Recently, I sent a request to some top blogging teachers asking them the question: What is the best advice you can give a new teacher?
Today I received a response from Vicki Davis from Cool Cat Teacher. Vicki’s blog has won the 2008 Edublog Award for Best Teacher Blog, among many others. Her advice to new teachers is today’s Power Post.
Here is how she answered the question:
Realize that the first year is the toughest and the second year is the second toughest but also that there is no such thing as “an easy year of teaching.”
It is OK to love your students, in fact I think it is an element of all good teachers, however, when you’re very young, you often have to have a little bit of distance, especially physically, because of the close age that you may have – particularly with the high school years. As you get older you can hold back a little less in this way.
Also, remember that you can never be tougher than you are on the first day. Be careful about smiling too much,especially at the beginning of the school year. Once they know you mean business then you can relax and be more who you are – but you set the tone and the pace at the very beginning. Ironically, I always give homework the first day of school and rarely the rest of the year!
Also, know that sometimes you have to really think about students and what motives them to reach the student.
No easy answers for teachers, but when you do find the answer for unlocking a student – it makes the quest worth it!
I would like to thank Vicki for taking the time to offer this advice to new teachers. You can read more of her insights into the teaching profession on her blog: http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/
Thank you again, Vicki.