Actually, all of GG's tips work for me.
I agree about over-stimulation too, Amelyia. It is beyond me how the admin has pushed for us to let it be a free for all ( too many choices/ lack of consequences for bad choices) and then they are dumbfounded when the kids get insane , off the wall behaviors. ( I shut the door cus I can't stand chaos.)
When things get stressful, I too give myself permission to say, " Maybe 1 more year of this."
The 1 thing I see that has worked out differently in my life as a teacher is I think it is best to stay at the same school and build up your reputation and learn what works while you are young. If a P is a pain, you can usually "outlast" them.
Once you have the rep and references you need, apply for your school of choice before you get to 40 yrs old....lol. ( Age discrimination is rampant in the schools I have seen.)
Another trick I learned is simple. I try to tell myself: I GET to go to work today instead of I HAVE to Go today. It reminds me of how fortunate I am to have a decent job esp in a place where so many teachers never get their foot in the door.
Another survival technique that works for me: I pray to God to help me love the kids. ( Even the ones who can drive me up a wall.) I try to make a goal of doing ___ kind things per day as a minimum. Sometimes it is as small as one.
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Old 06-02-2018, 01:38 PM
 
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Don't ever expect any appreciation from the parents of kids that you work the hardest to help. So if you give up recesses, lunch breaks or after school time to help a student, do it only if your sense of satisfaction is reason enough to do it. You won't be thanked.

On the other hand, parents of bright, cooperative, hard-working students will thank you to a much greater degree and you probably didn't do anything extra or special for them. Go figure.
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Old 06-02-2018, 04:02 PM
 
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Always over plan--nothing leads to misbehavior faster than too much down time/free time because not enough was planned. The work/activity can always be put aside to use another day or time or used by a sub.


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Old 06-02-2018, 04:23 PM
 
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Be careful about the extras that you do- extra clubs, extra committees, tutoring after school for no extra pay, etc. You might think you'll get "brownie points" from admin for doing such things, but the reality is that they will very quickly start taking it for granted. Then if you want to cut back later, they'll get mad at you because now they expect you to do it.

Respect that the veteran teachers really do know what they are talking about. They know more than you do. I've seen newbie teachers think they know all the "latest and greatest" because they were just in school. The reality is that there is very little that is truly new in education. There are trends and cycles of teaching that are actually just old ways of teaching that have been renamed.
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Ideas
Old 06-03-2018, 03:15 AM
 
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Yes to the overplanning and to making sure you're volunteering to provide extra assistance for students or do extracurricular things because you love them, not because you expect to be rewarded for them.

A few other ideas:

* Don't depend on TPT for your lessons and activities. Frankly, much of the stuff on there is not quality work. And it gets costly very fast.

* Don't spend too much researching ideas on the Internet; it's way too easy to chew up hours and come up with nothing. Look for things that you can spin to suit your school and your students.

* On the other hand, one of my best grad school professors said the best teachers are thieves. If you find a great activity, use it.

* Assemble a short list of reliable sites and blogs that you can refer to for ideas and resources.

* When I started teaching, I wrote "scripts" for some of my lessons, right down to the language I wanted to use as I presented material. It helped me think out lessons, learn my content, and see where problems or questions might occur, and I always had that safety net in front of me. I haven't done that in years, of course. (Ask me about the observation lesson I wrote on Post-It notes. ) But the planning and structure have stayed with me.

* If your school is OK with it, write notes in your teacher manual to remind you of things. Underline words you need to clarify, questions to ask during discussion, page numbers for previous concepts that are related, etc. The teacher who took over my old classroom told me that whenever she sees one of my notes in a TE, she knows to pay attention to it.

* Build in time EVERY WEEK to finish your grading and enter grades in your online system. Trust me on this one. That also applies to filing papers. Again, trust me.

* Unless admin insists that you and your teammates must be on the same sentence on the same page every day, don't feel like you have to do everything exactly as your teammates do. Every teacher has a different style, and every student and every class needs different things.

I'm sure there's more...
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:00 AM
 
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Be extra kind to the janitors and the secretaries. They know what really goes on in your room, they keep the school running, and you want them to have your back when you need help with paperwork or a student throws up. etc
They deserve as much respect as the principal.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:03 AM
 
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In my building custodians and secretaries deserve MORE respect than the principal.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:12 AM
 
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Good advice.


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Also:
Old 06-04-2018, 06:27 AM
 
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Spend your own money on big ticket item that will travel with you as you move rooms, or go to your own home later. Turn in all the consumable Playdough, fish food and potting soil receipts for your classroom budget, if an account exists.

Invest in what makes your job easier and more fun. It could be buying your own paper cutter or pro-style hole punch.

Ignore the aggressive teachers that go to a training and want YOU to change based on their personal excitement. Smile, nod, close the door and teach your kids using your own style.

Get in good physical shape so you have energy for YOU and your family at the end of the day. You are worth it.

Try to save a bit of money back for hard times. You can accomplish this by apologizing but not buying into every fundraiser that comes along. Your job is to teach, not finance children's tumbling or wrestling teams. Sorry.

Enjoy your own children. And grandchildren. Recharge.
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Respect that the veteran teachers really do know what they are talking about. They know more than you do.
. In meetings when someone asks teachers to do this little thing and the new teachers are all going, "Okay, I can do that. Won't take too much time and it is for the kids," but the experienced teachers are asking questions or raising concerns, LISTEN to them. I know I used to think they were just a bunch of whiners, but every time they were right. Adding one more thing to our plate without taking anything away and they warned us.

Don't spend huge amounts of your own money on school stuff. If the school wants it bad enough, they will get it. Your class won't suffer if you don't buy it. Use what they can provide, and leave it at that. No books in the classroom? Check thrift stores and teacher sales. A couple books per kid is enough to start.

Personally, I say stay off TPT. There are some cute things, but most of it isn't worth what you spend on it. Maybe you use it once, then things change and you don't get back to it. Look for free stuff.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:42 AM
 
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I love this thread! Thank you for starting it.

What comes to mind is:
- Less is more. Better to do fewer things really well than a ton of this barely so so
- It's ok to say no to extra commitments
- Set limits about what you will or will not do on your personal time.
- You don't have to spend your personal money on your class.
- Use fewer worksheets...you'll save time Xeroxing, passing out, collecting, checking, and passing out again.
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This is my 30th year. Excellent tips
Old 06-07-2018, 09:18 AM
 
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Great tips to share! Wish I had changed careers long ago.
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