Believe in Yourself and Your Students
Even though you may make some mistakes as a new teacher, it is a good idea to believe that it is possible to recover from these mistakes and become a better teacher. You still have a wonderful career ahead and mistakes should not hinder you from achieving your career goals. You should also believe in your students and expect them to be good students.
Your students should take care of each other and you should not tolerate bullying. Besides, your students need to know that you will hold them to high standards of academic standards and behavior. If you would like some tips and strategies to help you achieve this, visit the Caring Classroom page on Teaching Resources.
Always Remember That You Aren’t Alone
If you either don’t have a mentor or your mentor isn’t that helpful, consider looking for another one. Remember that schools have very many caring people. Who goes into a profession where someone has to work so hard for little pay if they don’t care? Besides, the internet has many discussion groups and communities that can help you and support you throughout your career journey.
Be Friendly with Your Students but Don’t Be Their Friend
As a new teacher, it was hard for me not to try to befriend my students as I felt that a teacher should listen to what students had to say. However, I came to realize that a teacher was the authority in the classroom and he or she has to take charge of the classroom.
Taking charge does not mean becoming a dictator. It means that the teacher will in some cases, have to make some decisions that may not be popular with his or her students. It is good to listen to your students’ opinions but ensure that they express them respectfully. However, remember that the teacher should be the final decision-maker. So, as a teacher, it is good to assess the situation and make the decision yourself.
You Don’t Have to Treat All Your Students Equally
As a new teacher, I also had a lot of trouble with this. My students took advantage of this and started telling me that some things I did were not fair. They would then cleverly point out how I had acted unfairly. And being a fair-minded person, I would listen to what they had to say and try to explain to them that I did not act unfairly. This was a big mistake.
Later, I learned to tell them that I tried as much as possible to treat all my students fairly and that if any of them felt like I was being unfair, they should write me a letter telling me why they thought that I was not fair. This solved the problem once and for all and helped me regain control of the situation. It also gave the students an opportunity to explain why they did not think I was fair. If I read a letter and realized that I acted unfairly, I would apologize and we would solve the problem.
In my first year of teaching, I used to plan everything I did and said very carefully. In fact, I used to write out a script for how I would teach a lesson or how I would explain a certain science experiment. I would prepare all the materials I would need the following day and my activity pages were duplicated and ready. Doing this helped me a lot.
Looking for materials during your lesson can make you lose the attention of your students and also make you lose precious time. Planning is very important when it comes to teaching and it is good to always plan for your lessons even if you have been a teacher for many years.
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