this will be my 11th year of teaching. looking back, it seems like i started teaching yesterday. but here i am…11 years later. it’s been so hard and so fun and so transforming. i’m the person i am because i am a teacher.
but as i start my year 11 and in a leadership position, i’m questioning things. we had a fantastic training this past week. it made me really analyze my attitude and passion. it’s not that it’s really that bad, but i can do better. so much better.
it also made me think about when i started as just a little baby teacher. i knew NOTHING. but i thought i knew everything. i also thought i was prepared. i wasn’t.
my first few years were so difficult. i struggled for the first time in my life. i mean, i didn’t know struggle until i became a teacher. before then, i had excelled with anything related to education. but i was thrown into teaching high school with little to no support, extremely at-risk and emotionally disturbed kids, and no experience to deal with it.
so now, because of my experiences, i look out for those teachers. and you should too!
put yourself in their shoes – remember what you went through and anticipate what those new teachers will need and the type of support they will need. think about what you would have wanted.
be the helper – go out of your way and help them! ask questions! sometimes they’re nervous or scared to admit that they need help at all. just ask and see.
share your gifts – we are all naturally gifted in certain areas. share what you are good at with not only the new teachers but with the other veterans.
be a leader – on your campus and in your classroom, be the leader. if you’ve been there awhile or if you have a lot of experience, you have some unique gifts. you know what to do and what to anticipate.
reset your mindset – often, when you’ve been teaching awhile, you can forget what it’s like to start out teaching. reflect on that in itself. why is it different now? what can you use from your teaching career to make this year great?
set some goals – teaching is constantly changing and evolving. every year is different. it’s just the nature of the beast. and you cannot remain the same. you must change with it. one great way to do this is to set goals for yourself. something to try out. an attitude to achieve. a milestone to reach. whatever it is, it will push you forward.
if you’re done, be done – obviously, you need to finish out this year if you’ve committed to it. but if you feel it’s the right thing for you and your students, move on. if your heart isn’t in it, leave and let someone else try. i’m not saying this to be mean. i’m saying it because it’s the best thing for you and the best thing for your school.