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If you are a beginning teacher and you’re a few months into the school year, then by now you’ve probably realized that teaching isn’t always as picture perfect as some of the teachers on Instagram make it out to be.
Co-workers aren’t always people who you clique with, a Pinterest inspired classroom is way more work than you anticipated, and those classroom management strategies that you’ve learned aren’t working the magic that you thought they would.
Maybe, you are even in a situation where your administration isn’t as supportive as you would like them to be.
If this is you, I know that it doesn’t feel good. You are working so hard, and the last thing you need is your admin telling you that you need to do better. It can cause you to doubt yourself and make you wonder if teaching is truly for you, after all.
One specific example that has come up with teachers that I’ve talked to is that their admin is telling them that they need to get a better hold of their classroom management. In some cases, teachers are even being threatened to not have their contact renewed if they can’t make a change in this area.
If this has been happening in your teaching life, or some other version of this story, I think it’s time to talk about what might be going on here and how you can get the help that you need in order to become the teacher that you’ve always dreamed of being.
I first want to say that if you’re struggling with classroom management, you are not alone. I don’t know a single new teacher who hasn’t struggled with this. Next - and I mean this with so much love - I want you to be sure that you are taking responsibility for your growth in this area. That means that you shouldn’t be running to your admin every single time there’s a problem and expecting them to solve it. We all need to take ownership for our own growth.
One way to do this is to ensure that you have a crystal clear classroom management plan in place before the school year even begins. You need to have routines, organization, expectations, and class jobs in place. If you haven’t already, you need to pause and spend the time to model and practice these things with your students.
I believe that classroom management is about so much more than managing students. It’s also about managing our space and materials, our planning, student data, relationships with parents, and our mindset. All of these pieces need to work together before you can truly create a space and community that you love to be in. I go deep into these five ideas in episode 210 of the podcast. You can listen to that episode here.
Now, if you have taken responsibility for your growth in the areas mentioned above, and you’re still struggling in classroom management, now is the time to start asking for help from your administration. Inside of this episode I’m going to share four ways that you can ask for help from your admin. Each of these ways helped me in my teaching career and I know they can help you too! The four ways that you’ll hear me talk about are:
Even if some of these ideas scare you, I encourage you to give them a try. Asking for help can be the best thing that you do this year, and it can change everything.
Lastly, if you haven't taken my new teacher quiz, what are you waiting for? It’s only four quick questions. After answering the questions, you’ll receive a curated podcast playlist that will help you take your next five steps wherever you are in your teaching journey. Click the image below to take the quiz now!
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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