You’ve gone through all the training and learned all the theory that you need to get started as a teacher. Now, you have your own class and real life children to teach. It’s a daunting prospect, to say the least. As a new teacher, you are likely to make some mistakes along the way. If you’re aware of the most common mistakes new teachers make, though, you can avoid them.
1. Trying To Be The ‘Popular Teacher’
As a child, you most likely had a teacher that you really loved and consider to be the ‘popular’ teacher at your school. Of course, you’ll want to try and emulate them. However, many new teachers fall into the trap of trying to be popular and getting their students to like them, first and foremost.
The problem with this is it’s not the right way to go about cultivating a relationship with your students. You want to have a culture of mutual respect in your classroom, rather than a friendship between you and the students. If you try to be the ‘popular’ or ‘cool’ teacher, you’re not going to get the results you want.
That doesn’t mean you ‘shouldn’t smile until Christmas’ as the saying goes, but focus on what’s best for your students. If you simply talk to them like human beings and respect them, then you’ll be respected by your students in turn.
2. Saying ‘Yes’ All The Time
As a new teacher, you want to prove yourself and show that you’re ready to become a valuable part of your school’s culture. That makes it very easy for others to start piling the responsibilities up. As such, new teachers often find themselves handling all sorts of clubs, events, and other things that are unpaid and extra work.
“You want to make a good impression in your new job, but you still should consider whether you have the ability to handle all that work” says Simon Greene, an educational writer with Boom Essays and Essay Writing Services. “Remember, you can’t be the best teacher if you’re drowning in work.”
If you’re asked to take on a job that you know you aren’t able to do, you are able to say ‘no’ without damaging your reputation. Be polite, and remember that you don’t need to share the reason why you can’t, either.
3. Not Asking For Help When You Need It
A common mistake new teachers make is not asking for help. They don’t want to be seen as the new person, so they struggle along on their own. They also feel that they should be able to handle the job, as they’ve done the training, so they shouldn’t need help.
The fact is, everyone knows you’re new, so pretending you aren’t isn’t going to help you. Instead, don’t’ be afraid to ask for help as and when you need it. If you were in any other job, as a new employee you’d be expected to ask for help. The same goes in teaching too.
“Make sure you’re asking for help and not struggling alone” says Lianne Peters, a teacher at Paper Fellows and State Of Writing. “You can also observe other teachers and learn from them, too.”
4. Comparing Yourself To Others
Go online right now and you’ll see teachers who have beautifully decorated classrooms, that create intricate lesson plans and keep their students engaged 24/7. It’s so hard to feel adequate when you see them, and it leads to new teachers feeling like they have to live up to that ideal.
Instead, remember that what you see online is never the whole story. Instead, just try and do your best every day. Every teacher has their own strengths, and every teacher will make mistakes from time to time. Just ensure that you learn from those mistakes, and you’ll become better at what you do every single day.
Being a new teacher is overwhelming, and you’re always going to make mistakes. Now you know about these common mistakes though, you’ll make your first year in teaching a whole lot smoother. Ask for help when you need it, and don’t compare yourself to others around you, and you’ll soon get settled in.
Jennifer Han is a writer for Custom Essay and UK Writings Reviews, where she writes about education. She’s also a contributor at Do My Assignment.