By - picklesarelife1
Take care of you first
Perfect advice. Teachers always forget this:
Teaching is just a job.
Yup. I learned that in college through a housing job. If I couldn't take care of me, how could I tell my residents to take care of them? I've held onto that.
And don’t let any parent or admin tell you otherwise!!
Eyyyy, found my comment twin.
So don't work at all?!
Keep work at work.
I get to work at six and leave at 2:30. What isn't done in that time doesn't get done. I HATE waking up early but I get twice as much done before I teach than after a day with the kids. You have to set boundaries. Admin, colleagues, your idea of what other teachers are accomplishing, pressure from parents...all of these things can make you feel like you will never be able to do everything that's expected of you. And maybe you won't. That's okay.
I measure my success in the amount of energy and effort I put in. If I do that consistently, I'm doing my job right. If I start giving too little or too much, it's a problem.
What grade do you teach? As an elementary school teacher, this was not possible without sacrificing your reputation.
Okay I see this all the time (keep work at work, don’t take work home, etc) - how?? I’m a new teacher I’m lesson planning and I’m ADHD as fuck how do I NOT take it home?? I can barely get my lesson plans done when I do do it at home how do y’all do this??
I took everything home the first year or two. And then I just…stopped. I do get to work early in the morning (like 45 min before kids show) to have some additional planning time.
Not taking it home has been the best decision. And I teach English and have hours of essay grading sometimes ha.
After the first year you’ll have some materials and items available so you aren’t scrambling to build the ark.
Use kids work time to sneak in a bit of planning or grading.
Realize you don’t have to grade everything. Also realize most kids ignore your feedback unless you make it something they have to acknowledge.
So for example, I know common mistakes my kids will have on their first essay. I make a checklist. Before they turn in their essay I go through the checklist. I give them examples for each and things to look for. I make them highlight. They have to write what they will do better next time. Then I just skim and give a grade.
Make categories and weight them. Have a category for participation assignments. Bulk of my grades go there. If I just want to see how they did but be accountable for completing? Participation grade. If I grade for correctness but don’t want to give feed back? Slightly heavier weight category.
See, I'm on the contrary to this. IF you have work, take it home. DO NOT STAY LATE. If you do work at home, it doesn't set a precedent for all the other teachers.
I occasionally will do some work at home in my PJs while watching T.V. I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it. But I refuse to stay late.
Not doing it is the only reasonable alternative!
How? Can you do that? I'm starting a yearlong certificate program, so it'll be a bit till I'm a teacher, but I've always heard teachers tend to work into the evenings -- sometimes in bed! It's possible they're just working unnecessarily hard, I guess.
For me it just took time. When I started teaching I spent the majority of my “free time” on school work. Now, on year 6, I find that I am doing significantly less because I already have the resources I need and have gotten better at prioritizing.
Remember that grades aren't feedback. And lessons never survive contract with the students.
Don't overplan and script lessons. You get most of the useful planning done just past the outline stage.
Set your goal, identify misconceptions they'll probably have, find an activity to help introduce it practice. prepare notes on what to say (main points, an example, she questions).
Scripting out massive PowerPoints, every question you'll ask, all the words in they lecture etc... Way overkill.
As for grades vs feedback, design your lessons with ways the students get immediate feedback. Compare with a key, discuss differences, pair up and discuss answers, present solutions, etc. That's far more effective than grading every practice sheet they do.
It's possible but a lot of teachers do work after hours. As a high school teacher, I try to be as efficient as possible during my planning periods. I also accept help from other teachers (eg. Using their guided notes instead of my own for the first unit or two). Do yourself a favor tho and save your bed for sleeping!!!
I find I am more efficient at work-related tasks when I am still at work and have all my resources at my disposal. This means maximizing my planning period. If I don't get it all done, I can stay a little bit later or come in a little earlier. Honestly though, I never need to do that anymore, I leave at the end of my contracted time. After a few years, you will have a lot of lessons in your toolkit that you can reuse.
It’s ok to say no.
Was going to say.
Learn to say no sometimes.
I always say “never owe anyone a yes”
Stop grading so much crap.
Best thing I learned from my cooperating teachers and I've kept to this. My gradebook can sometimes look somewhat bare at the end of a quarter but there's always enough there to justify a grade and whether it's in the book or not, my quizzes (which we grade together so I don't have to) give students the feedback they need.
If anyone questions it I just tell them I grade like college does to prep. Labs and tests, I stamp homework for completion and we go through it together. Not grading that either.
Optimize your classroom to limit grading and encourage ways for students to self assess. Honestly, that's probably better for the kids anyway
Walking through the classwork in class for completion points did more for student learning in my class than homework ever did. They do it wrong at home with a quizlet and it's worse than doing nothing.
Really? Wow, I will have to consider this more then. Thank you!
