1. Always keep extra lunch supplies in your classroom.
You know, a cup of soup here, some crackers there, a good amount of chocolate and caffeine back in the back. Oh, and you will NEVER have enough plastic utensils.
|I think 200 should be enough, right?|
2. Don't stress about all of that cutesy stuff.
I had so many plans of different things to go on throughout the year. Once we got started, I found out a lot of what I was doing was wasted energy. In the wise words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" Instead, focus on hanging student work. Even better, let them choose what they want to hang up!
3. You may not be ready to be a mother, but surprise you're having 25-tuplets!
It all started with the morning sickness/nerves and anxiety in the morning. These kids will test your patience to the max, that is for sure. However, there is something lovable in each of them. My heart broke for each of these kids at least once this year but, it was also able to celebrate their successes.
Almost everyone is willing to help and support a new teacher. They all remember what it's like. Be weary of those who are trying to push their ideas on you. You alone know what will work best for you and your relationship with your students. Take what others say and make it work for you.
5. Stock up on coffee and Coke.
6. Be flexible.
Meetings change, appointments change, kids change, adults change, bells don't ring, it rains as soon as you walk out for recess, computers break, desks break, kids break, people don't show up, the AC goes out, the internet goes out, you forget your lunch, your students sometimes understand nothing that comes out of your mouth, you get sick, kids get sick, policies are altered; and if you're lucky, they all happen on different days.
7. Create a survival kit for THOSE days.
Excedrin, hair ties, sweater, extra pair of shoes (for when you "accidently" jump in the puddle), toothbrush and toothpaste, chapstick (like 20 sticks because you know you'll lose them all), lotion, nail file, safety pins, cough drops, lady supplies, bobby pins, and gum. My kit has grown throughout the year.
I mean seriously, can I get a dictionary?
IEP, PEP, PDP, AYP, EOG, ELL, EC, ED, AIG, FERPA, LEA, LEP, PLC, RTI, RttT, ADA, ISS, OSS, SIT, AU, NCLB, ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ?
9. When it all becomes too much, close the door and focus on what's important.
It took me all year to realize this is what I needed to do. I spent too many hours worrying about what others were frantic about. When I finally realized it, I had shut my door and had 25 little people to focus my attention on. It all seems so cliche, but it's true. The kids are why we're there and they make it all worth it. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my team and everyone that is around me. But when everyone is going crazy at the same time, put that "Do Not Disturb" sign up (or just do as I do and lock your door).
|A bit much?|
Otherwise you will miss the "may cause drowsiness" and suffer all day long. Seriously, worse day of the year. It was TORTURE. Went to bed by 4:00 that day.
|Should have just invested in this contraption.|
11. It's okay to act like a fool.
Some of my best lessons turned out when I was standing on a chair or had kids rolling on the floor. You've gotta do what you gotta do to keep a bunch of 5th graders' attention.
If you believe in that old saying "Don't smile before Christmas," it's fine. Just make sure you celebrate Christmas in August. Kids are funny, farts are funny, but most importantly, I am funny.