So I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. It all started a few weeks ago on Facebook. I am part of a few different groups for teachers and since school has started I’ve noticed a lot of posts that look and sound like these:
5 Words of Encouragement for Teachers
I distinctly remember my first year of teaching. I taught middle school dyslexia reading classes. We took a couple days at the beginning of the year getting to know each other and the procedures for our class – then we got to work. Fast forward to my first year teaching third grade. By the end of the first week I was so frustrated with myself. I had followed my same procedures, and after a couple days jumped into teaching and didn’t understand why my classroom procedures weren’t working. I felt rushed and unorganized and so did my students. But I just knew that I should be teaching so I rushed through everything else. Big mistake! The best thing I did was give myself permission to go back, take time to really teach the procedures of our classroom, and not jump right into the hard core academics. It made all the difference!
You may find that you can hit your groove faster than me and that is great. But the important thing to remember is to take the time you need in the beginning to build the relationships, put the procedures into place, and create a comfortable, safe learning environment. When you do these things, you too will hit your groove and you’ll find that the rest of the year will be smoother because of it. Now my beginning of the year mantra is “BABYSTEPS!” That’s my reminder that I need to slow down. A mentor teacher once told me “it pays to go slow at the beginning so you can go fast later.” Those words are so very true and ones that I remind myself of every year.