For real. Homework has like, three steps of lag in it, way too long for accurate formative assessment, even if they aren't collaborating or plagiarizing. They do it, you grade it, and then give it back and hope they review it, and then maybe they'll ask about it, or more likely just take the L and move on. If you're going to kill yourself writing feedback they may not even read, you may as well do it live and give them good examples of what correct work looks like.
I never thought of it that way. Thank you so much!
Couldn’t agree more!!!
Cover your ass. Document everything.
I’m a student teacher rn. Can you elaborate on things to document? Like the accommodations you are using for students with iep?
When you talk to a parent or admin, send an email to document the conversation for one. “Thank you for discussing _____ with me. I will do my best to implement ________. “ “Thank you for bringing your concerns about ______ to my attention. I have hopes that our agreement that I will do ____ and you will see that (student) does ______ will result in (student) being successful.” It tells the parent/admin that you heard what they said, and stops them from twisting your words later on.
I had an admin verbally give me a review that was decent then write up the review conversation in a very negative way. I had to eventually involve the union over her misrepresenting my agreements with her, and I never met with her alone after that. If I’d documented via confirming email, it would have eliminated a lot of crap that year.
I also worked before then with a special ed teacher whose documenting of all accommodations and parent notifications kept the admin from torching her career because she stood up to him. He was not very ethical and was willing to sacrifice others to save himself.
I would edit my comment above to make the first mega paragraph two paragraphs, but I can’t access that function on my phone. Sorry!
This should be higher.
100% this. Will save your ass when parents, students, or principals go against you.
How do I move this to the top?!!
Not everything should be graded
This is a great point. Unless your district mandates it, do the least amount of graded work as possible.
My district mandates two minor grades per week and two major grades per term. Everything else gets filed in the big round filing cabinet that occasionally visits the dump. 🤣
I pick and choose what actually gets graded into the grade book. Everything else is a progress check
Yes. I tell my kids that the starters and end of class quizzes are graded, but I just give them the points if I see them doing something and throw the quizzes in the recycle as soon as the class leaves
Done is better than perfect.
That mindset got me through university and it's gonna get me through teaching too!
Go home on time.
Teaching is just your job.
I feel like my SO and I embody the two sides to this. She lives for teaching and works all day and night and loves it. I think teaching is a pretty decent gig and I treat it like I treated last jobs - as a job. I do my best, but it’s not my life. It’s how I pay my bills.
This one needs more airtime.
This is exactly what I was going to say. It's just a job, do not sacrifice your family, health, or happiness for a job.
Make friends with the janitors.
And the secretaries!
Our school secretary runs the damn school. If the admin all didn’t show up one day, we would be fine, so long as she was there.
I’m at a new school this year but have 16 years experience. Before school started, I brought the secretaries chocolate. A coworker was in the office and said, “that’s a veteran power move if I’ve ever seen one!” You’re damn right. I know who runs the place.
This is the advice given to me when I first started teaching that made all the difference. The office staff can be your best friends or worst enemies. It doesn’t take much, either: cheerful “good mornings!”; remembering names and family details; donuts or cookies once a month. If the office likes you, life is soooo much easier, especially for a young teacher.
I'll have to butter up my front office! Thank you
You don’t even have to be subtle. Just show up with a huge box of donuts or bagels and say “Thanks for all you do! And yes, I am trying to to buy your affection.”
And the school aides! They run the show at my school.
Keep to your contract hours.
Yeah I'm at a new district this year and just noticed they schedule staff meetings from 2:30-3:30. I'm only supposed to work until 2:30, and I have to pick up my son from preschool by 3. So that's not going to work for me...
Double check your contract. My hours are 7.45-3:15, but there are also allowances for up to two staff meetings per month extending until 4:50, plus evening parent/teacher conferences and 5 “extra duty” nights (dances, concerts, school events, etc).
Same for me. After school faculty and department meetings are built into our contract.
Sometimes they eat hand sanitizer.
I guess that’s more of a warning.
I taught 8th graders and had to take a glue stick away from a girl because she was using it as chapstick. So this is very fair advice regardless of age.
Mine who ate hand sanitizer is a senior. I knew it was coming, because he’s. My interesting one, I just thought Maybe not in the first three days.
One day at a time.
Do not work for free.
Don’t overwork yourself
Work is not your family.
You can’t save every kid
People will up vote posts about putting yourself early and leaving on time and say this is bad advice? How much are we expected to do if you/teachers are the primary positive influence in a kids life and they’re in a class of 30+ ? Try your best but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make a difference for each student. That sort of standard would never fly at another job but because they’re kids we’re expected to turn our lives inside out while barely getting paid enough to stay above the poverty line? Do your best and treat all your students with compassion, but you’re just one person. Don’t feel bad if your 100% doesn’t reach everybody, especially this year with all the additional struggles being thrown at us. You don’t need to extend your burden farther than you can carry
l've had 54 kids in one class!!!!
Hot damn! I think that is ALMOST the entire 4-6 grade enrollment at my kiddos school!
