- Hit the Reset Button-It’s okay to hit the reset button. Take some time to think about all the things in your classroom that drive you crazy, then picture what you really want to happen in your classroom. Think it through, what are the steps you need to take to make this vision of your classroom become a reality? Next, don’t be afraid to hit the reset button and change things. Tell your students why you’re doing it and involve them in the process of establishing new routines or expectations.
- Take a Step Back-That’s right! Slow down. Hit pause. Stop doing so much. Take a minute to decide what you can eliminate, what you can take off your plate and then do it! Actually, stop doing something so you can focus on the things that are most important. You are not going to do everything well your first year, in fact, you’re never going to do everything well, so you might as well just get over that now. Do what’s best for kids, learn, grow, reflect and everything will be okay.
- Ask for help-Surround yourself with a support system of trusted teachers and administrators and use them! Ask questions, admit when you are feeling overwhelmed and get help. Remember, we’ve all been first year teachers and we remember how hard it was. We promise it gets easier, but it will get easier faster if you ask for help now!
- Celebrate-You are most likely your own worst critic. Take some time to celebrate that you’ve made it this far. And, celebrate the fact that there is enough school year left to change anything that isn’t going well. Think about all of the great things you’ve done for kids and how far you’ve come since the anticipation and nervousness you were feeling before the school year started.
You can do this! You are making a difference. And, you’re right, this job is serious. It’s not a casual thing! But, you have permission to make mistakes. You have permission to fail. Whatever you do, don't throw in the towel now. Work through the hard parts, persevere and know that when you get through this year (and you will) you will have so much to celebrate.
Brittany, Jeff, Sarah, Stacey and Tasha-Hang in there! It's going to be alright.
Need some more advice? Check out my post for January 2014-Advice for the Stressed Out Teacher.
Here is your staff update for October 30th.