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Preparing for Your First Teaching Job

Posted On Sep 13, 2021

Becoming a teacher is an exciting time. After going back to school and student teaching, the idea of having your own classroom is exhilarating – but also somewhat frightening. So much of becoming a teacher is learning on the job and preparing for your first teaching job can be overwhelming. How can you set yourself up for success?

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What are the Challenges for a First Year Teacher?

The first year of teaching can be the most challenging year of your career. Through becoming a teacher you learn plenty, but it is hard to truly prepare to take on your first classroom until you’ve done it. Understanding that your first year of teaching will be a year of learning and adjusting is the first step towards a successful first year. The biggest challenges most first year teachers will face are:

  • Feeling overwhelmed.
  • Finding the balance in classroom structure.
  • Adapting to the culture of your school.
  • Setting up your classroom.
  • Accommodating the needs of every student managing your time.
  • Making sure you are allowing time for yourself to recharge.

Many first-year teachers try to do everything at once and can burn out quickly. Knowing that there is a process to adjust to this new career can make becoming a teacher less overwhelming.

How to Adjust to Becoming a Teacher

As a new teacher, you have likely started the year very prepared. Your room is organized, your strategies in place, and the first few lessons planned out. Start with a clear idea. However, don’t be so tied to this idea that you invite failure. The best way to adjust to becoming a teacher is to focus on a few weeks at a time, and then step back and reassess. Maybe you had a wonderful idea for classroom set-up, but it isn’t working well in practice. Don’t be afraid to change things up. When you assess your success over the past few weeks, think about classroom management, classroom set-up, the structure of your day, and anything else that is specific to your situation. If something isn’t working, it’s ok to adjust. 

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Keys to Success for Your First Teaching Job

Becoming a teacher is a challenge for everyone getting through that first year. However, there are things you can do to lend to your success.

  • Find a mentor. 

Many school districts assign mentors to new teachers who will help them adjust to the profession. Even if your school district doesn’t assign you a mentor, you can find a teacher in your building who you respect and ask them to help you through that first year. Your mentor can help set up your room, read over your lesson plans, and help you strategize how to handle challenges.

  • Plan what you can.

There will be many things you can’t control. Therefore, plan for everything that you CAN control. You can control whether or not you are prepared for the day, whether or not your room is organized, and what your classroom management strategy is. If you need to adjust, it will be much easier if you’re coming from a place of control.

  • Take the time to establish expectations.

You don’t need to have your students conquering the world on your first day. During those first few weeks, establishing your routines and expectations is incredibly beneficial. If your students know the structure of your classroom, the learning will fall into place much more easily.

Start your ECE Process Now

The first year of teaching can be overwhelming, exhausting, and frustrating, but it can also be exhilarating. Many teachers find that their first classroom has a special place in their memory and will find that they’ve grown substantially in that one year. With the right attitude and preparation, your first year of teaching can be a great success. Build your career on great training. Contact Athena Career Academy for more information about our accredited programs and flexible class schedules.

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Accrediting Agencies

Athena Career Academy is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. The school is registered with the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools; State of Ohio – School Registration Number – 10-09-1943T and operates under the authority of the Ohio Board of Nursing. Please contact the Student Operations Manager for more information.

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