Before stepping into the classroom, I wish someone had told or taught me about...
- The amount of time meetings take up in your day. I learned this quickly last year. I felt so bad turning away students before or after school, because at least a couple times during the week I had to run to a meeting. By the end of the year, meetings were like okra to me...not my favorite.
- The amount of email a teacher receives on a daily basis. I felt like at the beginning of my first year, I was constantly checking my email. I was overwhelmed with trying to reply and read. I don't do that anymore. I wait to read everything during prep or after school. It can wait.
- How to communicate with parents. I wish we had scenarios or something in college to help us in working with parents. I remember that first parent phone call...I was so nervous! I know it just takes practice, but I still wish someone had stressed parent communication to me in undergrad. Maybe I could have developed an avuncular charm?
- Print materials at least a day in advance. The copy machine in the math lounge at my school is a vainglorious contraption. The things loves to be the center of attention...it's always breaking down! I never won last year. Now I try to print everything I need at least a day ahead of time, otherwise it could go either way with the temperamental copier.
- How to be organized with the paper flow. Students turn in work. I grade. Pass back. Repeat. I've been doing less collecting this year, but I still feel like I have sooo much paper. I wish we had learned some tips from our Hemingway-esque college professors.
This is my list for now. I think this would have been longer last year during my first year. I felt so overwhelmed. Year 2, going much better!