Monday, August 18, 2014

First Year Flashback Linky

I go back to work today to start my 7th year of teaching!  (Cannot believe it's been that long!)  I saw this linky and thought it would be perfect to reflect on my first year.  I hope you find it helpful!

What age group and subject were you teaching?
I taught 5th grade my first year.  I taught everything - reading, writing, math, science, social studies, health.

What was your first classroom like?
My classroom was fairly large.  I had 2 doors, so that was interesting trying to think about how I wanted to set up the room.  Since I was new to the school, I had furniture that wasn't wanted or needed by other teachers.  My shelving units were all mismatched, but at least I had plenty of storage space!

Were you given supplies or materials?
I was given some supplies and materials, but I bought some things.  I was very fortunate to receive donations of books and materials from other teachers.  I had plenty of books for my classroom library.  I also received some workbooks full of worksheets and teaching ideas (since I wasn't familiar with TpT at the time, it was very helpful).  I did purchase my classroom decor - I had a sports theme that year. 

What was the hardest part of your first year of teaching?
I think the hardest part of my first year was trying to balance everything.  I had a challenging class and needed some support with behaviors.  Once I was able to get classroom management under control, I was able to focus on creating exciting lessons for my students.  In the beginning, it was difficult to just focus on lessons because I was trying to figure out how to get my students to behave.  Thankfully, I had some veteran teachers help me and I felt successful.

What was the best part of your first year of teaching?
The best part of my first year had to have been seeing the faces of my students when they finally got it.  Many students struggled but they never gave up.  I loved knowing I was helping them learn.  Even those students who challenged me with their behavior had their ah-ha moments.

What do you know now that you wish you knew that first year?
Asking questions and for help is better than trying to do it alone.  There are people that have been through it before that are willing to share their expertise.  But you have to speak up!

Wow!  So much has happened in my life and the world since I started teaching in 2008.  Head on over to The ESOL Odyssey to read other first year flashbacks!

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