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10 Things You Need To Know Before You Start Teaching

So you want to be a teacher? 10 things you won't learn in college.

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10. It's a 14 hour a day job


Arrive an hour beforehand to make copies and tutor, teach for 7 hours, stay an hour after, then work for hours at home trying to make a lesson for tomorrow…and answer your 100 unopened emails, fill out all your IEP and ARD paperwork, differentiate your instruction for individual students, grade papers, enter grades in the online gradebook parents expect to be updated within 2 minutes of posting the assignment,....Then eat and sleep? Maybe not tonight.

7. You don't even have time to use the restroom


Most jobs you can go as you please, get water when you’re thirsty, and take hour long lunch breaks. When you’re teaching 45 minute, or 90 minute, classes with 4 minutes in between, you can’t come and go as you please. You’re on a schedule that cannot be broken and you can’t leave your class ‘unattended.’ The big conundrum.

6. Everything is your fault


Parents will make you feel defeated. Suzie is making a bad grade? What did you do wrong teaching her? Bob is missing assignments? You obviously didn’t give him enough chances to turn it in. Lester got a worse grade than the boy sitting next to him? You’ll hear about it.

5. You don't teach a "curriculum"


Don’t expect to walk into your classroom and be given a book of ‘lesson plans.’ You will be creating, from scratch, 99% of what you teach and use. Expect to create an engaging warm-up activity, a mini lesson that involves investigation, some partner or group practice that engages them, a “check for understanding,” and an exit ticket…everyday. You know, like you did in college for your MAJOR end of class project? It’s not due every morning.

4. Many days you will not see the sun


Friends will tell you it was snowing, or raining, or that there was a beautiful rainbow and you will have no idea. Arriving at 7 and leaving at 5 or 6, the sun will have come up and gone down while you’re in that building.

3. Sometimes they won't "get it" matter how engaging the lesson


And it will be one of the worst feelings you’ve experienced. You’ll get through it…after a good nights sleep and a couple of hours binging on Netflix that weekend.

2. Behavior will be a never ending battle


Just when you think you have it figured out, Johnny will be making noises in the back of the room while Jimmy sings and Suzie starts complaining about what you’re doing in class. Count to 5 and remember your systems.

1. You won't hear "thank you"


...but you know you are developing these tiny (some not so tiny) humans into the future doctors, lawyers, teachers, police officers, construction workers, architects, etc. that will change the world. And knowing that you're making a difference, even in the life of one child, is all you need at the end of the day.

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