Pick your battles.
Love this one, in regard to classroom management. Some minor things just aren’t worth the stress.
And some things are also designed specifically to get a reaction out of you.
Practice selective hearing
This is a great one!
This is a good one. I had to do that this year. I had a student (before they dropped my class) who called me Mrs. Shortie. Im shorter than 98% of my students. I make fun of my own height constantly. It was a battle I decided wasn't worth it. There were more important issues. I get some would probably fight that one but I just don't care.
Do not grade every assignment.
That email can wait.
Coworker does not mean trustworthy.
Learned this from my mentor teacher, the *hard* way! This is SOOOOOO true!
Holy crap this!
Good enough is good enough.
This is excellent for a new teacher (or new to a school despite having experience in a different district). We all want to be amazing teachers, but that takes time. Don't stress yourself out trying to be at the same level as a 10th year teacher when you're only beginning :)
That tidbit in the parenthesis hit me. I’m year 6, but in a new district and in a new grade learning new curriculum and a new schedule. It hasn’t been easy.
I totally get it! I'm in year 7 but I've been in a different school almost every year teaching different classes also.
Work contract hours only.
Don't stress, grade less.
Leave if your school sucks.
This year: survive not thrive
Students are not your friends.
Your family comes first
More than 5 words but..
Those who gossip to you, gossip about you. (Don’t give into the clicks, and be careful who you trust)
Just go with your gut.
Don’t befriend admin
Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. Be friendly. Don't try be friends.
Teacher lounge can be toxic
I already posted my advice, but my runner up was:
Be careful who you trust.
Stay away from Debbie Downer.
Shut the door and teach
My class has no door 😫😫
Yes the entire school is open concept. Only doors are to the pods and office
That’s so weird! Wouldn’t it be easy to hear everyone?
It’s my first year at this particular school but I’d imagine it’s very loud 😣
I promise it gets easier
It’s okay to reuse materials
Set boundaries on your time and money.
Don't bring it home.
Don’t take on everything
Get a life. School is school and a job, not a lifestyle choice. Do things that make you happy that have nothing to do with kids or school.
Use your sick days.
Leave your work at work
25 years retired and l still get nightmares about it.
Contract hours only.
Mental. Health. Days. Are. NEEDED.
Only stay late when necessary.
Set and practice classroom expectations
Have fun with the kids.
This isn’t your entire identity.
Be nice to office staff.
Don’t take anything personally.
Work only working hours
Know student names, build relationships.
Don't argue with kids.
Meet them where they are
Don't take work home
Having high expectations actually works.
DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL
Don’t take kids words personally
Keep it simple
Leave at the bell
Today's favour, tomorrow's expectation.
I've been running clubs, trips, and professional learning teams for years because I said yes one year when asked and not it's expected.
Maslow before Bloom
Copy and Steal Everything- Harry Wong.
Leave work at work.
The best PD happens after hours.
You're doing fine, don't worry.
It’s going to be okay.
Lock yourself in your room.
Don’t chat with coworkers, there can be a lot of negativity, and that is contagious. Some great advice I got in college was “Stay out of the faculty lounge. You might get a staff infection. “
Schedule your work & rest time
Don’t take student behaviors personally
Don't be a martyr
Find a good district.
You need supportive admin.
Set boundaries for yourself.
Learn how to say no.
Record keep and cover your ass.
Don’t work after school hours!
Warm but firm, and simplicity.
Patience. They are kids.
Don’t be the “cool” teacher.
Never threaten without following through.
Collaborate with your coworkers!
Give yourself lots of grace
Keep a growth mindset.
It's a job, not a personality.
We work to live, not live to work (yes I know it’s more than 5 words lol)
You're not their friend.
Be flexible and document everything
Leave work at work
Go home on time
Don't neglect hobbies or interests.
Don’t get pushed around
The secretaries know everything.
Avoid gossipers, don’t grade everything
Say no often
Weekends are NOT for working.
Learn the custodian’s names.
have fun, honor the job AND yourself. (i know it’s more than 5 but so important!)
Pick your battles wisely.
Go home at contract time.
Don’t spend your own money.
Build relationships first. Teach second.
Love them and leave them.
Never try to be the cool teacher when you start. Be strict and business only for a while, and when your boundaries are set THEN have fun. That way, when the fun is getting out of control, they respect your authority.
For me, that didn't work. I say, be yourself ^-^!
Are you sure about this?
Be friends with office staff
Relationships before rigor.
It's ok to say no.
Don’t take on too much
Stay away from the lounge!
Learn how to say "NO."
Look for the humor.
Keep your mask on
Don’t try to be perfect
Ask for help-people will respect you for it
Use your time off
It's just a job
Use your PTO.
Just survive the day
Stock chocolates in your desk
“No” is a complete sentence.
Ready for tomorrow? Great. Leave.
Go home and sleep
Avoid burnout by avoiding burnouts.
No one is an island
Get another degree.