5. Longer hours isn’t sustainable. Change your habits and workflow instead. But you couldn’t have convinced me. All the teachers I saw lugged papers and gradebooks with them everywhere, so I thought I had to as well. Silly me.
6. Student behavior is a product. Classroom management is more about the design of learning experiences than it is behavior. I was given several trainings in the school “classroom management system,” but didn’t understand that “behavior” was almost always a product of the way I designed learning experiences mixed with my relationship with the students. That’d have been nice to know.
7. Don’t get sucked into doing too much outside of your class. But if you feel the need to be involved, do so with both feet. I did the best I could with Academic Team my first year of teaching, but in reality, the students deserved ten times the support I gave them.
8. Help other teachers. Because you’re going to need them. So much is beyond your control, and it is your relationship with your colleagues that will sustain you when you’re behind or confused. I focused so much on curriculum, instruction, and the students themselves that I neglected this part. If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.
9. Reaching students emotionally matters. A lot. Relationships start with being authentic to students and helping them to feel understood–not respect, clear rules, and seating arrangements. Yay for having things completely backwards!
10. Literacy is everything for academic performance. If students struggle with reading and writing, everything else is a challenge.
10 Things I Wish I Knew My First Year Of Teaching was originally published in TeachThought.