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Whether you have been teaching for a year or two, or you're getting ready to graduate, I promise you that it's so worth it to put in the work and take the steps you need to during the summer months.
The self-running classroom that you hear me talk about is not a unicorn on a pixie dust rainbow! 🦄 🌈 It's totally possible. It's totally doable. I know that because I did it in my own classroom.
I remember the day when I looked out at my sea of squirming second graders and I realized I had done it.
I literally could walk out of my classroom at any moment and my students would not only hold each other accountable for getting their work done, but they would also be super proud of showing me that they could do it.
I realized that I had finally figured out how to teach them what they needed, and had created a space where they could be independent, think for themselves, and make good decisions. We were a community because I had taken the time to do the work. It was an incredible feeling.
Of course it wasn't always that way. My first few years of teaching were TOUGH. If that's you right now - if you're really struggling - I totally get it. I really struggled too.
But, like I always say, just because you’re a beginning teacher, there is no need for you to struggle like one.
I’m here to help you overcome that overwhelm, because I don’t want you to just survive in this profession. I want you to thrive. You’re going to do incredible things inside your classroom and you’re going to have a larger impact than you could ever even imagine (yes, even if you feel like a hot mess right now!).
Part of setting yourself up for a successful school year is having some of the most essential items that you’ll need. It can be so tough to know what you should and shouldn’t invest in when you’re getting ready to set up your very first classroom.
The reality is, you could spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a lot of really cute things. But there’s a few problems with that, other than draining your bank account. To begin, all those adorable things you see on Pinterest and Instagram may not actually be functional for your unique classroom and group of students.
You may get into your classroom and realize that you actually don’t need a lot of the things you’ve bought, or don’t have the space for those things. The teacher who was in that classroom before you may have even left you piles and piles of amazing supplies! Trust me, it’s incredible what retired teachers will leave behind.
What I’m getting at here is, don’t waste your money! Wait until you’ve seen your classroom space (and the materials left in it). I even encourage you to wait to buy a lot until you’ve gotten to know your students.
Wait until you have a clear understanding of what they are into, and what they are capable of doing independently.
So today, let's talk about some of the things that you're actually going to need.
For example, some things that I would invest in as a new teacher are things that you’re going to want to use every single day with your students regardless of their ability or age! These are items like a class schedule, class calendar, and electric pencil sharpener (game changer!). Those are three of the best investments that you can make.
Guess what? Things like labels and calendars are all included in my R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy! As an Academy member, I literally give you everything you're going to need to set up your wall spaces inside your classroom.
So if you are thinking about joining the Academy, don’t buy those things yet because you’ll have access to them soon, and that will save you a ton of money.
You can also check out my Ultimate Amazon Wish List for New Teachers. But remember, wait until you know your classroom, know the grade, and have a clear idea of what you're going to have access to before you start spending your own money.
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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