Becoming a teacher is one of the most rewarding career paths. For first-year teachers or tenured teachers alike, knowing that you have the chance to completely change the trajectory of someone’s life, or assist in molding them into the best version of themselves—there is truly nothing better.
As a teacher, you will make a difference in the lives of your students every single day. And not only academically, but personally, too.
Whether you’re just starting out and looking for some guidance, or you’re a veteran who’s searching for a confirmation of worth, here are three reminders for first-year teachers (and anyone who’s considering this career path):
1. Stop Worrying About What Everyone Else Is Doing
When you first get into teaching or individualized tutoring, you may be tempted to see what everyone else is doing and copy that. While this can be beneficial (at first) to seek inspiration, it’s damaging to constantly compare yourself.
If you’re always looking at yourself as a reflection of others, you’ll always feel as if you’re falling short or that you’re not good enough. Instead, try to figure out your own method(s) of teaching, your passion areas, and what makes you truly stand out and shine as a leader in your field.
2. Refine (And Perfect) Your Specialty
There are so many content areas within this profession. As you refine your path, consider what you want to specialize in (both content and age range). Do you want to be a primary school teacher? Or do you want to teach older students in a more specialized subject? Is it education you want to teach, or something more hobby-focused such as evening art classes for adults? You could also look at specific classes (secular or non-secular), for example teaching religion through Alpha Christianity courses or something else that aligns with your faith.
Think carefully about what you are good at, what you enjoy, and how you can help others with this.
3. Prioritize Organization
Organization is key as a teacher, and it’s vital that you keep everything together (in your classroom, digital spaces, grading reports, etc.). You are also likely to have specific learning objectives and exam schedules to adhere to as well, so you need to ensure you are on track in these areas, too.
It’s a good idea to keep things labeled, color-coded, and in folders/digital files to make sure your workspace(s) are tidy and nothing gets overlooked or lost.
Note For First-Year Teachers:
It’s going to be okay.
As overwhelmed as you may feel right now, the truth is, you’re going to do just fine! The education and experience you’ve had, the passion you have, and the underlying reasoning for becoming a teacher in the first place will guide you forward with confidence and heart.
Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. Every time you sign off that computer or leave that classroom, you’ll know that you’ve made a real difference to your students. And that’s irreplaceable.
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