2. Collaborate and lean on your colleagues
This is so key to surviving as a first year teacher, actually... probably at any year. That's what they are there for. A shoulder to cry on, a brain to bounce ideas off, an experienced teacher to help you solve that parent or behavior problem or help you figure out the best way to teach that math concept... I had any amazing team this year, and I hope that is true for everyone! I
3. Leave time for you
I cannot stress this enough. There will NEVER be enough time to do everything that you want to/have to do. Prioritize. What is the most important and what can wait? Cut yourself off at a certain time every night. I got into the habit of coming home, taking my dog for a walk, having dinner, and then allowing myself only 2 hours TOPS to do work (usually I gave myself 1, but some nights I knew I had more to do than others) It seems kind of crazy. Especially when you don't get all that planning done for the next day.. but you owe it to yourself. Teaching is one of the hardest and most demading professions... You will tire yourself out too quickly if you don't leave time for you which will, in turn, have a negative affect on your classroom environment. You become more easily frustrated, less energetic, and less invested because your just too darn exhuasted. Trust me, leave "Me Time". You'll be more happy- and so will your students.
4. ENJOY YOUR KIDS!
I think this is the most important of them all. If you're not enjoying your kids, you're not enjoying your job... which will lend to an early burn out and you being just plain miserable. Laugh with them. Be spontaneous. Don't be so serious all the time. Make learning fun. Stand on top of the table & give them the "I have a dream" speech while you're learning about Martin Luthur King Jr., Put on mustaches while you make fraction pizzas, sing a song about adding. Tell them a joke... get to know them.. share their interests and show them that you genuinly care. You'll make an impact on their life and you theirs.
I have learned so much more my first year teaching but I think that these are some of the most important. I hope you will pass along to any upcoming teachers that you know and who could use a little advice to help them have a successful first year!