Monday, May 25, 2009

AN OPEN LETTER TO A NEWBIE TEACHER


Dear Newbie Teacher,

Classes will soon start and I’m sure you’re feeling mixed emotions, excitement with some nervousness. You have spent a lot of time working and revising your first lesson plan. You have finished preparing for your visual aids, games and activities to motivate your students. You have read over and over again your first lesson.

But no matter how much you have prepared and sweat over your activities, the thing about teaching is that it’s totally unpredictable. A lot of things can happen on the first day. I wish they could’ve told me this during education school. One of the greatest lessons that I’ve learned through teaching is that “you can’t please everybody.” I was a people-pleaser. I wanted so badly for my students to like me. This has caused a lot of disappointment in myself. But you know what? There will be students who will like you and there will be students who won’t like you.

During my first year of teaching, I was assigned as an adviser for an honors class. You would think I was lucky because they’re so easy to teach. Wrong! One of the most painful moment as a teacher happened during of all days, Teacher’s Day. It is a school tradition for students to pay tribute to their teachers on Teacher’s Day. I wasn’t really expecting that much from my class but I got the surprise of my life. I’ve just learned from another teacher that they had a surprise gimmick for two of their favorite teachers. That hurt like a mom being spurned by her own kids. It did have a happy ending, though. We had a heart to heart talk and from there I have learned that they had high expectations of me. We leveled off our expectations and that started a better relationship. Christmas party came and this time around they gave me a nice present. But the bonus there was a letter from my student saying that despite what have happened, they have realized that I was a cool teacher after all.

What’s my point? You may have the best lesson plans, but the outcome would still be different in each class. Students have different personalities, attitudes, beliefs and skills. Remember that you are teaching students first and content second. It’s a big challenge for a teacher to tailor-fit his/her lesson to the class’ needs. It takes a lot of trial and error. Over time, you will acquire this skill.

Just a parting shot, you will have good days and you will have bad days because students have their moods. Don’t let the bad days bring you down. Focus more on the good days. I wish you good luck on your first day of class.

Sincerely,

Miracel


For Further Reading,
teaching

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Woman Behind A Teacher's Odyssey

My name is Miracel Juanta and I write ATeachersOdyssey to help students and teachers create better English. I have been in the teaching profession for more than 10 years. My field of expertise includes ESL,IELTS,TOEFL,Business English etc. If you have questions about English, feel free to email me at msjuanta@yahoo.com or add my twitter @msjuanta.