It being the beginning of a new year, it’s a good time to do some reflecting on my first months of teaching in a public high school. Here are some things that have been running through my head lately:
- I let the complaints (and wanting to make everybody happy) guide me too much
- In the beginning, I focused too much on staying on the schedule rather than ensuring a deeper understanding
- I think I tried to implement too many methods/strategies for starting out (this is the problem with having such an awesome PLN: there are so many amazing teachers doing amazing things. But, they’re also tweeting what things NOT to do. So, it’s inspiring and overwhelming at the the same time.)
- I had trouble staying consistent (teaching methods, classroom management, even marking) – perhaps the idea of keeping it simple might help?
- Direct communication is key (found this out the hard way: trying to gloss over things or avoid situations to “be nice” does not work)
- There will always be difficult situations/people to deal with
- Teaching can fill up every second I allow it to
Many of those sound negative, but I certainly have a lot to learn from it all. On the more positive side:
- I had several compliments about my teaching from other teachers and admin.
- Students like and appreciate choice
- I found that creating personal connections make a huge positive difference
In fact, some of my favourite moments involved making surprising connections with students: like having a student who told me many times they didn’t want me around come to my door when they were bored and having a 30 minute conversation about their art.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: this job has a steep learning curve, but I’m not giving up just yet!