All the schooling and studying in the world will not prepare you for the complexities and bewilderment that comes with walking into a classroom and commanding your own group of children. There’s more to teaching than a lesson plan and these ten points may better prepare you for the adventure that lies ahead:
1. Bye-bye free time!
Think you can leave work at the door at the end of the day? Nope! You will bring everything with you including prepping activities, grading papers, parent notes, lesson planning…Being a teacher is more so a lifestyle than an actual career.
2. The Ghosts of Parents Past
Scary parents and unruly students will haunt you long after the school year ends.
You will be answering a lot of weird questions…mostly from the parents.
Check out this article from People.com highlighting some of the more bizarre questions teachers have faced from parents. Here are a couple of examples:
This girl didn‘t study and skipped most of the questions on a test. Mom came in to argue about her daughter failing grade and said she should only be graded on the questions she did answer, so therefore should have scored a 100 since the few she chose to answer were correct.
Oh yeah, her behavior and aggression vary with the phases of the moon. The student had publicly threatened to kill me over unplugging her phone charger.
4. I hope you like ramen!
You will likely not be able to afford anything else in your first three years of teaching. On a positive note, there are some very creative dishes you can make with ramen:
– Ramen with sautéed mushrooms and garlic
– Ramen with crisp bacon, hot sauce and topped with a fried egg
– Ramen with sliced grilled steak, fried onion and peppers mixed with barbecue sauce
But wait…if you want to save money on a teacher salary, we have a great post you should check out here: How to Eat Well on a Teacher Salary.
5. Your world will collapse, then come back together…then collapse again.
Everything will fall about around November, go back to normal in January then fall apart again in April. You get used to it.
6. Why am I here?
You will often go to staff meeting and have no idea why…
7. The Triangle of Non-Communication
There is a natural balance of frustration in education caused by the triangle of communication – administration, parents and students. When one or two are under control the third one is guaranteed to cause frustrations.
8. You will love it, I promise.
Once you find your rhythm and learn to take care of yourself, you will love teaching!
9. You best know how to laugh.
If you don’t have a sense of humor, you may as well bail while you’re still ahead.
10. What was I doing again?
At the end of the day you are so tired that you forget where you are and what you are doing. In case you have already forgotten, you are reading an article about the ten things nobody told you about your first year of teaching.
Don’t forget to check our other popular education articles: