I am a new teacher just starting out, could anyone give me some good practical advice on how to become a succesful teacher.
Do not overwhelm yourself. I am only in my second year but have learned a ton. Find someone in your building to kind of mentor you and someone you can share your frustrations and successes with. Follow curriculum maps for your classes as to stay on track for the courses you teach and participate in contests that relate to the courses you teach. Remember that you are human, and you need time away from work. This was hard for me to grasp as I was constantly wanting to get something done, but you have to learn, something can wait until tomorrow.
Guess it depends on your definition of successful...
Continually learn, reflect, and change, ... then repeat.
Join your professional organization (NAAE and state ag teacher group).
Be curious, inquisitive, and enthusiastic
Be empathetic, kind and helpful
Do your best, give it what you got, and realize you can't be everything for everyone.
Do what's best for kids.
Work professionally with your collegues.
Check out CASE ... might be the best thing you ever did.
Read --- educational literature, blogs, opinions, stories -- stay current. Entertain new ideas without neccessarily accepting them.
Challenge yourself and your students
Back up your computer
Realize that failure is probably the best educator.
Focus on teaching
That'll get you started.
And that stuff too!!! Long time no tweet Matt!
I am 11.5 days away from completing my 4 year of teaching and some of the key components I have found that have helped me be successful in my career are as follows:
*Be yourself. Some people will be ok with that and others might not, but you can't please everyone as soon as you try to, your going to have a bunch of upset people. You will in time earn respsect and find that people will not be nearly as hard on your if are always being you!
*TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF! I always told myself that my kids were the most important part of my job, but in 4 years time, I have come to the realization that my health and state of mind come first, my family comes 2nd and my kids come 3rd. I live 4 hours from home and I have had some family members become very ill and I knew that in order for me to do what was best for my students, I needed to make sure I was with my family when we all needed it most! I have earn a great deal of respect from my students for that.
*Make notes, change things that don't work and always do your best. I am still making changes and tweeking things to fit me best. Just when I think I have it 100% a curve ball comes my way!
*Find a teacher in your school you can communicate with, but also find another ag teacher near by that you can talk to! Don't let things bog up inside. If you need to vent, make sure you have someone that is a reliable source to vent to!!
*Professional Development--never stop learning. If you can't go to school full time and teach make sure you take advantage of professional development activities when you can. I learn more from going to monthly area meetings and day long PD events with my fellow ag teachers than I ever could in a college classroom.
*It's ok to wait to do somethings! Use a calendar and try your best to stay organized! Make sure you take care of important paperwork and things in a timely manner, the other things will be there, so don't make your place of employment your home...your recliner and couch are much more comfortable for things like relaxing than your desk chair or shop ever will be!
*Be involved in the communityand make sure they are aware of what you are doing and what your students are doing in the program. You will be amazed at the outside support you will gain! Sometime's my students ask me why we have write so many THANK YOU's! I always tell them that good manners always pay off. Sometimes it might take awhile to figure that out, but it does! You can never say Please and Thank You to many times!
I could go on and list out things for hours and fill up many pages of things I think have helped me to be successful here at Fairfax R-3! Good Luck and Best Wishes! I am sure you will have many successes! Just don't rush them or force them! It WILL come when it supposed too!
There are going to be a lot of people with a lot of advice heading your way. I would echo many of the comments from the earlier posters. However, I remember as I was coming out. I was going to set the world on fire with Kung Fu that had never been seen before. I quickly learned that I was wrong. The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your family, but you can include your family in your career. After that, there is a great network in Ag Ed through NAAE, your state, and definitely CASE! Don't be afraid to get help. The good teachers will help you out...even if it means giving away their secrets. Slow and steady wins the race, and if you are consistent and persistent, you will do just fine. Just don't give up when things get difficult. Good things happen to good people. Sorry for all the cliches but they are often true. Good luck and keep at it!
All great responses Ken!
I am about 6 instructional days away from completing my first year as a Ag Teacher. There were days that I thought to myself "what in the world did I sign up for" "why I am doing this" "I have no clue what I am doing" and "how in the world am I going to make it through the rest of the year!" Even though I had these thoughts on these very bad days, I had more thoughts like "I now know why I am an ag teacher" "that lesson went amazing" "these kids really do understand this stuff," and "yes, I love my job"
One thing I have learned this year is the fact that NO, I cannot do it all. You may think you can take on the world but it is very important to focus on just a few things your first year and do them really well. I tried to take on to much at the start and got overwhelmed. Don't be afraid to ask others for help!
Take time for yourself. If you find yourself at school working at 8:00 on a Sunday night...you need to go home. Because our jobs require us to wear many different hats and do so much for others, sometimes you just have to force yourself to shut off the computer, turn out the lights in the shop and go home!
Beg, Borrow and Steal- don't re-invent the wheel. You will save a lot of time if you use others ideas, worksheets, project ideas, lesson plans etc!
And most importantly- have fun...we really do have the coolest job in the way of teaching!
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