Once again I am thrilled and honored to have another blogger guest post on Teach, Inspire, Love, Raise! Today’s post is from Julie over at Girl on the Move. Julie is a retired teacher who loves adventure. Her blog is filled with her endeavors! Today she is sharing some insight to teaching!
What I Wish I Had Known…
On a warm spring day nine years ago, I was handed a piece of paper indicating to the world that I was now qualified to teach. Sometimes when I look back on that day I wonder what in the world my University was thinking! I was 22 years old; what did I know about being responsible for teaching a classroom full of children?!? As prepared as I thought I was (and I thought I was so prepared I was ready to be named Teacher of the Year!), I quickly learned that I didn’t know much at all about teaching!
* I wish I had known that teaching is about sooo much more than simply imparting knowledge to your students! I thought teaching was going to be all about planning out-of-this-world lessons to teach to my students. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I needed to divide my attention between parent relationships, staff meetings, classroom management, stacks of paperwork, district demands…and the actual teaching! It would have been helpful to learn more tips for working with parents, strategies for handling the copious amounts of paperwork, and how to balance the demands of my classroom with all of the other demands from my school and district.
* I wish I had known that the most helpful people to know in a school are the secretary and the custodial staff! I originally thought that I needed to quickly get on good terms with the administration at my school, and while that is important, get to know the secretary and custodial staff first! When you need help with all the aforementioned paperwork, the secretary can be invaluable! When you realize you left your papers to grade at school and need to get in early the next morning, the custodial staff is who you want to call! When you can’t figure out the darn copy machine, the secretary can come to your rescue!
* I wish I had known that teaching was going to be 1000 times harder than I could have ever predicted, but that it would also be 1000 times more rewarding. I truly entered my first teaching job thinking that I was going to have everything under control within a week or two. But in so many ways the deck was stacked against me. I was certified to teach K-6 but was teaching in an 8th grade classroom on an emergency certification. I started teaching on Halloween and my students had had about 10 different teachers since they were in 4th grade. By my third week in the classroom I was in the emergency room after being hit by a student. I cried myself to sleep every night for the first three months because it was so difficult. And then one day I saw the light bulb go off for one of my students and it made up for so many of those tears I had cried. And then another student finally grasped a difficult concept we had been working on for weeks. And then my students surprised me with a birthday cake. It was in that moment that I realized that as difficult as this job was, the rewards would outweigh those challenges.
When I walked across that stage nine years ago and collected my diploma, I thought I knew everything that I needed to know to be an extremely successful teacher. Turns out that I knew a lot less than I thought!
Hi, my name is Julie and I blog over at Girl on the Move! I am fortunate enough to live in Southern California and I love adventures so now that I am retired from teaching, I am always on the move traveling to ballparks across the country, tasting new cupcakes, running, or traveling to places on my bucket list. Since I am always on the move I am super organized and love to share organizational tips with others. I hope to inspire people to try new things and when they do try something new, I love to hear about it!