I’m a new teacher, and I assume if you’re reading this, you probably are as well. Let’s be honest with each other, we are both probably asking ourselves at this point, “But, why did we decide to teach?” Regardless if you’re student teaching or in your 5th year, I’m sure you have second guessed this decision at least once since entering the field.
I am a fifth-year high school history teacher, and boy, I feel like I am heading onto the battlefield each day. These past years, there has been multiple times throughout each day that I ask myself, “But, like, why?”
The internet is riddled with the Pinterest perfect world of teaching, with boards and blogs that show perfectly manicured and color-coded cubbies for each student and “advice” about how to just calmly handle behavior problems in your classroom with phrasing like “How does that make YOU feel, little Sally?”
(Note: I’ve read so many Pinterest blogs about elementary school teachers that I’m fully convinced that elementary school teachers just sit around in the afternoons and weekends color-coding all the things).
Point being, we’re not therapists. Or these people’s mothers. Or doctors. Or interior decorators. And none of our students are named Sally.
We feel so discouraged when that amazing lesson plan from TeachersPayTeacher.com didn’t go as planned. We start to believe that maybe we’re not good teachers because our classroom doesn’t look like that or that lesson didn’t work here. We’re not like them, so we must not be good teachers, right?
So, if not Pinterest, where do we turn? To veteran teachers most likely. Veteran teachers are great and they give awesome advice – until their experiential advice cuts short because of their age, disconnect to youth culture, apathy, lack of flexibility with constantly changing curriculum shifts, or general discontent of admin or colleagues or of children in general. (Note: This statement applies to just some veteran teachers – not all of them are the same).
We’re new teachers who need practical guidance, not theorized guidance. We’re new teachers that need to see the positives of this profession. The outcomes of this profession. The strength that it can be.
You’ve probably learned by now that this job is no friggin’ fairytale. It’s dirty, frustrating, irritating, complex, and expensive to maintain. But, for some reason we keep coming back. And we keep saying we like it – and we DO like it. Hell, we love it.
BUT, each classroom is so incredibly different and each teacher is so diverse in their cultural background, teaching style, region of teaching, financial situation and development. It is hard to make everything we see on our “For My Classroom” Pinterest board a reality. Therefore, how can we develop those ideas to fit OUR own classroom?
I decided to make this blog to act as a space for me to share my #newteacherproblems with you and how I’ve handled them to hopefully provide guidance to similar issues that you have experienced. This is also a space for you to share your #newteacherproblems with me, because believe me, I’ll take all that I can get.
As a community, we can create a resource center for us who are experiencing the new world of teaching and how we support each other through this journey.