Advice on Teaching: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Teacher

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You really can’t understand the ins and outs of teaching until you experience it.  Today I’m wanting to share some of my advice on teaching with this post of the top ten things I wish I knew before becoming a teacher!

10 Pieces of Advice on Teaching

1. Teachers earn their summer vacation

There is nothing easy about being a teacher. Not only do you spend more than 40 hours a week teaching, but most teachers bring their work home with them. We deserve two months off. Not to mention, it takes about two months just for teachers to recharge for the next school year.

2. You need to train your bladder

You can’t leave a class of kids sitting around unattended while you use the bathroom. Unless you have another teacher that can watch your class real fast, you are going to have to hold it until lunch or your conference period. Over summer and winter break, I get so used to going to the bathroom when I want that it takes a while to get back into the routine.

3. Student teaching and college classes do not give you any idea of what teaching is really about

Just like any job, you really have no idea what it is like until you are actually in it. Teaching is no exception. Unless you are or have been a teacher, you have no idea what it’s like. The only way to get an idea of teaching is to experience it.

4. You will need to advocate for your students

Unfortunately, some parents don’t know anything about a child’s education and some of them just don’t care. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to make sure that you do everything you can to fight for the success of your students. This can require so many different things, but you have to be prepared for anything and everything.

5. Parents can be difficult

No surprise here. As a parent myself, I get it. We want our children to have the best education possible. This might, at times, include us second guessing our child’s teacher. However, if your child’s teacher is halfway decent, they are doing everything they can…and more…to help your child.

6. You aren’t always JUST teaching

I always say that I’m not only a teacher. This year, I have had to be so much more. I’ve been a teacher, counselor, motivator, advocator, life coach, doctor, anxiety specialist, interventionist, and am required to be prepared for anything that comes my way.

7. You need to know a ton of acronyms

I feel like you need a college course in teaching acronyms. When I got my first teaching job, I was so confused when people would use sentences filled with acronyms. Some of the acronyms I now use on a daily basis include, but are not limited to:  ARD, SSI, SST, CIS, FERPA, ESL, RTI, STAAR, TEKS, ELL, TELPAS, BIP, IEP, ED, LD, ID. Double points if you can make a sentence using all of those in a single sentence.

8. It can be so much fun

Some days, outside of crucial learning times, my kids and I have a real blast. We have gone on some awesome field trips and sometimes we just have

9. Teaching involves a ton of paperwork and documentation

Wow is all I have to say. Teachers have a ridiculous amount of paperwork and documentation. I think this might apply to elementary school teachers a little more. I have thousands of binders just including different paperwork and documentation.

10. Teaching will change your life

This is true in so many ways. I have gained so much more empathy and compassion since becoming a teacher. There are students in the past that will have forever made an impact on my life. Kids will teach you about the good, and sadly sometimes the bad, of the world. I truly believe I am a better parent because of teaching.

Please feel free to share anything you wish you would have known before becoming a teacher!  Or any other advice on teaching!