You’ve done it! You’re finally stepping into your own classroom, which is probably one of the best feelings you’ve had in life. It feels like all your hard work has finally culminated in having your own class!
It can be easy to let work overwhelm you in the first year – and it’s absolutely okay to spend as much time as you want preparing! You’re excited; there’s loads of ideas firing round your heard; your bookmarks on Pintrest, Twitter and Instagram have grown out of control and you want to create it all.
But it’s super important to make sure your wellbeing comes first; a tired, burnt out teacher cannot give their best to their class; no matter how many fabulous resources you create. The best resource in the classroom is YOU.
TOP TIP 1: BALANCE
It may take a while, but finding balance for yourself between work and home life is always so important. A burnt out candle can’t glow, which you will need to in both aspects of your life!
Make sure (minimum!) an evening a week you go home early and spend a day at the weekend (minimum!) relaxing. Of course, some find work relaxing – but you need time to switch off or it will become hard to draw the line between the two.
TOP TIP 2: ASK
It’s absolutely okay to ask someone for help. Yes, we mean about lessons, planning or subjects – don’t struggle when there are experts all around you – but also when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Don’t suffer in silence; find a colleague who can be what you need. It might be just a listening ear, a helping hand or someone who can help you make a change.
Believe us, we know how hard it can be to ask someone for help if you’re finding things difficult. It can take lots of courage! But in the long run, it will have a much better effect on your mental health. If there is no one in school who can be there, then remember you can always reach out on Twitter. It’s a great support network.
TOP TIP 3: SELF-WORTH
Too many times NQTs (or even PGCE students!) walk into a classroom and think they don’t know best because it’s ‘just’ their first year of teaching. Know your own worth!
You will have fresh eyes, enthusiasm and new teaching strategies that other members of staff might not have seen before, or be able to see in the same way as you. Many a student or NQT has come up with a totally amazing way of teaching something! Don’t fill yourself with doubts – you wouldn’t have been chosen for the job if you hadn’t shown a real flair and love of teaching.
And in the future…
As you develop your own teaching style further, you’ll find tips and tricks to make things quicker. Less resources to make; more ideas to fall back on; trial and error of different strategies.
Just remember: do what works FOR YOU where possible.
B & W x