We truly do get by with a little help from our friends (coworkers, bosses, paid mentors, whoever). Starting a new career is tough. My teaching career proves this day in and day out.
I have had to change my mindset. Throughout schooling, I was used to being at the top. I was in control of all of the outcomes. If I studied, I would do well on schoolwork. If I put in the time, I could help lead the clubs I was in. Unfortunately, teaching doesn’t work quite this way. Time is my biggest enemy. No matter how many fabulous ideas I have for lesson and centers, I am still limited by time. There is only so much I am capable of producing each day. In addition, teaching is a team effort. You cannot do it alone. I need the students and they need me. Unfortunately, I find myself thinking/saying this far too often…
Teachers are also evaluated by administrators on a 5 point scale. A 3 stands for effective. It means you are doing your job as you should. Your teaching is working. No teacher will ever have all 5′s. Yes, you aim to be at least at all 3′s and have some 5′s in your strongest areas, but perfect 5′s isn’t exactly the goal. However, for the perfectionist being satisfied with a 3 is hard. My principal always reminds us that a 3 isn’t like a C, it’s effective it is a good thing.
One area I’m working on is classroom management. The pairing of a new teacher and being in a Title 1 school means behavior is a challenging part of each and every day. My principal recommended 15 hours of individualized professional development for me. I’d have a teacher who had a similar teaching style to my own come in and help me in my own classroom with ideas and strategies. At first this was hard to swallow. I knew my management needed work, especially for my own sanity, but it can be hard to hear, but I knew it would be helpful.
Thank goodness I swallowed my pride and accepted the professional development. My mentor is phenomenal. Not only has she given me a variety of resources to read and suggestions, but she has been a huge help in the classroom. When she is there it is an extra hand to help out. In addition, she has set up areas in my room. (She even offered to work through lunch to be a bigger help). Yes, I get that it is her job to help me, but I didn’t expect her to set up my room while I taught. What a great time saver!
Check out this time out area that she set up for me. I can’t wait to try it out!
Life Lesson of the Week: Graciously accept help when it is offered to you. It is ok. You are not admitting that you are bad at something or incapable. You are simply getting to surpass struggling through battles that others have already won.