you’ve laid a foundation. you can tear everything on top of the foundation down if you want to and begin again. but unfortunately you are stuck with the first impression, whether it was good or bad. they will remember every time you let a student get away with something, forgot a part of a lesson, got caught crying after school, and even that typo on that one vocabulary quiz.
here’s the good news: second semester is a chance to start over. just not completely. the students (and other teachers) will remember all of your mistakes. but you can make a better impression starting in january. you can go over your classroom expectations and stick with them. you can improve your lessons. you can react to situations differently and also make better choices based on your past experiences. so even if the first semester was terrible, there is hope. but only if you take it, start over, and teach differently. yes, it will be difficult because of that rocky foundation. but you can do it. you can begin again.
and here’s the even better news… at the end of the year, you have an even cleaner slate. you can take all of your good and bad experiences and make the next year even better. the trick is to keep this cycle going. each semester and year, you review your strengths and weaknesses. then, you can use your reflections to make the next semester or school year better than before.
but you’re going to want to be stubborn. you’re going to want to think that you know best. but fight that feeling. don’t be afraid of failing and picking yourself up again to start over. it’s just a part of the job. the most ineffective teachers are the ones who refuse to change and evolve.