Sometimes I laugh when I think back at my first year of teaching. I was very positive and motivated about my job, however, thinking about it now… all the mistakes I made led me to become pretty overwhelmed. Here are 3 mistakes I made in my first of teaching that YOU should avoid.
Mistake n.1 Working long hours
When I tell you that I worked long hours, I mean it. Everything had to be prepared perfectly, graded ASAP, made from scratch, I was thinking too much about the smallest details that could occur in my lessons. It is quite obvious that when you are just starting out, things like lesson planning, meetings with parents, etc. are hard, however, if you accept working extremely long hours and turn it into a habit, it is difficult to get rid of it. Work smarter!
Mistake n.2 Not asking for help
When you leave university and start teaching you immediately realise that your expectations will not meet the reality in most aspects (both in good and bad ways). If I could tell something to myself when I started teaching, one of the things would be not to be scared to ask for help. You can´t be a superhero and know everything & remember- all your colleagues where there too. It isn´t a shame to ask for help.
Mistake n.3 Prioritising my job and leaving my mental health behind
Teaching is a wonderful path to walk, however, it can get pretty damn difficult, too. With the world that we live in, children often deal with things they don´t deserve and teachers are often those who have to handle these situations. Somehow it is a part of teaching and you always need to be ready for that, but there is one thing you should bear in mind- Don´t forget about yourself and your health. It is more important than you think.
Honestly, despite all these mistakes (oh, there are many more…), my first year of teaching was great and I am grateful that I could start this journey. My job really taught me a lot- I could literally spend hours talking about it. I laughed, I cried, I was angry but so motivated and happy whenever I entered the classroom! If you are just starting out, I wish you all the best on your teacher journey :-). If you are already a teacher, you´re amazing!