My mentors and other teaching friends kept telling last year, "Don't worry. Things will be much better your next year teaching." I have really looked back during the past couple of months and couldn't believe how I survived parts of last year when compared to how much better they are this year. Here is a comparison of now vs. last year:
Last year - Got hired 10 days before school started with just a couple days to then prepare.
This year - Was able to spend most of the summer preparing units and lessons for this year.
Last year - Couldn't get hardly any students interested in participating in competitions.
This year - We will be participating in our third competition of the year coming up in a few weeks.
Last year - Handed out about 15 detentions by this time last year.
This year - Haven't had to hand out any yet...
Last year - Was staying at school working till 5-6:00 p.m. cleaning and organizing my teaching facility to suit my needs.
This year - Usually leave school around 3:30-4:00 or stay longer for competition practices or other FFA activities with students.
Last year - Staying up late every night scrambing to prepare lessons for the next day and thinking how long I could stretch lessons to have time to prepare more.
This year - Have lessons ready to go and a plan for the remainder of the year.
Last year - Caught off-guard on how fast our annual Fruit Sales and National FFA Convention trip came up. Found out how much planning and paperwork goes with both events.
This year- Knew what to expect so I was able to have paperwork and sales information ready to go early.
As I explained how things were going for me last year to a couple of my mentors, they told me the following that was very true:
"The college or university you graduate from does not prepare you to be a great teacher. They prepare you with the tools to be a first-year teacher, it is up to YOU to be a great teacher."
I realized how true that statement was at that point last year. Even with trying to do everything the "right" way from other ag ed teachers and my professors I have talked with, I needed to do things my way and work towards becoming a GREAT teacher in my own way.
So first, second, third teachers or those of you in school preparing to become teachers, I can tell you from my experience and I am sure our older mentor teachers can tell us too, teaching WILL get a little easier every year.
Post by Drew Bender